Partners and Sponsors


The 2019 Halifax International Security Forum (HISF) has designated the following as its "Partners":

- Halifax Canada Club, which presently has four members:

- ATCO (Canada)
- Çalık Holding (Turkey)
- OYAK (Turkey)
- Boeing (U.S.)

- Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
- Department of National Defence (DND) (Canada)

This initiative to involve monopolies and corporate executives in the HISF as "partners" is in conformity with strategies elaborated in the U.S. (such as in the Princeton Project on National Security). The purpose is to "form elite regional opinion" by bringing together "leading thinkers" in academia, business and non-profit sectors in countries targeted for annexation by the United States, as well as the supranational arms and energy monopolies, to work out how to usurp control over the natural and human resources and over the state itself.

Some of these are profiled below to give a sense of the interests which set the agenda of the HISF and its aims.

Halifax Canada Club

The Halifax Canada Club was formed on August 14, 2012, beginning as a "public-private partnership" between the Harper government and the Calgary-based and U.S.-owned MEG Energy Corp. This can be seen as part of the arrangements by U.S. imperialism to secure the oil supplies it needs and to usurp control over Canadian energy resources.

Membership in the "club" is by invitation and organized directly from Washington, DC, like most everything else about the HISF. Joseph Hall, then HISF Vice-President and an experienced former operative of the National Democratic Institute in the Middle East, was put in charge of recruitment.


ATCO is an Alberta-based holding company with nearly 7,000 employees and assets of $21 billion. It is involved in pipelines, natural gas and electricity in Canada and Australia through ATCO Australia Pty Ltd. Canadian Utilities Ltd., member of the ATCO Group of companies, is a worldwide organization of companies with assets of approximately $7.3 billion and more than 6,500 employees, in three main business divisions: Power Generation, Utilities (natural gas and electricity transmission and distribution) and Global Enterprises (technology, logistics, and energy services).

On the "About Us" section of its website, ATCO says in part:

"With diverse products and services across many industries, we are one-stop provider of integrated energy, housing, transportation and infrastructure solutions. We provide customers with innovative, sustainable solutions in the sectors that are fundamental to global growth and prosperity: housing, real estate, energy, water, transportation and agriculture. [...]"

No mention is made of any military involvement. On the HISF website, however, its links to the military industry are specifically highlighted:

"For more than 70 years, ATCO has provided military support services, shelter solutions, logistics and energy services worldwide. As a company built upon the belief that strong partnerships form the basis of safe and prosperous communities, ATCO supports the collaborative vision of the Halifax Canada Club."

CEO Nancy Southern has attended the HISF since 2013 when MEG Energy, also of the Calgary "oil patch," launched the Halifax Canada Club. Southern is the daughter of the late Ron Southern who owned an estimated 81 per cent control of ATCO. Its aging board of directors includes former CEOs of Royal Dutch Shell and BMO Capital Markets. Ron Southern was offered a position by the Mulroney Government in the 1980s on the Security Intelligence Review Committee (SIRC) which "oversees" CSIS. He was one of only 13 Canadian members of the globalist Trilateral Commission,[1] of which his daughter is now a member. He was known as a royalist and, according to his obituary in the National Post, was a frequent guest at Buckingham Palace.

ATCO's involvement in war preparations is from the side of logistics. Preparing war is not as straightforward as producing more fighters and weapon systems. Nothing is possible without logistics and infrastructure, along with the political, economic and ideological preparations. That is what is given the highest priority as NATO intensifies war preparations.

ATCO is a major DND and NATO contractor. It operates the Kandahar International Airport in occupied Afghanistan and bases in Kosovo, Bosnia and Canada, including in the Canadian Arctic. Its subsidiary ATCO Frontec specializes in rapid mobilization and the provision of services to NATO, U.S. and Canadian Forces as well as resource and telecommunications sectors.

In the past 25 years, the feverish expansion of military forces and spending in the Balkans, Afghanistan and Iraq wars of occupation presented ATCO with new opportunities. How imperial occupation and aggression is privatized and monopolies enriched is illustrated by contracts awarded to ATCO Frontec by NATO's Maintenance and Supply Agency in Luxemburg (now the NATO Support Agency) to manage the whole Kandahar International Airport. This included providing all the information and communications systems and services related to it (air traffic control, systems administration), the facilities operation and administration (electrical, water and sewage systems), the maintenance of vehicles and technical equipment (servicing, repairs), and engineering services (runway and infrastructure repairs). The airport, employing 30,000, was used by some 40 countries and tens of thousands of uniformed personnel.[2] In 2005, ATCO Frontec secured contracts to support NATO's headquarters in Sarajevo; the headquarters for the European Union Forces in Bosnia and Herzegovina; the Swedish Armed Forces in Kosovo; and the Canadian Forces in Bosnia. In Canada it provides airfield services to the NATO Flying Training Centre near Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan.

ATCO is looking to make the big score from the increased militarization of the High Arctic by NATO governments in the new Cold War. In 2014 it was awarded a 10-year contract valued at more than U.S.$340 million by the U.S. Air Force to provide operations and maintenance services to 15 strategic radar sites that form the Alaska Radar System -- the Ballistic Missile system.[3] In December 2017, it received a DND contract to "provide facility inspection, maintenance and repair, new construction and upgrades, trade services and environmental services to CAF sites in Yellowknife, Whitehorse, Inuvik, Rankin Inlet and Iqaluit." The initial five-year contract is valued at $79 million, with an option for a five-year extension. ATCO had already built modular facilities for the DND in Nanisivik, Nunavut.

Maintaining the subjugation of the Indigenous peoples of the north is a requirement to continue the military expansion in the north. ATCO has generated and delivered power in the Yukon since 1901 and in the Northwest Territories since 1951; this monopoly currently includes 30,000 people in dozens of communities across the region in its web. For more than 30 years, ATCO has also "partnered" with Denendeh Investments Incorporated (DII) in Northland Utilities. DII was created to hold for-profit investments made collectively by the Dene First Nations of the Northwest Territories.

Partners from Turkey and Related Information

Two of the four high-profile Halifax Canada Club partners of the Halifax International Security Forum (HISF) in 2019 are from Turkey: Çalık Holding and OYAK. 

Çalık Holding is a large conglomerate with dealings in energy, construction and real estate, mining, textile, telecom and finance sectors. A Çalık executive was recently appointed the HISF's treasurer.

OYAK is the pension fund of Turkey's armed forces, with investments in various sectors.

Çalık Holding

The HISF website describes this sponsor as follows:

"With the vision to add sustainable values to the lives it touches, Çalık Holding supports collaborative efforts of Halifax Canada Club towards global prosperity."

Çalık is a huge conglomerate, active in textiles, energy, construction, finance, logistics and media in a region extending from Central Asia to North Africa and from the Middle East to the Balkans. It employs around 20,000 people. Since 2009 Çalık is a minority partner with Canadian-based Anatolia Minerals to develop an open pit gold mine at Çöpler, Erzincan, Turkey.

Gap İnşaat, one of its leading arms, is a contractor of over 150 construction projects of industrial plants and infrastructure, as well as energy, oil and natural gas projects, in Turkey, Turkmenistan, Iraq, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. It has a subsidiary based in Canada, GAP İnşaat Construction and Investment Co. Ltd, Calgary. Ahmet Taçyildiz, chairman, was announced as the Treasurer of the Board at the HISF in October 2019.

Ahmet Çalık, Chairman and principal owner, is from an old wealthy family enriched in the textile industry and described by The Economist as a "close associate" of President Erdogan. In 2008, a Qatari monopoly put significant funds in Çalık as part of the privatization of the state-owned Sabah media monopoly.

The CEO of Çalık from 2007-2013, Berat Albayrak, is the son-in-law of Erdogan. On July 9, 2018, Erdogan appointed him as economic chief of his new administration, in charge of a new ministry of treasury and finance.

Çalık became a "partner" of the HISF held November 22-24, 2015, where it was represented by:

- Ahmet Çalık, President, Founder, and Chairman of Çalık Holding
- Mehmet Ertuğrul Gürler, Deputy Chairman of Çalık
- Ahmet Taçyildiz, Chairman of Gap İnşaat, a Çalık subsidiary and now Treasurer of the Board of Directors of the HISF

They were received with honours. Taçyildiz was publicly introduced and thanked by HISF President Peter Van Praagh during that year's opening session.

In the immediate aftermath of the November 13, 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris, the major focus of the HISF was fearmongering to promote the "War against ISIS." CTV News highlighted that it was "calling for an international coalition that will put more boots on the ground in Syria." Van Praagh declared that the HISF had been targeted by ISIS. Peter MacKay argued that the Paris attack came under NATO's Charter Article 5 on collective defence.

Nonetheless, the 2015 HISF welcomed a monopoly whose former CEO was reportedly involved with Turkey's trading with ISIS for oil stolen from the Syrian people.

Çalık Holding is one of the top foreign funders of NATO's political arm, the Atlantic Council ($500,000-$999,999 category). Other Turkish funders of the Atlantic Council include Turkish Airlines, (a member of its Global Leadership Circle, $100,000 and above). The Republic of Turkey is a funder, in the $25,000-$49,999 range. Donors also include Turkey's Ministry of Energy and National Resources (amount not listed).


The HISF website says of OYAK:

"Established in 1961, OYAK (the Armed Forces Pension Fund) serves as an occupational and supplementary pension fund for the members of the Turkish armed forces. With investments, including multinational joint ventures, in sectors such as steel, cement, automotive, logistics, finance, energy and chemicals, OYAK supports the mission of Halifax Canada Club of securing our modern way of life through strategic alliances among democracies."

According to the Chicago Tribune, "Born of a 1960 coup, Turkey's OYAK army pension fund has become a potent symbol of military economic power with interests from cement to car production [...] The group has power commensurate with the past might of the army that supports it."[4] Its OYAK Holding investment subsidiary is one of the largest industrial groups in Turkey.

Why is OYAK part of the HISF? The example of the Canada Pension Plan (CPP), which shows state-linked pension funds are used to provide capital to the war economy, may shed some light on this partnership. The Coalition Against the Arms Trade informs that the CPP "has invested billions of dollars not only in war profiteers, but in many monopolies that lead the world in oil extraction, gas pipelines, mining operations, sweat shops, pharmaceutical fraud, and production of the world's deadliest drug -- tobacco. The most egregious examples of this can be found among CPP investments in the world's largest weapons manufacturers. Our government-sponsored retirement portfolio includes about $1.4 billion worth of stocks in some of the world's largest 100 war industries."

Other Connections to Turkey

Of note is the size and representation of the Turkish participation in the HISF conference in the past and present. In November 2014 the conference featured as its guest of honour Turkey's 11th president, Abdullah Gül, who was on the outs at the time with Erdogan. Van Praagh stated, "even if Gül had not uttered a single word, his mere presence would be sending signals to Turkey."[5]

Other HISF participants from Turkey in 2018 included:

- İbrahim Kalın, Special Adviser to the President of Turkey, Presidency of the Republic of Turkey
- Ahmet Çalık, Chairman, Çalık Holding
- Mehmet Ertuğrul Gürler, Deputy Chairman, Çalık Holding
- Ahmet Taçyildiz, Chairman, Gap İnşaat
- Hulusi Akar, Minister of National Defense
- Selçuk Ünal, Ambassador of Turkey to Canada
- Ömer Çelik, Spokesperson, Justice and Development Party
- Falah Bakir, Head of the Department of Foreign Relations, KRG
- Safeen Dizayee, Spokesperson, KRG
- Diba Nigâr Göksel, Turkey Project Director, International Crisis Group
- Yusuf Müftüoğlu, Partner and Director of Strategy, Senior Advisor, CRA Strategic Advisory, Macro Advisory Partners, London and U.S.A, (formerly advisor to 11th president of Turkey, Abdullah Gül)
- Burak Gürkan, First Secretary, Grundfos (pump manufacturer), Turkey
- Süreya Köprülü, Editor in Chief, Turkish Policy Quarterly
- Raed Saleh, White Helmets co-founder, Turkey

As well, Van Praagh is a former U.S. National Democratic Institute country director for Turkey, as was former HISF Vice-President Joseph Hall.

Canada-Turkey Arms Trade

Canada's arms exports to Turkey rapidly increased during the first term of the Trudeau Liberals:

2015: $7,556,736
2016: $3,994,423.41
2017: $48,269,530.60
2018: $115,743,236.98

Excluding the U.S., in 2018, Turkey was the third highest recipient of Canadian arms, after Saudi Arabia ($1.282 billion) and Belgium at $154 million. During this period, Turkey began participating in CANSEC in Ottawa, one of the largest weapons fairs in North America.

The high level of Turkey's involvement in the HISF suggests that it has become an important back-door conduit for links between Turkey's ruling elite and the U.S., Canada and NATO. The Canadian government likely wants to strengthen its ties to Turkey for both economic and geostrategic reasons. Expansion of Canadian-Turkish cooperation could involve potential contracts in the tens of millions of dollars for Canadian companies such as Bombardier Transportation (high-speed trains) and participation in the development of Turkey's own arms industry.


Boeing joined the Halifax Canada Club in 2018. The HISF website says of Boeing:

"Boeing is the world's largest aerospace company and leading manufacturer of commercial jetliners and defense, space and security systems. As America's biggest manufacturing exporter, the company supports airlines and U.S. and allied government customers in more than 150 countries. Boeing products and tailored services include commercial and military aircraft, satellites, weapons, electronic and defense systems, launch systems, advanced information and communication systems, and performance-based logistics and training."

It operates three business divisions: Commercial Airplanes; Defense, Space & Security; and Boeing Global Services. Boeing Capital Corporation supports all three divisions by providing financing for Boeing customers.

Boeing's Defense, Space & Security division had revenue of U.S.$21.06 billion in 2017 with 50,699 employees as of 2015. It makes Boeing the second-largest arms company in the world, responsible for 45 per cent of the company's income in 2011.

Boeing was one of the big winners from President Trump's $109.7 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia that was formally signed May 20, 2017. Boeing has been a major supplier of the F-15 Eagle and the AH64 Apache attack helicopter to Israel. These aircraft have been used to attack Palestinians in the occupied territories, resulting in many civilian casualties.

People linked to Boeing occupy key positions in the U.S. administration. It is one of the major arms monopolies that now occupy the highest ranks of the U.S. administration, including cabinet members and political appointees charged with implementing the Trump agenda.[6] The biggest U.S. monopolies are "non-partisan" which, in U.S. terms, refers to Republican/Democratic party affiliation; both are factions of the ruling elite and no longer exist as political parties in any traditional sense. Boeing has passed seamlessly from the Obama to the Trump presidency. For example, in 2016, the Washington Post and other media reported that U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton "functioned as a powerful ally for Boeing's business interests at home and abroad, while Boeing has invested resources in causes beneficial to Clinton's public and political image." In parallel, Saudi Arabia put over $10 million into the Clinton Foundation; Boeing put in another $900,000, upon which Hillary Clinton reportedly made it her mission to get the planes sold to Saudi Arabia, despite legal restrictions. These now drop U.S.-made bombs on Yemen with U.S. guidance, U.S. refueling mid-air, and U.S. protection at the United Nations. The Congressional Research Service notes that between October 2010 and October 2014, the U.S. signed off on more than $90 billion in weapons deals to the Saudi government.

Former Boeing executive Mira Ricardel was a leader of Trump's Pentagon transition team. Benjamin Cassidy, installed by Trump as Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs, previously worked as a senior executive at Boeing's international business sector, marketing its military products abroad. Former Boeing CEO and Chairman Jim McNerney netted a spot on Trump's Strategic and Policy Forum in December 2016, an advisory body to the president comprised of corporate executives. Boeing Vice-President Patrick Shanahan, who formerly led the company's missile defense subsidiary, was made U.S. Defense Secretary -- the second highest position in the Pentagon replacing General James Mattis. The White House announced on May 9 that Trump intended to nominate Shanahan as Secretary of Defense. In late March, news sources reported that Shanahan was under investigation by the Pentagon's Office of the  Inspector General because of allegations he improperly advocated on behalf of his former employer, Boeing. That decision was reversed on June 18 when Shanahan withdrew.

Boeing consistently receives U.S. state funds. The website Subsidy Tracker says it is the number one recipient from all levels of government -- $14.4 billion in various pay-the-rich schemes since the 1990s. According to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP), for the decade 2007-2017 Boeing paid only $4.5 billion on $51 billion in profits, for a ten-year tax rate of 8.8 per cent. The federal U.S. Export-Import Bank, a federal agency that provides insurance and financing to aid international transactions, is often referred to as "the Bank of Boeing;" in 2014, $7.4 billion in long-term guarantees -- 68 per cent of the total made by the Export-Import Bank -- went to Boeing.

Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) is the federal agency responsible for investment in the Atlantic provinces for "economic growth."

In 2009, then Foreign Minister Peter MacKay was designated Minister for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, which committed to fund the HISF. The ACOA Minister has traditionally been an MP from the region in the governing party. The agency is traditionally known as a "patronage cow" for the party in power, providing grants that in reality are pay-the-rich schemes.[7]

In 2017 ACOA contributed $250,000 to the HISF. Its justification was that it was proof that Halifax is a major "world class city" "between North America and Europe" worthy of foreign investment, fit to compete for military contracts. In 2009 and 2010 the German Marshall Fund had been the organizer; in 2011 it withdrew with the reinvention of the Halifax International Security Forum "as a not-for-profit entity organized exclusively for charitable and education purposes." In 2014 some internal records of ACOA were released under Access to Information requests, which shed some light on the arrangements. An internal July 27, 2011 memorandum to then ACOA Minister Bernard Valcourt requested authorization for the expenditure of $7.47 million over three years, later granted. It gave the following rationale for this expenditure:

"The Halifax Forum provides national and international media exposure for Halifax and Atlantic Canada. The Forum supports the Government of Canada's priorities, including the Global Commerce strategy and enhances Canada's place in the world. It also positions Canada as a key player in international defence and security issues and positions Halifax and Nova Scotia as the crossroads between Europe and North America. In addition, the forum provides economic benefits in the form of travel, hotel and dining expenditures made by participants, as well as spin-off benefits for local merchants and tourism operators.

"Moving forward, the Agency and its partners are working to identify key initiatives to enhance economic activity in the Atlantic region. The Halifax Forum is an integral part of the Agency's efforts to enhance the region's profile and will advocate for specific sectors such as aerospace, defence and security, information and communications technology, and energy. A partnership network will result in sustainability for the Halifax Forum at the conclusion of the 2013 event."

ACOA has a development officer dedicated to the aerospace and defence sector. It is a member of the steering group of DEFSEC Atlantic. Staged annually in Halifax in September, DEFSEC Atlantic is now the second largest arms show in Canada. ACOA participates with DND in seminars "to assist Canadian businesses to be able to compete in the Aerospace, Defence and Security industries, both domestically and globally." To invest, they demand concessions from workers, communities and governments, skillfully concealed under the demagogic slogan of "making Halifax competitive," "We build ships here" and "creating jobs."


The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is an aggressive alliance of 29 countries, established to advance Anglo-American imperialist aims, with massive amounts of funds, weaponry and personnel at its disposal, all of it operating outside the rule of international law and counter to the interests of international peace. In 2018, it was represented by nine officials at the HISF, from its military, public diplomacy (propaganda) and diplomatic branches.

NATO has been an HISF partner since the inaugural 2009 conference which focused on the alliance's "security doctrine." Thus, the word "security" in HISF's name is informed by NATO's warmongering definition, namely protecting and advancing Anglo-American political and economic interests to the detriment of the peoples of the world.

What this indicates is that the HISF is a venue where NATO can work out its program to impose itself on governments in the name of "partnership" and "collaboration," and provide itself civilian and humanitarian window dressing for its war preparations.

For example, a November 2017 meeting of NATO Ministers of Defence in Brussels approved the plan for an adapted NATO Command Structure and officially launched the expansion of NATO's cyber warfare program and the inclusion of cyber-attacks in the collective defence provisions of Article 5 of the Alliance's Charter.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg explained that the alliance was going to be dictating changes to the laws of member states to serve rapid deployment for war: "It's about legislation, and of course it's about making sure that NATO allies implement those standards and those requirements. We formulate the requirements and the standards, but of course it's nations that have to implement them when they invest in infrastructure, when they make arrangements with, for instance, private providers of transportation."

NATO dictate to governments of member countries also takes the form of its Parliamentary Assembly. It claims that it serves "as an essential link between NATO and the parliaments of its member nations" and "works to build parliamentary and public consensus in support of Alliance policies. The NATO Parliamentary Assembly deals with social, cultural, political and economic issues, as well as military matters of paramount importance to NATO member nations. Parliamentarians meet and share information during regular Assembly sessions in North America and Europe."

NATO has long paid attention to political manipulation of parliaments and the wrecking of public opinion. In 1954, it initiated the formation of NATO groups in member countries, of which the Atlantic Council in New York has become the most powerful. Its Canadian counterpart is the NATO Association of Canada, based in Toronto. The changes to the Canada Elections Act contained in Bill C-76 that relate to combating "foreign influence" and monitoring the use of social media are informed by U.S. National Security Doctrine, NATO and its Atlantic Council think tank as well as the Five Eyes intelligence agencies. This involves control and regulation over electoral and political communication and, in the name of protecting electors, the introduction of a form of censorship to determine what is legitimate. In social media, this affects, for example, those it decrees to be "true believers," i.e., who willingly or unwillingly become the dupes of Russia, etc., and are to be criminalized. The NATO Association of Canada has also unsuccessfully tried to impose the view that opposition to NATO by Canadians amounts to foreign interference in Canada's internal affairs.


These companies are the sponsors of the 2019 Halifax International Security Forum:

- Air Canada (Canada)
- CAE Inc. (Canada)
- Canadian Association of Defence and Securities Industries
- Ipsos Group S.A. (France)
- Pansophico (U.S.)

Air Canada

Founded in 1937 as a nation-building project, Air Canada provides scheduled and charter air transport for passengers and cargo to 207 destinations worldwide, the airline operates nearly 100 Boeing airplanes in its current fleet, and the airline's low-cost subsidiary Air Canada Rouge operates 25.

CAE Inc.

Formerly known as the Canadian Aviation Electronics company, CAE is an aircraft simulator manufacturer and one of the world's biggest providers of pilot training services. It has around 70 per cent of the world's aviation simulator market and employs some 8,500 people in 35 countries.

This global aerospace monopoly is deeply involved in designing and producing military equipment and in the training of U.S. and other military personnel especially combat pilots. Since October, 2015 CAE has been the prime contractor responsible for the NATO Flying Training in Canada (NFTC) program, in a joint venture with the Royal Canadian Air Force.

The private monopoly is one of the principal recipients in the aerospace sector of pay-the-rich handouts from the public treasury. According to a 2012 report, CAE Inc., had collected $646 million in handouts from Industry Canada alone since 1993. On August 8, 2018 the Trudeau and Quebec Liberal governments handed it another $200 million over the next five years "to develop a new generation of flight simulators and new training services in the areas of aviation, defence and health." Of this amount, $10 million from Ottawa and $5 million from Quebec are grants.

CAE had no lack of funds. It reported profits of $355.7 million during its most recent fiscal year, which ended on March 31. It was involved in the cratering of Bombardier. On November 8, 2018 CAE announced it was taking over the aircraft flight and technical training unit of Bombardier, which served more than 4,800 Bombardier business jets, for U.S.$645 million. It gave no indication of the fate of those now working in the unit. The situation reveals that the millions of dollars in recent Quebec and federal pay-the-rich handouts to CAE and Bombardier were not meant to maintain production let alone "create jobs," but to ensure the servicing of debt held by the financial oligarchy.

Canadian Association of Defence and Securities Industries

For more than two decades, the Canadian Association of Defence and Securities Industries (CADSI) has organized the annual CANSEC weapons fair in Ottawa. Sponsored by the Trudeau war government and the biggest U.S. arms monopolies, CANSEC features thousands of participants from more than 60 countries, including more than 4,000 from the Canadian government and Department of National Defence. Its main sponsor is the Canadian Commercial Corporation, a Crown corporation that arranges weapons deals between companies with facilities in Canada and foreign governments, and in 2017 Lockheed Martin, the largest U.S. military contractor. In 2018 more than 11,000 people attended the two-day conference, including 16 MPs and senators and many generals and admirals. Many of CADSI's 800 members are also part of the Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters, Council of Chief Executives, Canadian Chamber of Commerce or Aerospace Industries Association of Canada.[8] In 2016 CADSI president Christyn Cianfarani summed up the relationship between Canada's foreign policy and the arms business. "Canada has nurtured a long-standing relationship with Saudi Arabia, because the Middle East is particularly important to us -- not only from an oil perspective but also from a regional politics perspective going way back [...]," Cianfarani told iPolitics. Saudi Arabia, the CADSI president said, is "perceived by Canadian companies as a market that has opportunity for us."[9]


Ipsos Group S.A. is a global market research and consulting firm with worldwide headquarters in Paris, France. It ranks as the third largest research agency in the world. As of 2014, Ipsos has offices in 88 countries, employing 16,530 people. Its Canadian subsidiary is Ipsos Reid, which employs some 600 people. It says it is Canada's largest market research and public opinion polling firm.

At a time when concern is being expressed about foreign threats to the democratic process by political marketing companies, Ipsos contracts with NATO to assess the level of public opposition inside the bloc to its wars. This is illustrated by the following polls carried out in succession in 2011 as part of the aggression against Libya:

- "Libya Military Action Poll -- Online GB," April 5-8, 2011;

- "Military action in Libya: Polling in Great Britain, USA, France, Italy. Topline results," April 12, 2011, and;

- "Global advisor: Assessment of NATO's Military Intervention in Libya," May 2011.

Polling is a tool for the manipulation and wrecking of public opinion, from elections to military campaigns. Ipsos goes from country to country conducting marketing campaigns through polling. It uses state-of-the-art micro-targeting and interviewing techniques. Szonda-Ipsos carried out repeated polling in Hungary, where there was a  high level of opposition to participating in the Afghan and Iraq wars. Questions it posed tended to spread doubt and confusion to undermine people's conviction against NATO, such as asking whether membership in NATO was "a legitimate demand."

In 2017, the International Republican Institute headed by U.S. Senator John McCain commissioned Ipsos to gather detailed information in Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic and Poland on social, economic, national and international questions, subsequently used by the U.S. state and its intelligence agencies and think tanks on which issues to manipulate opinion. The manipulation of election polls by U.S. agencies were one of the important mechanisms used in the "colour revolutions" staged in Eastern Europe.


A U.S. cyber security company based in Delaware, Maryland and a new sponsor in 2019. Its website provides minimal information, stating that it "supports democratic processes through commercial partnerships and national and international security. We support military readiness and provide creative technological and security solutions for democracy-based businesses and governments across the globe."


1. The Trilateral Commission is an elite planning group created by billionaire David Rockefeller in 1973 with the help of Zbigniew Brzezinski, then future U.S. National Security Advisor to President Jimmy Carter, and then Ford Foundation president, McGeorge Bundy. It is influential both within the United States and globally. Trilateral refers to Europe, North America and Japan.

2. War as Business: Technological Change and Military Service Contracting, Armin Krishnan, (Routledge, 2016), p. 115.

3. "Atco partnership wins U.S.$340M maintenance contract for radar sites in Alaska," Canadian Press, September 25, 2014.

4. "Turkish investigations cast shadow over powerful army-run conglomerate," Daren Butler, Chicago Tribune, May 8, 2012.

5. "Turkey's Gul returns for encore: Turkey's former President Abdullah Gul emerged from ‘retirement' to attend the Halifax Security Forum in Canada," Cengiz Çandar, Al Monitor, November 25, 2014.

6. Along with the Boeing appointments listed above, General James L. Jones was Obama's National Security Advisor from 2009 to 2010; at the time of his appointment, he was on the boards of directors of both Chevron and Boeing. He is presently interim chairman of the Atlantic Council. Rudy de Leona, former vice president at Boeing and former Defense Department official in the Clinton administration, was a member of the Defense Policy Board. (The Intercept, March 21, 2017)

7. It certainly worked for John Risley's Clearwater Seafoods and Ocean Nutrition Canada Limited. See "John Risley, billionaire hypocrite," Tim Bousquet, Halifax Examiner, April 16, 2015.

8. "Draining Ottawa's foreign policy swamp," Yves Engler, December 21, 2017.

9. "Canada's weapons export grew more than 89 per cent under Harper," Elizabeth Thompson, iPolitics, January 20, 2016.

(With files from Tony Seed.)

This article was published in

Volume 49 Number 28 - November 23, 2019

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