(John Turner served as associate deputy minister (ADM) of National Defence from February 2015 until March 17, 2017. Prior to this, he was ADM Material at DND. According to the DND website, the ADM is responsible for files related to procurement, information management and technology, defence renewal, search and rescue, and other files as may be assigned by the deputy minister. Two weeks after leaving DND, Turner began work as vice president of operations at PAL Aerospace. (dnd))
By David Pugliese
Canada’s defence and aerospace industry was all abuzz about the recent news that John Turner, the Department of National Defence’s Associate Deputy Minister, had taken a job with PAL Aerospace.
Turner had previously been the Assistant Deputy Minister for Materiel serving in that position from 2012 to 2015.
PAL Aerospace is a key partner in the Airbus consortium that on December 8 was awarded the contract to provide the Royal Canadian Air Force with 16 new fixed-wing search-and-rescue (FWSAR) planes.
The initial contract, including in-service support (ISS) provided by PAL, is worth $2.4-billion. But eventually that price tag could climb to $4.7-billion as long-term support, to be provided by PAL, is factored in to the deal, the federal government has noted.
Turner left his job at the DND on March 17 and reported for work at PAL on April 3 as vice president of operations.
Steve Dinn, PAL’s vice president, said in a statement that the company is looking forward to Turner’s arrival at the firm in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador. “PAL Aerospace is excited that John Turner will be joining our team in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador as our Vice President of Operations,” Dinn noted. “We look forward to John’s leadership as we continue our focus on export and international growth opportunities.”
Department of National Defence spokesman Daniel Le Bouthillier said the office of Ethics Commissioner Mary Dawson confirmed the Conflict of Interest Act doesn’t prevent Turner from taking the new job.
“The Department of National Defence has no concerns with Mr. Turner’s upcoming employment,” said Le Bouthillier. “We are satisfied that all appropriate steps were taken prior to accepting the position and we wish him nothing but the best in his future endeavours.”
Le Bouthillier said Turner followed all guidelines under the Conflict of Interest Act, which included disclosing the job offer to the commissioner. “It is worth noting Public Services and Procurement Canada oversees the bid evaluation of the process, and that PAL worked with Airbus directly, not with the Government of Canada, on FWSAR,” he stated. “Consequently, as Associate Deputy Minister at DND, Mr. Turner did not have any role in the evaluation that led to the selection of the Airbus DS proposal.”
Le Bouthillier noted it was Airbus, not the Canadian government, which selected PAL as its partner to service the new planes.
Rolls-Royce Naval Marine Canada announced that it is expanding its supply chain to meet the significant opportunities created by the recently initiated Canadian Surface Combatant (CSC) program.
Rolls-Royce Naval Marine Canada and its partners already produce complex naval handling systems that are in use around the world, the company noted. The firm was the first to provide an integrated complex Mission Bay Handling System into a Major Combatant Program when it was chosen for the UK’s Type 26 frigate.
In 2017, Rolls-Royce is also celebrating its 70th year in Canada. The firm employs approximately 1,200 people in six provinces across Canada, undertaking both high technology manufacturing and sustainment activities for the company’s civil and defence aerospace, marine (commercial and naval) and nuclear businesses.
The Canadian Army says its artillery gunners have run successful live fire tests on a new device designed to protect global positioning systems (GPSs) from jamming. The tests of the GPS Anti-Jam Technology (GAJT), created by NovAtel Inc. of Calgary, were conducted in late October at CFB Shilo.
The Army’s M777 howitzers use three GPS-based systems, the service noted. The NovAtel equipment — known as GAJT (pronounced gadget) — was tested to see if it could prevent jamming devices from interfering with those M777 GPS systems.
The Army had acquired 10 GAJTs, a commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) product, which comes in versions suitable for land, sea, fixed installations and smaller platforms such as UAVs, NovAtel noted.
The Canadian government announced February 3 that it awarded a contract of $45-million to StandardAero, of Winnipeg, Manitoba for the maintenance of T56 engines for Canada’s CP-140 Auroras and CC-130H Hercules aircraft. The maintenance contracts are for an initial period of four years and three months. Services will include repair and overhaul of the aircraft engines, the management, coordination and integration of materials and information, as well as engineering work and the management of technical publications.
L3 Technologies has announced that it has appointed Richard Foster as corporate vice president of Canada Operations. Based in Ottawa, Foster will be responsible for overseeing all of L3’s Canadian business and coordinating with the business development team to broaden L3 Canada’s customer base, the firm noted in a news release. Foster will report to David M. Van Buren, L3’s senior vice president of Program Development.
“Canada is a core international market for L3, and we are focused on pursuing new opportunities in that area,” Michael T. Strianese, L3’s chairman and chief executive officer, said in a statement. “We look forward to Rich’s contributions toward expanding L3 Canada’s scope of business. His extensive military experience and work with foreign governments are particularly well-suited to delivering L3’s broad portfolio of readiness, upgrade, sensor and modernization technologies and services to allied countries across the globe.”
Foster joins L3 Canada following a distinguished 35-year career in the Canadian Armed Forces, where he achieved the rank of major-general. His more recent duties as deputy commander of the Royal Canadian Air Force and as deputy commander of the Canadian Joint Operations Command (CJOC) will be an asset to L3 Technologies in Canada and abroad, the firm noted.
Seaspan announced that its long-serving chief executive officer, Jonathan Whitworth, will be retiring at the end of 2017.
Whitworth briefed the company’s board in 2016 on his timeline to retirement. A search for his successor immediately commenced and Seaspan also announced that Frank Butzelaar, president and CEO of a related company, Southern Rail Link (SRY), has been identified as Whitworth’s permanent replacement. That appointment takes effect April 3.
Due to the magnitude and specialization of the National Shipbuilding Strategy’s non-combat vessel contracts, Brian Carter, president of Seaspan Shipyards, will continue to report to Whitworth until year-end and then will report directly to the board of directors, according to a news release issued by Seaspan.
“A dynamic, passionate and visionary leader, Jonathan played an instrumental role in transforming the organization under his direction since his arrival in 2009,” the firm noted. “He took a highly innovative approach to revitalizing Seaspan, a 130-year-old company, by focusing on preserving the core of its historical successes while stimulating growth.”