by Judi McLeod
July 12, 2004
Given the Canadian governments record on anti-americanism, would you trust the results of a Prime Minister Paul Martin-owned consulting firm giving lessons in finding weapons of mass destruction to Iraq-bound inspectors?
Martins company, Lansdowne Technologies, in the business of providing military and civilian-surveillance, trained inspectors attached to the United Nations Monitoring, Verification Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) in 2001.
according to a Canadian Department of Foreign affairs news release, Canada hosted a five-week training course for inspectors connected to UNMOVIC, beginning May 28, 2001.
according to the press release, "Dr. Hans Blix will travel to Canada to launch the training course."
UNMOVIC was established by UN Security Council Resolution 1284 on Dec. 17, 1999, replacing UN Special Commission UNSCOM, brought down in 1998 because of spy infiltration accusations by Iraq.
UNSCOM had been in place between the end of the Gulf War and 1998, when all weapons inspectors were withdrawn from Iraq.
UNMOVICs official mandate was to disarm Iraq of its chemical and biological weapons and missiles and to operate a system of ongoing monitoring and verification.
according to Blix, UNMOVIC is the "most far-reaching multilateral inspection system that has so far been created."
according to the Canadian Department of Foreign affairs, "The Commission is financed from a small portion of the monies raised from the export of oil from Iraq (the oil-for-food program)."
Other UNMOVIC courses have taken place in New York, Paris and Vienna.
Some 60 trainees from 28 countries participated in the Canadian course, conducted mainly in Ottawa.
Former Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien and current Prime Minister Paul Martin, both close personal friends of UN advisor Maurice Strong, are more pro-UN than U.S. and its interesting to note that the six swing votes on the UN Security Council: Chile, Mexico, Pakistan, Cameroon, Guinea and angola are influenced by Canada.
Only recently unearthed, the story of Lansdowne Technologies reads like an espionage paperback.
Martin is better known for the ongoing controversy of Canada Steamship Lines (CSL), the shipping empire he was forced to turn over to his three sons earlier this year.
Headquartered in Montreal and once owned by Power Corp., CSL operates a fleet of self-unloading bulk carrier ships on the Great Lakes, with vessels sailing under the flags of foreign countries, for tax-saving purposes. CSL is self-touted as "the largest fleet of dry bulk, self-unloading vessels in the world."
Lansdowne Technologies was owned by CSL. although the contracts appear nowhere on the website, Natural Resources Canada says that it conducted over $1.8 million worth of business with Lansdowne Technologies.
according to Torontos Globe & Mail, business dealings between Ottawa and Martins shipping empire total $161 million over the last 11 years. That total includes $10.3 million in grants and a $4.9 million government loan.
It is already a matter of public record that the Prime Ministers shipping empire landed up to $27.7 million in federal government contracts over the last decade. But almost half of that total went to Lansdownea subsidiary that hasnt appeared on Martins public disclosure statement since 1995 when he was Liberal finance Minister.
Lansdowne, based in Ottawa, is a professional services company, which can boast the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and a plethora of government departments as key clients.
Government documents obtained by the then Canadian alliance, now Canadian Conservative Party, show that Lansdowne Technologies Inc. won $12.2 million in federal contracts between January 1993 and June, 2003.
The Liberal government blamed the disappearing act of Lansdowne from the Prime Ministers public disclosure statement on "administrative errors".
Martin himself said he was "appalled" when he heard of the oversight and "demanded" that it be corrected.
Meanwhile, it was Iraqi allegations of spy infiltration that caused inspectors to be withdrawn from Iraq in 1998, paving the way for replacement UNMOVIC led by the no-weapons-here Hans Blix.
Did the UNs new weapons inspectorate move spies a little closer to americas borders?
Canada Free Press founding editor Most recent by Judi McLeod is an award-winning journalist with 30 years experience in the print media. Her work has appeared on Newsmax.com, Drudge Report, Foxnews.com, Glenn Beck. Judi can be reached at: [email protected]