Thursday, March 20, 2008

Tomorrow Is Another Day

Shorter Jim Prentice on the MacDonald Dettwiler sale: "I don't feel like deciding today. I think I'll decide later, after everyone's stopped paying attention."
Feds delay ruling on sale of Canada's top space firm

OTTAWA -- In the face of mounting domestic pressure, Industry Minister Jim Prentice is holding off government approval of the sale of Canada's top space company and a multi-million dollar taxpayer-funded satellite to a U.S. weapons maker, CTV News has learned.

Government insiders say Prentice has ordered another 30-day review of the proposal sale that has been strongly denounced by Canadian scientists, editorial writers, and Calgary Conservative MP Art Hanger.

Remarkable how many of the comments on that article are drawing parallels with the Avro Arrow. They have some valid points, but I'm looking more at parallels with AECL. There is an emerging pattern of hiving off the most successful and profitable divisions of public companies or (like MDA) companies with significant public investment, and selling them off for a quick profit. Then the government can point to what's left and say, "See? Why should we keep throwing money at such an unprofitable enterprise?"

Kinda like eating all the carrots and croutons and bacon bits out of your salad, and then saying you don't like salad.

Anyway, it'll be interesting to watch Prentice and Harper squirm their way out of this one, because I have no doubt they are determined to see MDA sold, one way or the other.


UPDATE: This bit from the Globe & Mail really says it all, doesn't it?
"Shareholders were expecting a windfall from this transaction. At this point it may not happen," Dundee Securities Corp. analyst Richard Stoneman said yesterday.

The controversy has placed Mr. Prentice in the delicate position of having to balance pro-business considerations with concerns about Arctic sovereignty and military security.

Hmm... shareholder profits versus national security and sovereignty. Profits, sovereignty... profits... sovereignty... the corporation... the country...

Yeah, I can see that being a tough one, Jim. Let me know when you work it out.

1 comment:

  1. Stopped paying attention and/or after we've done enough wurlititzerizing such that it becomes the Liberals' fault for not selling the thing in 2003.

    Or some such thing.