It’s not just fruit…

A while back I wrote about how the U.S. government is handing millions of dollars over to private fruit growers in Florida to fund research that the fruit growers should pay for. Well now there’s another example closer to home. The Canadian government just announced it is “investing” $6.7 million in “Earth Observation products”; euphemism for giving more large cash handouts to private companies.

According to the write up twelve (12) companies will receive contracts all suspiciously around the $550, 000 mark. So closely aligned are these figures, you might almost wonder if there is some kind of extra scrutiny that comes into play around the $600, 000 mark that they want to avoid. Not only that, but some of the numbers are laughably over-precise: $568,260.05, $551,871.95 and $537,994.29 are just some examples.

The projects include a pipeline monitoring system, which the announcement clearly indicates will benefit “pipeline developers and operators” with the development being carried out by a private company in BC. There’s also a rapid response monitoring system for mines, oil and gas fields being awarded to another BC company, also a direct benefit to those “poor” resource industries. In fact there are quite a few of these systems that benefit “oil and gas and mining companies” along with “pipeline developers and operators”, so many in fact that you’d think that those companies didn’t have two nickels to rub together. Several projects directly benefit the Forestry industry too.

One project is so blatant that it beggars belief – “Development of a Commercial End-to-End Interferometric Processing Capability for Environmental Monitoring” which is being awarded to PCI Geomatics, in Quebec. Imagine that, the Canadian government is paying a private company to develop a commercial product from which the company receives all the benefit!

If any of this seems to smell, that’s because it does. It stinks of graft. It stinks of corruption deep at the heart of the Canadian government, whether dressed up as “scientific research contracts” or any other misleading phrase. I wonder how much scrutiny the owners and operators of these companies could stand up to.


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