Tuesday, June 28, 2011

On radioactive deals

Yes, there are plenty of reasons for concern about the sale of AECL to SNC-Lavalin. But let's add another by raising the other issue that has put SNC-Lavalin in the news recently:
Hon. Jack Layton (Leader of the Opposition, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, people would think that no one would be a fan of Gadhafi, but he has been pretty good for business.

Under the government, Canada's exports to Libya have skyrocketed and that included the sale of arms to the Gadhafi regime. Canadian owned SNC-Lavalin received a $275 million contract to build a prison for Gadhafi.

Will the government finally take steps to ensure that Canadian investment never contributes to human rights violations abroad?
Of course, there's a separate set of export rules associated with the nuclear industry. But between a Harper Con government which so gleefully flouts international norms for the sake of even much smaller industries and a purchaser on record having made deals with the likes of Gadhafi, there's reason for concern that the potential costs of a sale go far beyond even the debts and hazards already inherent in nuclear development.


  1. Canada invests billions of dollars into AECL over its lifetime.  Conservative government sneaks language allowing sale of AECL into 2010 omnibus budget bill.  Conservative government sells off AECL for a probable song, while still retaining the expensive money-losing chalk river reactor.  The medical isotope business was already partly privatized in the past, with the government keeping the money-losing part of the operation, and leaving the sales & profit to private business.

    Canada ends up with some one-time money to buy gazebos, but risks future technological innovation in the energy sector.

  2. janfromthebruce8:36 p.m.


  3. Sounds about right. Except for the "one-time money" part at least, as I'm not sure we can expect even that much out of AECL (depending how the deal is structured between debt allocation and cash).