Friday, April 11, 2008

MDA interference - a purely political move

From all I’ve read on this I have to conclude that this decision was purely political. The Tories no doubt based it on polling. It’s a massively popular move that appeals to nationalist and anti-American sentiment. That it’s a horrible idea should be obvious from the fact that Jack Layton and the NDP have praised it so enthusiastically.

In the long run it will end up just being hugely expensive for MDA shareholders and taxpayers and a hit against free enterprise and property rights. All this for the national ego and no significant effect on sovereignty or national security.

More - The Torch, Corcoran, Public reaction

Update: Excellent posts here by Brian Dell and Luc Schulz.


Anonymous said...

I'd ok the sale but first I'd request that the buyer reimburse any grants or special tax breaks that this company received from the government over the years. Why should a foreign owner gain value from a company that was propped up by Canadian taxpayers?

Brian Dell said...

The $445 million in taxpayer money wasn't an investment, as Corcoran notes. It was an advance payment for the satellite. That data would have still be forthcoming.

Anyway, bad decision but how can one argue with the G&M's online poll which has it 94% to 6% on this.

Anonymous said...

What would you be saying if it was China that wanted to buy MDA with some of the 1.4 trillion dollars it has in the bank?

Brian said...

While Terence Corcoran's article gave a good historical perspective of the MDA satellite "deal" struck with the Liberal government at the time , it omitted the security aspect , which was yet another Liberal screwup with Washington.

Chretien and Martin did a fine job of ensuring poor relations with the US on military and security issues. As a result of 9/11 the US does not allow foreign companies to bid on classified military/security contracts. If the Liberals had not been so anti-US Canada might have received an exemption and been allowed to bid on classified projects , but such was not the case.

So now Harper has a no win situation.

My personal guess is that taxpayer dollars will flow into MDA until such time as the satellite fails , and then it will be "end of story" , and more money wasted.

Apparently MDA was "betting the farm" on being able to provide satellite surveillance data to the US , but as a result of 9/11 and Liberal anti-US bias , and a Liberal disdain for the military , and some "made-in-Canada" security screwups , Washington decided Canadians were a poor security risk , so now MDA is without a paying customer.

In retrospect MDA should have gone to bed with France ! It is really ironic , because the Liberals were always hyping trade with France.

My guess is that for a lot less than $485M , DND could have had access to France's SPOT (2.5m) surveillance satellite data , which anyone with the cash can access.

Anonymous said...

I didn't realize anyone could backpedal as fast as Bob Rae and the Liberals were doing on TV today. The first part of the week it was all about how the government was going to sell out the country by letting this deal go through. Today it was all "yeah, quashing the deal was O.K. but it was the way it was done that is wrong." It was done exactly the way the Liberals and the NDP wanted it...not in the best interests of Canada.
As for the NDP, the MDA employees in Ontario want the deal to go through since they realize their jobs are on the line. The employees in Quebec would also like to see the deal go through, but, if not, then they are prepared to follow 'Brainless' Buzz and get a job guarantee from the government along with massive subsidies from the Canadian taxpayer. Hargrove and his minions are a one-trick pony...pick the pocket of the tax paying public.
Now that Harper has these clowns standing there with egg on their face, I hope he does the right thing and approves the sale.

JR said...

Great comments! Nice to see that there's a solid (but small) minority out there who haven't signed on to nationalists' and media's spin.

To answer anon #2(2:05PM) - I'd be absolutely against the sale of any private corporation to any foreign government (or domestic gov't for that matter). Governments should never be involved in running businesses. Incompetence, politicization of commerce, conflict of interest, unfair competition, inefficiency, excessive bureaucracy ... are among the many reasons why it's a terrible idea.

Anonymous said...

When this story first hit the MSM, you could tell it was something the leftosphere would like, but as usual, they were loath to give any credit to the Tory gov't.

Here's the sniff test:
Whenever there's something that the MSM deems (God forbid)a positive move by the Conservatives, they refer to a decision or action by 'The Federal Government'. If it's something that is (as usual) perceived as negative, it's the 'Harper Tories' or the 'Harperites' etc.

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