Like every other country exporting and importing arms, there is a revolving door of people through the military, government, the arms industry, and the lobby industry. Because of the vast potential for profits in the arms industry, arms companies are able to hire post career politicians and military personnel, who in return help them persuade their former government peers to buy arms from the companies involved.
This week there were revelations that Maureen Murphy, the new chief of staff for recently appointed Minister of Defence Rob Nicholson, is married to a lobbyist and Conservative Party insider, Rick Morgan. Yesterday, it was announced that Morgan had resigned from his job as Vice President for Tactix Government Relations. Tactix has (or had) contracts to work for Pratt and Whitney (supplier of engines for the F-35, and for a variety of companies in countries including Israel and the US), Bombardier, and MDA (which has many space science contracts with the government and sometimes represents Israeli Aerospace Industries, a drone supplier). At Tactix Morgan worked along side a variety of political insiders, former army officers, and arms company veterans. By today most traces of Morgan were gone from the company’s website (but cached here).
Newspapers are filled with articles about Ms Murphy building ethical firewalls ‘to protect herself from undue influence by her husband’. But is it only window dressing? Morgan was himself a political insider who managed the electoral campaign for now deposed Defence Minister, Peter Mackay. In the tangled web of personal connections, loyalties, and hope for future considerations, is there a realistic hope that the interests of the arms company clients of Tactix won’t be somehow promoted in cabinet?
Canada needs stronger laws to prevent the revolving door of political insiders and former military officers from profiting by working for arms companies.