Israeli Arms Companies Lobby Canadian Politicians

Israeli arms companies maintain an active lobby presence in the halls of the Canadian parliament.

Elbit Systems, Israel’s largest arms company, has retained lobbyists for some time. In 2012 Elbit retains CFN Consultants, with current registrations mentioning Kevin O’Keefe, Charles MacClennan, Georges Rousseau, Anne Healy and Charles Butts as company officials registered to lobby for Elbit. CFN Consultants is heavily stocked with former Canadian military and defence department officials, the ultimate insiders.

Elbit lobbying goes back at least as far as 2005, when Elbit retained Western Frontier International Group. Increased registrations of lobbyists working for Elbit Systems suggests a much increased lobbying effort by Elbit in the past year or two.

Also respresented by lobbyists is Elbit subsidiary C41 Tadiran.

L-3, the giant US based arms company, collaborates with Elbit Systems in a variety of ways, including a joint project arms company in Nova Scotia, Canterra Solutions. L-3 maintains a very active lobby presence on Parliament hill, according to documents from the Lobby office.

Online documentation from the ‘Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying’ also shows that CFN Consultants have represented Israel Aircraft Industries since as far back as 2004, including the IAI Malat division, which focusses on manufacturing drones. Both Elbit Systems and Israel Aerospace Industries sell a range of military equipment and weapons and compete head to head on sales of military drones.

MacDonald Dettwiler Associates, an agent selling and leasing drones for IAI, has also been been registered to lobby government officials, though it isn’t clear whether MDA has lobbied regarding drones, or is registered to lobby about its many aerospace interests. MDA company boss Daniel Friedmann has lobbied on behalf of his own company. Online documents show a large number of lobbying reports for MDA to a variety of top governmetn officials.

Lobbying Commissioner documents show lobbying registrations for Raphael (USA), a subsidiary of the Israeli arms company Raphael Defense Systems.

Interestingly, Israeli arms companies maintain a larger lobby presence in Ottawa than many giant American and European arms companies.

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