Saturday, March 15, 2008

Art Hanger: Defender of Canada's Public Interest?!

It seems critics of the upcoming sale of Canadian space tech company MacDonald Dettwiler to a U.S. weapons firm finally have a champion in the House of Commons.

Someone willing to stand up for Canada's sovereignty. Someone ready to go toe to toe with Alliant's new politically connected lobbyist. Someone who won't stand idly by and watch the public interest be sold out to corporate greed.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you... Art Hanger.

Yeah. That Art Hanger.

Tory MP calls sale of space firm 'a waste'

OTTAWA - A prominent Conservative MP says allowing Canada's top space company and a multi-million-dollar taxpayer-funded satellite to be sold to a U.S. firm would be a betrayal of the public interest.

Calgary Northeast MP Art Hanger says the Conservative government has the means to stop the sale of MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates of Richmond, B.C., to Alliant Techsystems of Minnesota.

"It is a waste of your money and a betrayal of the public interest," Mr. Hanger writes in a weekly newspaper in the Calgary area. "It's about time Canada stop playing the nice guy at the expense of our own security and sovereignty --not to mention our own research and development capacity."

I honestly don't know what to do with this. It must be some sort of trick.

Whatever his motives, I'm glad to see somebody in Parliament is taking a stand on this, because it was starting to look like this issue was going to get lost in the frenzy over the ScamGate AffairTM. It's come up a couple of times in QP over the past few days and is being discussed in committee, but by and large it's been ignored on the 6 o'clock news - which is still, sadly, the sole source of information for most Canadians.

Let's hope that Art Hanger's sudden, inexplicable, and very public interest in this despicable deal will inspire Mr. Prentice to get off the fence and kill it once and for all.

(For more background on the MDA / Alliant deal, read the excellent two-part series from the Ottawa Citizen: Sovereignty For Sale and Lost In Space.)

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