Letter from David Chartrand to Minister Anita Anand concerning the procurement process

 January 19, 2023 

The Honourable Anita Anand By Email: Anita.Anand@parl.gc.ca
Minister of National Defense
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A6 

Dear Minister Anand, 

I’m writing you on behalf of 50,000 members of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW), a large number of whom are employed in air transportation and aerospace industries, to express concerns regarding the procurement process of replacing the aging CP140 Aurora’s. Recent developments are alarming, and raise questions related to transparency and perhaps most important of all, the lack of government’s support for domestic firms in bidding on key contracts. The optics of the current process do not instill confidence that the Canadian government is spending tax dollars in a responsible and efficient manner. 

The Canadian aerospace industry is of a key national and strategic importance, with many competitive advantages making the industry globally competitive. This industry is also a driver of research and development with numerous spillover effects, and a source of stable and well paid-jobs. Strategic and targeted investments and decision making are critical in sustaining the aerospace industry and protecting Canadian jobs. Failure to support Canadian firms will inevitably impact employment in the industry, and thousands of members represented by the IAMAW. 

Foregoing a tendering process is baffling as alternatives for replacements exist. Domestic alternatives provide better value for the government, the economy, the aerospace industry and thousands of workers employed in the industry. Consider that the Global series made by Bombardier is trusted by many governments, armed forces and special mission integrators for a variety of surveillance and other missions. Canada’s key allies such as the U.S., U.K, Germany and Sweden, to name a few, have chosen and utilized the Global series given the aircrafts’ renowned track record and reputation. 

A bidding process exists for a reason, and regardless of external pressures, the process ought to be followed. Excluding a Canadian firm from bidding on the contract in favour of foreign manufacturer runs contrary to our national interests, which is is inexcusable. The Canadian government has an opportunity to capitalize on skills, the industrial footprint and technological capabilities developed over decades to grow the military branch of the aerospace industry.

If our allies trust and rely on our aircraft for their surveillance missions, at the very least, the Canadian government should allow domestic firms to bid on the contract and Canadian built options must be considered on equal footing with those of foreign companies. Allowing the process to take place will show that a Canadian option is not just better because it’s domestic, it is more cost effective, provides better value for the money invested, and reaps so many other indirect benefits for our economy and communities. 

Minister Anand, allowing Canadian firms to compete in the Canadian Multi-Mission Aircraft (CMMA) tender is critical at this time. I urge the government to make decisions based on submitted bids and facts, rather than reacting to external pressures from firms whose bids which may pale in comparison. 


David Chartrand 
Canadian General Vice President
International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW)

c.c. The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada
The Honourable Helena Jaczek, Minister of Public Services and Procurement,
The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne , Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry of Canada