2004-02-15: Nova Scotia Quakers to Minister Responsible for the census re Lockheed Martin contracts
(Note to self, Jul 20, 2014: replace this with a scanned copy of the actual letter (on letterhead), as soon as time permits.)
HALIFAX MONTHLY MEETING
of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)
comprising Halifax Friends Meeting, Antigonish Worship Group, Dartmouth Worship Group and South Shore Worship Group
Minister of Industry
House of Commons
Ottawa ON K1A 0A6
February 15, 2004
Dear Lucienne Robillard,
The Halifax Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) is very concerned about the Canadian government’s decision to award a $20.5 million dollar contract to a unit of the U.S. weapons manufacturer Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE: LMT).
The $20.5 million dollars is the amount to be spent to contract out work of Statistics Canada on the 2006 National Census. Lockheed Martin Canada Inc. is to lead a consortium that includes IBM Canada, Transcontinental Printing Inc. Canada and ADECCO Employment Services Ltd. Canada.
In February 2003, Lockheed Martin Canada Inc. was also awarded a multi-year contract by the Canadian Department of National Defence to provide a health care information system on Canadian Forces personnel. That contract is worth approximately $17 million and covers only the first 14 months of the project. The contract has the potential to exceed an estimated value of $56 million, however, if all four phases are delivered over the anticipated 10-year period.
These decisions were made while Alan Rock was serving on Jean Chrétien’s Cabinet as Minister of Industry. We are writing to you, the new Minister of Industry, to make you aware of our continuing objections.
While Quakers realize that, under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and World Trade Organization Agreement regulations, non-Canadian firms are eligible to bid on contracts to provide essential public services, we are loathe to see the Canadian public’s tax dollars flow to a military contractor that benefits richly from the development (and deployment) of weapons of mass destruction.
We are also loathe to assist a principal member of the U.S. military-industrial complex to further develop its capacity to collect, store, analyze, and retrieve sensitive information on citizens of any country.
We have read that a spokesperson for former Public Works Minister Ralph Goodale has stated that under the obligations of the NAFTA, Canada cannot alter contracts with Lockheed Martin and if we were to do so we could be sued for millions of dollars. (Toronto Star, October 15, 2003)
We ask you, in your capacity as Industry Minister and in conjunction with other members of Cabinet, to find a way forward that would best extricate our country from these contracts.
While many would welcome an outcome in which Statistics Canada would be allotted the funding and capacity to fully carry out an activity as important as the Canadian census, it is of particular importance to Quakers – because of our Peace Testimony* – that contracts not be let to a subsidiary of a trans-national corporation that sold almost $27 billion dollars worth of weapons in 2002.
We therefore ask:
1. that your government cancel all its contracts with Lockheed Martin and 2. that you pledge not to grant millions more to Lockheed Martin in the future.
We would appreciate hearing from you soon in regards to this important matter.
Clerk of the Halifax Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) 1388 Bedford Highway Bedford NS B4A 1E2
* George Fox’s declaration of 1661 to Charles II is referred to as the Friends Historic Peace Testimony: “We utterly deny all outward wars and strife and fightings with outward weapons, for any ends or under any pretence whatsoever. And this is our testimony to the whole world.”
cc: Paul Martin, Prime Minister of Canada; Stephen Owen, Minister of Public Works; Jim Peterson, Minister of International Trade; Bill Graham, Minister of Foreign Affairs; David Pratt, Minister of National Defence; Ivan P. Fellegi, Chief Statistician of Canada
Our Monthly Meeting will also be sharing this letter with other Friends’ Meetings, as well as the general public.