Harper government subsidises drone company solution; goes searching for problem

Canada’s Conservative government has signed a $326,000 contract with to Aeryon Labs of Waterloo, Ontario, designed to help Aeryon commercialise their mini drone. The contract under the Canadian Innovation Commercialization Program, a programme designed to help innovating companies by finding ways to used their products or services within the Canadian government. So it appears that the Canadian government is intending to buy Aeryon Scout minidrones, or their services without a specific plan how these will be used.

The Canadian Innovation Commercialisation Program appears to operate by identifying companies with ‘solutions’ and identifying problems that these solutions can be applied to. Of course the danger is that government priorities will be skewed to solving problems with predetermined solutions, that may may not be the most appropriate or cost effective.

One of countless minidrones created around the world, the Aeryon Scout was in the news last year when it was used by Libyan rebels to monitor government positions. Libyan rebels were trained to use the minidrone by Anglo Canadian agents from the secretive Ottawa based Zariba Security Corporation.

Ernie Regehr, writing in his blog ‘Disarming Conflict’ noted that the export of the Aeryon Scouts to the Libyan rebels probably violated the UN embargo on arms exports to Libya. Indeed the arm of the Canadian government responsible for export approvals asked the RCMP to investigate whether laws were violated by the sale.

Reported in an article in the Globe and Mail, Aeryon Labs claimed that the Canadian government had put the Libyan rebels in touch with Aeryon and was aware of an approved of the sale. There have been other accusations that Canada and other NATO countries were actively involved in regime change in Libya by subverting international efforts to ban arms from entering the conflict zone.

 

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