Sunday’s Toronto Star has an excellent editorial about MDA’s proposed sale of its space division to the US arms manufacturer Alliant Techsystems Inc (ATK). MDA is Canada’s leading engineering firm, best known for the Canadarm and Radarsat-1 and 2 satellites. Canadian taxpayers have contributed $445 million — about 85% of the cost — of developing the satellite. ATK makes land mines, among other war-making armaments. If this deal goes through, we will in effect be subsidizing a company that makes land mines. Also, we will lose an essential tool for enforcing our Arctic sovereignty, raising questions about our national security.
Canadians should be very concerned, upset and appalled by this latest foreign takeover of one of our few remaining Canadian firms. It’s objectionable that we are losing our country one foreign takeover at a time. With this latest ‘deal’, we will be complicit in the land mine business, after being the country that spearheaded the movement to ban them, while we take on trust that our southern neighbour will allow Ottawa to stay on top of everything going on in the North.
I strongly urge Canadians to contact their elected representatives and voice their objections and put a stop to this odious deal.
Canada’s future prosperity depends on higher education, scientific research, innovation and knowledge-based products.
How many times have you heard politicians of all stripes repeat that mantra when outlining their economic strategies? In his 2006 budget paper, Advantage Canada, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty put the Conservative party stamp on that approach when he listed “a skilled and highly educated workforce” and “high rates of private and public investment in research and innovation” as the top two “fundamental determinants of long-term economic growth.”