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Dalhousie's war economy


For better or worse, we're at war. And while you can argue over the merits of our glorious Afghanistan crusade, there's no debating that once we've gotten into war, a whole lot of military hardware has got to be acquired---the 17 C 130J Super Hercules aircraft that the government has agreed to buy for $1.4 billion from weapons manufacturer Lockheed Martin, for instance.

Because Lockheed Martin is an American firm, Canadian law requires it to pay for work valued at $242 million in Atlantic Canada before the weapons sale can become final. Clearly, the "Canadian content" side of the deal is accounting fiction---the price of the aircraft is increased to cover it, and therefore Lockheed Martin's "investment" is in reality a corporate public relations stunt underwritten by Canadian taxpayers.

And so now Dalhousie University is celebrating a $2 million contract with Lockheed Martin for "basic scientific research in the area of quantum computing, physics and material sciences under the contract," according to a university press release, and the company has first rights to any intellectual property that results.

Dalhousie has sold its soul to the devil, $242 million of taxpayer money is handed to a foreign company with no democratic oversight of how the money is spent and the fruits of publicly financed academic research go to the privatized profit of selling hi-tech weaponry, with no return to the university.

That's a hell of a deal.

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xxx - Deprecated in favor of GTM, above.