Oppose the sale of MDA

Oppose the sale of MDA

Postby Oscar » Sun Mar 23, 2008 4:15 pm

March 23, 2008

Dear friends… You have probably been following the issue of the pending sale of MacDonald Dettwiler to a US company (which, among other things, makes land mines and cluster bombs for the US). The Rideau Institute and the CAW teamed up to get a legal opinion re: the implications of the sale for Canada’s control over Radarsat II, one of the world’s most sophisticated satellites and created at the public cost of $450 million.

Please file the following news release for future reference. The Harper government is clearly worried about the sale and has delayed by 30 days a decision on whether or not to approve it.

This is an issue we can win and the legal opinion is a key component in that fight.

Cheers, Murray Dobbin

See: Word Warriors - Oppose the sale of MDA (MacDonald, Detweiler and Associates) - January 21, 2008

- http://www.canadians.org/wordwarriors/2008/jan-21.html

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Media Release - For Immediate Release
20 March, 2008

ACCESS DENIED: U.S. Law Will Limit Canadian Access to RADARSAT-2 Data if Sale of MDA’s Space Division Proceeds

http://www.foxbusiness.com/markets/indu ... 861_6.html

Ottawa, ON – On the same day that Industry Minister Jim Prentice announced a 30-day delay on his decision whether to approve the sale of MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates’ (MDA) space division to U.S.-based Alliant Techsystems (ATK), the Rideau Institute and the Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) released a legal opinion that raised concerns about the proposed deal.

“Our legal opinion clearly shows that the sale of MDA’s space division to a U.S. arms manufacturer would hand Washington the power to deny Ottawa access to images from our own satellite,” said Steven Staples, President of the Rideau Institute.

“This legal opinion also underscores our view that the planned sale would be detrimental to our national sovereignty, the industry as a whole, and ultimately to good, highly specialized Canadian jobs such as at the robotics plant in Brampton, Ontario,” said Carol Phillips, Assistant to CAW President, Buzz Hargrove. “We need federal reinvestment not a wholesale sell off of our entire space sector.”

The legal opinion was written by Rideau Institute’s Legal Counsel, Steven Shrybman of Sack Goldblatt Mitchell LLP. Among his conclusions, Mr. Shrybman notes that the proposed sale of MDA assets to ATK is entirely contrary to Canada’s interests and can not reasonably be approved under either the Investment Canada Act or the Remote Sensing Space Systems Act.

More particularly, it is our view that:

Under U.S. regulations concerning remote sensing space systems such as RADARSAT-2, U.S. national interests take precedence and will supercede the authority Canada now exercises under the Remote Sensing Space Systems Act over the operation of Radarsat-2, which includes the right to assert priority access to the information it gathers;

Therefore, the sale of MDA assets to ATK will seriously weaken or defeat Canada’s ability to achieve the objectives of Remote Sensing Space Systems Act which are explicitly to “ensure national security, the defence of Canada, the safety of Canadian Forces, Canada’s conduct of international relations, and Canada’s international obligations” and “the competitiveness …of the Canadian remote sensing space industry

Accordingly, there is no reasonable or lawful basis for approving the transfer of MDA’s satellite license to ATK under the Remote Sensing Space Systems Act.

- 30 -

For more information:
Steven Staples, Rideau Institute, (613) 565-9449 ext. 24, (613) 290-2695 (cell)
Steven Shrybman, Sack Goldblatt Mitchell LLP, (613) 858-6842 (cell)
Carol Phillips, Canadian Auto Workers, (416) 561-7427 (cell)

Download a copy of the legal opinion at:
http://www.rideauinstitute.ca/atf/cf/%7 ... 202008.PDF

================================
Rideau Institute/ l’Institut Rideau Institute
The Hope Building/Edifice Hope
63, rue Sparks Street, Suite 608
Ottawa, Ontario K1P 5A6 Canada
Tel. 613 565-9449 e. operations@rideauinstitute.ca

The Rideau Institute is an independent research, advocacy, and consulting group based in Ottawa. It is a federally registered non-profit organization, established in January 2007.
L'Institut Rideau est un groupe indépendant de recherche, de plaidoyer et d'experts-conseils basé à Ottawa. C'est une organisation établie en janvier 2007, à but non lucratif et enregistrée au féderal
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