LC4ISR Conference and Contract Award announcement for LC4ISR

Speech

Speaking notes for

The Honourable Carla Qualtrough
Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility

LC4ISR Conference and Contract Award announcement for LC4ISR

Fairmont Château Laurier
Ottawa, Ontario
January 30, 2019

Check against delivery

Introduction

Thank you, (emcee), and good morning, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen.

I am very honoured to address you today. I want to begin by acknowledging that we are gathered on the traditional unceded territory of the Algonquin nation.

This conference is an opportunity to learn, to share your experiences and to determine the best ways to support the Canadian Armed Forces and the important missions they carry out on behalf of all Canadians.

We are privileged to have among us today some of the women and men in uniform who rely on LC4ISR technologies to make critical decisions on a daily basis.

They need the best possible equipment and technologies to help make those decisions and to protect Canadians.

Modern defence procurement

I will speak more about the government’s commitment to LC4ISR technology as part of our modern forces shortly.

But first, I would like to speak broadly about the government’s commitment to modernizing procurement, particularly defence procurement.

When I took on the role of overseeing Public Services and Procurement Canada, I had a clear mandate from the Prime Minister, which I take very seriously.

I was mandated to work with other ministers to ensure the women and men of the Canadian Armed Forces get the equipment they need—on time and on budget.

This duty is imperative to the success of our government’s important defence policy: Strong, Secured, Engaged.

It is a bold policy, one that focuses on the heart of the Canadian Armed Forces: the brave women and men who wear the uniform.

It also features an ambitious plan to spend more on equipment and infrastructure purchases.

This policy is creating economic benefits and good middle‑class jobs for Canadians from coast to coast to coast. Internationally, our government is building a strong record of delivering for Canadians.

We recognize that with the scope of Canada’s defence policy, finding efficiencies within the procurement process is important to achieving our goals.

I can tell you that, over the past three years, we have taken significant steps forward to modernize our procurement processes and make them more efficient.

Those steps include engaging more with industry and working more closely with suppliers throughout the procurement process, ensuring they can meet our needs and are able to participate on a level playing field.

We’re also applying a more strategic approach to how we do business in order to achieve social and economic benefits. This includes increasing contract opportunities for Canadian and local businesses, as well as under‑represented groups.

And I am working with the Treasury Board to implement a new risk-based contract approval process, which will help to streamline defence procurement.

These steps we’ve taken are important.

But, at the end of the day, nothing is more important to our government than ensuring the women and men in our military have the equipment they need to do their jobs.

We know that having effective LC4ISR systems is critical to achieving that.

These systems give our troops better awareness of their operating environment, so they can detect incoming threats and defend against the surveillance capabilities of potential adversaries.

They are crucial to defending our nation’s sovereignty and keeping Canadians safe, and we have a duty to remain on the cutting edge of this important technological front.

Announcement

I am pleased to announce today that we’re taking action to do just that.

The Government of Canada has recently awarded three contracts, with a combined value of $621.5 million, to General Dynamics Mission Systems–Canada to keep us on that cutting edge.

This major investment will enhance our LC4ISR capabilities, a move that will better support our army’s Land Forces operations.

Under these contracts, General Dynamics will provide cyber security engineering support for data information systems, protecting software and hardware from theft and damage.

They will also provide engineering, maintenance and testing support to ensure all aspects of the LC4ISR system work together.

And they will facilitate the integration of current LC4ISR capabilities into a single system to allow for timely and informed decisions.

I want to congratulate General Dynamics on the award of these contracts. I know their specialized expertise will enhance our military’s capabilities.

Today’s announcement is a great example of how government and industry are working together to build a better-equipped, modern military.

It also demonstrates how our government is using its purchasing power to support innovation in this country and create good jobs for Canadians.

In fact, as a result of these contracts, we are directly supporting and sustaining nearly 500 highly skilled jobs here in the National Capital Region, as well as in Calgary, Alberta.

And through our government’s Industrial and Technological Benefits Policy, General Dynamics will be making investments that will contribute to the growth of this technological capability in Canada.

Closing

We are committed to ensuring the effectiveness and safety of our armed forces.

And while all of our government’s work plays an important role in the lives of Canadians, there’s nothing more vital to the well-being of this country than our work to support our military.

By working together, our government and your industry are building a better-equipped, more modern military.

That’s why conferences like this are so important.

I want to thank everyone for being here, and for keeping the conversation going on how best to support our military.

I look forward to our continued work together as we strive toward our common goal—making sure that the women and men who serve us so bravely have the tools they need to keep Canada safe, for years to come.

Thank you.


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