A little background please

One of the major pillars of modern journalism is the use of experts. Often these individuals are used to add some sort of insight from an academic or experienced point of view. In many stories these experts are presented to be the outsider who has been studying this topic for many years of their life and as such can present an objective point of view.
However, one sentiment that seems to get lost in many stories is that these “experts” also have their own unique agendas, which often get lost.

Case in point:

One of the major purchasing plans the Canadian Defence Department is the replacement of the Hercules transport aircraft (the C-130). For those of you who don’t know these are the giant planes the CF uses to haul all kinds of equipment and supplies back and forth. Now, just before the Liberal government fell they announced plans to proceed with this purchase, touting a price tag of roughly $4.6 billion. With the election of the new government this is a procurement plan that likely will not change, and in fact could be expanded upon.
The main competitors for this plane are Lockheed Martin, Airbus and Boeing, and each is diligently working at tailoring their strategy for the new government.
And let me tell you, it’s already nasty.
This is probably one of the biggest acquisitions the government has undertaken for a long time, and as such any coverage of this story deserves to be treated with significant attention to detail. Now let me quote a story about this written in the Ottawa Business Journal:

“Just months after the former Liberal government promised to replace the Hercules aircraft fleet as part of an $8.5-billion investment package for the beleaguered forces, a new Tory government has signalled its intentions to change the investment package. January’s Conservative victory has put the Liberal program into question, but industry officials are confident the new government will heed the military’s urgent call.
‘This is a project that everyone agrees urgently needs to be done,’ said CFN Consultants’ senior partner Pierre Lagueux. ‘Whoever is in government must realize that here is a fleet that is rapidly approaching the stage where it becomes difficult to operate.’
Already, the forces have grounded one of its 32 Hercules aircraft because it has reached the end of its lifespan. To fly again, military officials suggest the aircraft will need substantial upgrades. The Canadian Forces’ Hercules planes have the highest flight hours of any military fleet in the world, which is the aerospace equivalent of high mileage on a car.”

If you read the entire story you will notice that Mr. Lagueux is the only outside expert cited.
Just who is this expert source? Well the only information provided is that he is the senior partner at CFN Consultants. As the only expert source perhaps it would be helpful to know just a little bit more about Mr. Lagueux:

In terms of experience in the DND procurement process Pierre Lagueux is the man. He worked in the top level of defence headquarters as director of procurement and supply services in 1987 and then director general of this unit in 1990. From 1993 until he retired in 1999 Lagueux moved on to become the assistant deputy minister of supply, equipment project management and then materiel. Basically all of the leading positions in terms of equipment purchase in DND.

But … there’s a bit more to Mr. Lagueux’s background:
What does Mr. Lagueux do now that he’s done at DND?
Well he’s a senior partner at CFN Consultants.
Who is CFN?
It’s a registered lobby firm.
Who would this senior partner be registered to?
Lockheed Martin step forward and take a bow.

That’s right friends and neighbours, Pierre Lagueux is the chief lobbyist for the Lockheed Martin bid to replace the Hercules. Don’t you think this fact could be pertinent to the story?

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *