Quote: Originally Posted by Cannuck"I believe.... I assume.....
I believe my source is the Vancouver Sun. I can only assume that is where you got the original story from as you failed to post a link (which is the proper thing to do lest people accuse you of plagiarism).
Do you ever check?
Here is one of the story from the Vancouver Sun (but in fact it's a concern voiced by the Aerospace Industries of Canada)
OTTAWA — Canada's aerospace industry is furious that the federal government has reneged on a promise that companies from Vancouver to Montreal to Halifax would be able to share in billions of dollars worth of high-tech military contracts associated with the purchase of new military aircraft.
Instead, "work packages" negotiated between the federal government and U.S. defence giants like Boeing Co., and Lockheed Martin Corp., amount to little more than contracts for "putting gas in the planes and changing the tires," said one angry industry official, who requested anonymity.
On Friday, the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada, an industry lobby group that represents about 400 Canadian companies and the 80,000 Canadians those firms employ, warned Defence Minister Peter MacKay that Canada is not getting the benefits of the billions of Canadian tax dollars being given to U.S. defence contractors for the planes.
"I now write you to underscore that our industry remains acutely concerned that major defence procurements are proceeding in a way that will not fully engage and strengthen capabilities resident in the domestic industrial base," said Claude Lajeunesse, the chief executive officer of the AIAC, in a letter obtained by Canwest News Service.
Lajeunesse also warned that, in letting foreign defence companies take responsibility for the maintenance of Canadian military assets, Canada is ceding its sovereignty to other countries.
The federal government is in the midst of a once-in-a-generation purchasing cycle for new military planes and helicopters. The government has four separate purchase projects for aircraft worth about $16 billion, most of which will be going to Boeing and to Lockheed Martin. For each contract, Canada, as part of its major contract procurement policy, insists that for every dollar Boeing or Lockheed Martin receives from the government, they must spend a dollar purchasing Canadian goods or services. In addition, cabinet ministers have insisted that the U.S. firms should buy high-tech, top-quality goods and services that would create manufacturing jobs in Canada and also boost the industry's technological capability.
"We are continuing to make sure Canada's aerospace and defence industries obtain maximum benefit so they can build and sustain capacity to support these aircraft over the long term," former public works minister Michael Fortier said on Jan. 16, 2008 in announcing that Lockheed Martin had won a contract to provide Canada with 17 C130-J Hercules transport aircraft.
Shortly after that, the federal government issued news releases detailing how much money each region of the country would receive as a result of the two contracts that have so far been awarded to Boeing and to Lockheed Martin. For example, the aerospace industry in Quebec, centred around Montreal, could expect $660 million in new contracts, the government said. Western Canadian companies would get $341 million in contracts, with more likely to come.
"These significant investments are a sign of confidence in the talent and abilities of our region's businesses, which have demonstrated that they have what it takes to become part of Boeing's and Lockheed Martin's global supply chains," Treasury Board President Vic Toews, the regional minister for Manitoba, said on Jan. 25, 2008.
Canada's aerospace industry says it does indeed have what it takes to be part of those supply chains but Canadian firms are being shut out of those lucrative partnerships and the federal government is doing nothing to help them.
"The issue is the Canadian guys aren't getting the good work," said another defence company lobbyist, who spoke on condition he not be identified.
Canadian firms have historically been the lead contractor to maintain Canadian military aircraft. L-3 Communications Mas (Canada) Inc., in Montreal, for example, took the lead in keeping the CF-18 fighters in shape. L-3 Spar Aerospace Ltd., in Edmonton and, later, Cascade Aerospace Inc., in Abbotsford, B.C., kept the Hercules fleet flying. And IMP Aerospace in Halifax provided the maintenance and repair on the Aurora patrol aircraft.
But now, for the first time, a foreign firm will be in charge of keeping a key group of Canadian military aircraft flying.
"To ensure that this substantial expenditure of Canadian's taxpayer dollars not only secures much needed defence assets but also helps Canada weather the downturn in the global economy requires urgent intervention by you and your cabinet colleagues to ensure that the capabilities of Canadian industry are drawn upon to the fullest in supporting the new fleets over their long lifespans," Lajeunesse said in his letter to MacKay.
Lajeunnesse's letter comes as the federal government is about to unveil six or seven "work packages" it has negotiated with Lockheed Martin for the maintenance and repair of the Hercules aircraft, the first of which is to be delivered in the winter of 2010.
For the first time, the prime contractor that built the plane — Lockheed Martin — also will be the prime contractor charged with servicing the plane. The contract to build the planes is worth about $1.4 billion US but the contract to service the planes over their 20-year lifespan could be worth as much as $4 billion US.
"The . . . approach resulted in (Lockheed Martin) making available to Canadian companies work packages that were mainly for low-complexity technical labour and supply warehousing and that lacked any substantial design, engineering support, program management planning and development activities," Lajeunesse wrote MacKay. "It also vests overall control of the (service and support) with a foreign aircraft manufacturer, raises questions as to Canada's control of its defence assets and lessens Canada being a 'smart buyer' in terms getting full 'value-for-money'."
The industry says it worries that the government will repeat this action when it awards the next multi-billion dollar contract, this time for Chinook helicopters made by Boeing, and when it proceeds with the acquisition of new search-and-rescue aircraft.