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OTTAWA (Canadian Press) - They make land-attack missiles, ballistic missile defence systems, and now this U.S. based military manufacturer will help produce Canada's next census. Lockheed Martin has been hired to help the federal government gather information about Canadians for the 2006 census, Industry Minister Allan Rock acknowledged Thursday.
He said there was nothing to worry about.
"I assume they have expertise that will enable them to perform the contract," Rock said outside the House of Commons.
"Canadians will be involved in the performance of the work because it's a Canadian subsidiary that will be doing it."
Best known as a munitions and aeronautics manufacturer, the Colorado company has a Canadian subsidiary based in Kanata, Ont. The company produces computer information systems and is actively involved in data management.
Rock didn't specify how Lockheed Martin would contribute to the census, which every five years compiles and publishes data on Canadian residents.
However, one opposition critic said he had a few details and said he finds the idea chilling.
"This goes even deeper than anything I would have imagined in my worst nightmare," said New Democrat MP Bill Blaikie, who raised the issue in the Commons.
"Which wing of the Pentagon is this information going to be stored in?"
Blaikie said the company has been awarded a contract to help Statistics Canada prepare a 2005 test run of the census and is a prime candidate to receive a contract to do the entire census the next year.
Rock said free-trade rules and globalization automatically make Lockheed Martin a potential candidate for federal contracts.
"The whole bidding process is cut by the WTO and NAFTA (agreement), which requires that non-Canadian firms get to bid as well," Rock said.
"The bidding process was carried on in accordance with Public Works rules and I assume the lowest bidder, for the best price, for the best quality got the job."
He said he's sure that the people involved in the decision were fully aware of Lockheed Martin's role in weapons production.
Details on the company's products are listed on the company website, along with the corporate slogan: "We never forget who we're working for!"
Eighty per cent of Lockheed Martin's business is with the U.S. military and American government agencies.
Blaikie said the census contract would raise serious privacy issues such as confidential data being stored outside the country.
Canada has been buying aircraft from the company since 1939.
Officials from Lockheed Martin and Statistics Canada were not immediately available for comment.
Lockheed Martin also makes the camera/radar units in plaec in DC. I'm sure thats part of their conspiracy, as well.
-------------------- In response to an attack killing 15 American Servicemen
Just give em a little more time, the iraqis are making great progress. And this is unorganized. Wait till they get organized.
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