Bombardier Sale of Aircraft to Iran
Hon. Linda Frum: Leader, last year the Liberal government chose to provide Bombardier with bailout funding to the tune of nearly $400 million. In January, the Canadian Press reported that Bombardier is in the process of completing its first commercial aircraft sale to an aviation company in Iran. This sale would include significant financing provided by Bombardier.
If this media report is true, does this mean that Canadian taxpayer money assisted with the financing of the sale of aircraft to an Iranian company?
Hon. Peter Harder: I thank the honourable senator for the question. I’ll have to take it on notice to ensure that I am presenting the facts as they are true.
Senator Frum: I look forward to receiving a follow-up answer. I would ask you, when you follow up, to consider that given that the IRGC has previously used passenger planes for nefarious purposes, such as transporting weapons. In the event that the subsidy is there, is the government not alarmed by the potential that Bombardier planes can be used and abused for similar purposes?
Senator Harder: I, of course, will add that to my inquiry. I want to assure all honourable senators that the Government of Canada shares the concern of the honourable senator with respect to human rights violations anywhere but especially, as reported and we know to be true, in Iran, and it takes every opportunity to make that view known.
On March 20, 2018 Senator Harder provided this additional response:
Following internal consultations and an extensive preliminary search, Global Affairs Canada determined that it has not to date had any communication with Bombardier regarding a sale of at least ten CRJ-900 regional jets to the Islamic Republic of Iran. As such, Global Public Affairs does not have any of the requested details to provide.