Canada delays decision on MDA sale

The Canadian government on Thursday delayed for 30 days a decision on approving the sale of the space business of MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates (MDA) to US company Alliant Techsystems (ATK). The $1.3-billion deal was announced in January, and Industry Canada had until Saturday to approve the deal, but exercised its right to extend that deadline 30 days. No reason for the delay has been given. MDA shareholders recently approved the sale by an overwhelming margin.

In the days leading up to the original deadline, various groups in Canada had expressed their opposition to the sale, concerned about giving up the country’s leading space technology company to foreign ownership. Two Canadian political parties not currently in power, Liberal and NDP, issued statements Thursday in opposition to the sale. A Canadian think tank, the Rideau Institute, issued a press release in conjunction with the Canadian Auto Workers (a union that represents some MDA employees) arguing that the sale could restrict Canadian access to RADARSAT-2 radar imagery because the MDA-owned satellite would now be under the control of a US company. Even the National Post, a newspaper that tends to be supportive of the ruling Conservative party, published a column opposing the sale earlier this week, drawing parallels to the decision 50 years ago to end the Avro Arrow fighter program.

3 comments to Canada delays decision on MDA sale

  • Well, Yeah… Canada does little to culture a engineering and technology ethic. Post secondary institutions of higher learning desperate for students and students less inclined to take up studies that put them in massive debt before they get hired in a shrinking industry.

    Ok so…
    How many spaceports does Canada have? How many civilian heavy lift boosters does the Canadian space industry have? Does Canada have a robust aerospace industry?

    Shouting to the Yankee blame game is not going to produce results toward investing in a Canadian aerospace infrastructure.

  • Canadian in Space Industry

    Canada has a growing space industry. A few years ago it looked robust, now it is vulnerable, and we could lose it and all our investment in it if we do not take more interest.

    If you are interested, write to your MP, Jim Prentice, and PM Harper. Tell them what you think of this. It is their job to listen to you. It is your duty to speak to them.

    We do not need spaceports or big rockets to have our space industry. We need goals and commitment to them.

  • Laura Passenger

    The current Conservative government in Canada appears to be either unwilling or unable to see past the next few months. Their lack of vision is going to leave Canada so far behind in Space Technology, it will be little more than a foot-note in the pages of the also-rans.

    It is understood that a country the size of Canada, in terms of population and tax revenue, cannot afford to fund a full blown space program but, this does not mean it should not be a valued participate in joint operations, such as the Mission to Mars that ESA is working on and that Canada could have been a part of. Sadly, the Conservatives passed on that chance.

    Stephen Harper’s legacy will be one of neglect.

Leave a Reply




You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>