What are you afraid of Mr Harper?
- Afraid we’ll find out about your record of trade deficits?
- Afraid we’ll ask you to show us the so-far-unseen benefits of the other 39 agreements you have signed?
- Afraid we’ll clue in to the vast privileges being awarded the corporate world?
- Afraid we’ll find out that corporations can sue governments for interfering with their profits, when, for example, we increase the minimum wage or legislate environmental protections?
- Afraid we’ll be reminded that under NAFTA Canada has already paid out over $200 million in so-called fines to corporations?
- Afraid we’ll find out you’ve given away 20,000 well-paid jobs in the auto parts sector?
- Afraid we’ll find out that we have to give up subsidies for our cultural products?
- Afraid you won’t get re-elected?
Don’t worry. You won’t be re-elected so you might as well show us the deal.
Do something for us before you go.
Pictured here the LAV (Light Armored Vehicle) at the center of the massive Saudi arms deal recently brokered by the Harper government. Touted as a vehicle that “combines versatility, survivability, lethality,” it’s manufactured by General Dynamics Land Systems Canada, a subsidiary of the American-owned Combat Systems business group of General Dynamics Corporation. While Canada is required to screen requests to export military goods to countries like Saudi Arabia that “have a persistent record of serious violations of the human rights of their citizens,” we don’t know if this sale was screened because Harper has kept those details secret.
The Bombkill Institute, a Canadian public relations and lobbying firm that champions the Canadian arms industry, hosted a backgrounder for Ottawa media yesterday, entitled “What Canada Can Learn from Saudi Arabia.” Best known for its influential workshop series, “Selling Guns: A Profession or a Lifestyle?” the Bombkill Institute has been quick to capitalize on the growing interest in Canada’s $15 billion arms sale to the Saudis.
Martin “Rat-a-Tat” Bombkill, the Institute’s founder, struck an uplifting tone with reporters, Continue reading