October 5, 2021 | Local, Aerospace, Naval, Land, C4ISR, Security
CAE announced that it has taken a series of flexible measures to protect its financial position in response to the COVID-19 crisis and mitigate the impact on its employees. The measures include temporarily suspending its common share dividend and share repurchase plan, as well as temporarily laying off 2,600 of its 10,500 employees and placing another 900 employees on a reduced work week. CAE also announced that, in an effort to help save lives, it is developing an easy-to-manufacture ventilator which will provide life support to patients in intensive care.
“CAE continues to support its customers as the training services we provide are considered essential around the world. Our civil aviation operations are most affected by the unprecedented disruption of the global air transportation system. At the same time, our defence and security operations are less impacted because CAE provides mission critical services worldwide,” said Marc Parent, CAE's president and CEO. “We entered this crisis from a position of strength with a leading market position, a balanced business with recurring revenue streams, and a solid financial position. Taking decisive yet flexible action will help to protect our people and operations over the short-term and gives us the necessary agility to resume long-term growth when global air travel returns. Our employees have always been at the core of CAE's success, we regret the hardship these temporary measures will cause those affected, especially during these difficult times, and we are grateful to all our employees for their contribution and dedication.”
To mitigate the number of temporary layoffs, CAE significantly reduced capital expenditures and R&D investments. The company also announced cost-containment measures, including salary freezes and salary reductions for staff not affected by reduced work weeks (50 per cent for the CEO and executive team, 30 per cent for vice-presidents, 20 per cent for directors and managers, and 10 per cent for group leaders and employees).
CAE is working to access government emergency relief measures and wage subsidy programs in its main operating jurisdictions and will assess their impact on its mitigation plans. As details of government assistance programs around the world are finalized, CAE will do everything it can to recall as many employees as possible.
CAE's board of directors has approved the suspension of dividend payments to common shareholders until further notice and will review this position on a quarterly basis. Core to its capital allocation priorities, CAE remains committed to paying dividends over the long-term that are commensurate with the long-term growth of its business and will seek to resume dividend payments as soon as it is appropriate.
CAE's board of directors has also approved the temporary suspension of all share repurchases under its normal course issuer bid program.
In civil aviation, training is highly regulated, and for pilots to remain active and to continue to hold their certifications, they must train regularly — usually every six to nine months. While training activities related to new pilot training have decreased substantially, many airlines and business jet operators have continued to conduct recurrent training to maintain the certification of their existing pilots. Two-thirds of CAE's more than 50 civil training centres worldwide continue to be operational, however training utilization is lower than usual as a result of restrictions from border closures and lockdowns that have forced temporary closures and disruptions to operations.
In defence and security, as underscored by governments worldwide, CAE's work is considered essential, and its employees are deployed worldwide to actively support training and readiness requirements. Over 90 per cent of CAE's operational sites are still delivering services to support defence forces who must always be prepared and ready in the interest of national security.
To help in the fight against COVID-19, CAE Healthcare engineers and scientists have designed in 11 days a simple, maintainable, easy-to-manufacture ventilator prototype to provide life support to patients in intensive care. CAE is currently sourcing components in order to begin production of this ventilator as soon as it is approved by Health Canada.
“CAE has employees around the world, and we are all proud of the impact we can have by putting our expertise to work to create a ventilator that can help save lives in the fight against COVID-19,” said Parent. “Once this prototype is approved by public health authorities, we are looking at manufacturing thousands of units in our Montreal plant and in other sites over the next few months.”
CAE is also providing complimentary training seminars on how to prepare healthcare workers in the fight against COVID-19. The CAE team is launching simulation-based training solutions, both web and hardware based, to train personnel in the safe practice of ventilation and intubation, which is key to saving lives. This is even more critical right now when ventilation and intubation is being done by healthcare professionals who are not trained for these complex procedures.
October 5, 2021 | Local, Aerospace, Naval, Land, C4ISR, Security
June 13, 2018 | Local, Aerospace, Naval, Land, C4ISR
By EMILY HAWS Department of National Defence deputy minister Jody Thomas says she'll work through the summer to review how the Canadian government buys defence equipment, with a view to paring down the procurement process to get projects out the door quicker. That could even mean more use of sole-source contracts, when it doesn't make sense to hold a competition. She says the department wants to ensure the money outlined in Strong, Secure, Engaged—the government's 20-year defence policy unveiled last year—is spent. The department took flak earlier earlier this year for not having the capacity to push procurement projects outlined in the plan through the system at the expected pace. Speaking at a June 7 conference organized by the Canadian Global Affairs Institute think-tank in Ottawa on the first anniversary of the defence policy, Ms. Thomas suggested switching up the rules around sole-source contracting. She discussed the idea on a panel with other top DND executives Gordon Venner and Bill Matthews, moderated by CGAI defence procurement expert David Perry. “I think what we want to do and what is expected of us is to have an honest conversation,” Ms. Thomas told the audience. “Where we know there's one supplier in the world that is compliant, Five Eyes-compliant, NORAD-compliant, whatever compliancy we need—to run a competition [in that case] where there is no hope of multiple bidders wastes [everyone's] time; it's kind of disingenuous and dishonest,” she said, referring to security alliances of which Canada is a member. “We have to talk to ministers about that, and ministers are open to that conversation.” Mr. Perry said in a separate interview that the change in process would be a big deal, but it would only happen if the government decides its priority is to spend money. The department is trying to determine a better balance between spending and oversight, he said, but it needs to keep in mind that the “objective is to spend money, not follow a thousand steps and do multiple dozens of reviews.” Sometimes government officials try overly hard to make the bid process competitive, said Mr. Perry, so they end up sending to Treasury Board for review some bids that clearly don't meet requirements. This leaves Treasury Board officials with only one compliant bidder, which in turn leads these keepers of the public purse to ask more questions and perhaps conduct reviews. For example, the government is looking at buying one or more tanker aircraft, and is narrowing down the list of eligible companies, said Mr. Perry. There are basically only two companies that sell tankers, Airbus and Boeing, he said. “You set it up so that everyone has a chance, but that doesn't actually mean that you can actually have a really competitive environment that have at least two bids that actually meet all of the mandatory things you need to meet to submit a bid,” he said. Depending on the extent the rules shift, they may require approval from not just Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan (Vancouver South, B.C.), but Treasury Board and the larger cabinet, he added. Conservative MP James Bezan (Selkirk-Interlake-Eastman, Man.) and NDP MP Randall Garrison (Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke, B.C.), defence critics for their respective parties, said they support streamlining the procurement process, but Mr. Bezan said the Liberals just need to be more decisive. Industry representatives are also supportive, with the Canadian Association of Defence and Security Industries (CADSI) calling the move “refreshing” in an emailed statement. DND is trying to increase its procurement workforce, said Ms. Thomas, adding that the procurement process is the same regardless of whether the contract is worth $1-million or $1-billion. Ms. Thomas, who has been in her role since October, said the rules were put in place after the department received criticism from the auditor general. “We've been risk-averse and we've been criticized, so a deputy's normal reaction to criticism or recommendations from the auditor general is to put process in place,” she said. “I absolutely understand that; we need to make sure it's appropriate to the complexity of the project.” She said she's going to work through the summer to analyze the number of steps in the procurement process to determine the value they serve and where they can be reduced. Ms. Thomas said she will create “sort of a lean methodology of the number of hands something has to touch, how long do we spend in project definition, [and] how long we spend in options analysis.” Byrne Furlong, a spokesperson for the defence minister, said in an emailed statement the review will accelerate approvals and delivery. “Ensuring our Canadian Armed Forces [are] well-equipped to deliver on what Canada requires of them is a significant undertaking,” she said, adding the government is committed to doing so. New defence policy ups procurement spending Earlier this year, Mr. Perry authored a report suggesting the procurement plans laid out in Strong, Secure, Engaged could be threatened by long-standing process problems. The new policy would see procurement ramp up from about $3.5-billion to $4-billion annually, in 2018-19 dollars, to $12-billion. Defence procurement budgets were cut from about 1990 until the mid-2000s, he said. Now Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (Papineau, Que.) is trying to play catch-up, but there's a bottlenecking of purchases. The government both doesn't have enough people to approve the projects, nor the quality of experience to work the larger, more technical jobs, Mr. Perry said in a previous interview. There are five critical steps to procuring defence equipment which spans from identification to close-out. Most work is done by DND to determine what it needs, said Mr. Perry, but the actual competition is run by Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC). The change in rules Ms. Thomas is contemplating would only apply to DND, she said, as that's her jurisdiction. CADSI president Christyn Cianfarani said, to her knowledge, a review in such a systematic way hasn't been done for some time. She said she sees the move as positive, allowing the government to properly balance risk and acquisition. “With the launch of SSE and the Investment Plan, the deputy minister's call to review the system is timely,” she said. “In this critical period of recapitalization, we simply cannot expect to move four times the volume of procurement through the same old procurement system.” When asked about the sole-sourcing of contracts, Ms. Cianfarani said competition is just one tool to meet policy objectives. She wants more sole-sourcing to Canadian firms and more Canadian-only competitions between companies with similar capabilities, price, and proven roots in Canada. Liberals just need to decide, says Conservative critic Mr. Bezan said sole-source contracting is almost impossible to do when the country isn't at war because one must argue it's in the best interest of national security and the taxpayer. The Liberals need to be more decisive on what equipment they want to buy, he added, saying they are risk-averse. “Fighter jets is a good example. They have punted the close of the competition—making the decision—until 2021,” he said. “Most countries run these competitions in around a year, and this was launched three to four months ago ... they should be able to close this off and make a decision within six to nine months.” The Conservative government before it tried and failed to procure fighter jets for several years too, incurring political controversy along the way, with accusations of conducting a flawed process of the purchase of billions of dollars. Mr. Garrison said the NDP welcomes efficiencies in the procurement process that benefit the armed forces and support Canadian industry, as well as meet DND targets. https://www.hilltimes.com/2018/06/13/defence-deputy-minister-begin-reviewing-procurement-rules-summer/147489
January 18, 2018 | Local, Naval
Justin Trudeau a annoncé jeudi que le chantier naval Davie, à Lévis, obtiendra «probablement» des contrats pour construire des brise-glaces du gouvernement fédéral. «On sait très bien que le travail qui se fait à Davie est de grande qualité», a-t-il soutenu sur les ondes de Radio-Canada. Présent toute la journée à Québec, le premier ministre du Canada a soutenu que des négociations commenceront vendredi entre la Garde côtière et la Davie au sujet d'un achat de brise-glaces. Selon lui, le chantier Davie ne souffre pas de préjugés défavorables auprès de son gouvernement, comme plusieurs l'ont affirmé ces dernières semaines. M. Trudeau a également affirmé qu'il sera présent le 29 janvier pour la vigile visant à commémorer la tuerie de la Grande Mosquée. Sur les ondes du FM93, le premier ministre du Canada a soutenu qu'il était important de se souvenir de ce triste événement. «Il faut reconnaître qu'il y a encore des actes haineux, il y a encore des propos intolérants.» M. Trudeau dit toutefois être encore «en réflexion» sur la possibilité ou non de créer une Journée nationale contre l'islamophobie à cette date, tel que demandé par la communauté musulmane de tout le Canada. Sur la légalisation du cannabis, le premier ministre a tenté de convaincre les auditeurs des deux stations de radio qu'il posait un geste pour protéger les jeunes et non pour encourager la consommation de cette drogue. Selon lui, il faut que le pays reconnaisse qu'il a un problème d'accessibilité actuellement à cette drogue. «Le système actuel, ça ne fonctionne pas, ça ne protège pas nos jeunes.» M. Trudeau sera omniprésent à Québec jeudi. Après ses entrevues radio, il rencontrera le maire de Québec Régis Labeaume vers 11h15 à l'hôtel de ville. Le maire a déjà indiqué cette semaine qu'il souhaitait parler du pont de Québec, du tramway et des artéfacts de Parcs Canada avec M. Trudeau. En soirée, M. Trudeau tiendra une soirée de rencontre informelle avec les citoyens, qui aura lieu à l'école secondaire De Rochebelle, à Sainte-Foy. Cette façon de faire, qui s'inspire des États-Unis, vise à rendre M. Trudeau plus «accessible», explique Filip Novakovic, attaché de presse du député fédéral de Louis-Hébert, Joël Lightbound. «Je peux vous dire qu'il y a énormément d'engouement», lance M. Novakovic, qui soutient que des centaines de citoyens ont déjà effectué leur préinscription. La salle peut contenir un maximum de 1000 personnes et il est toujours possible de s'inscrire sur place, à partir de 16h30. M. Novakovic assure qu'il n'y aura un filtrage des questions. Les gens n'auront qu'à lever la main et c'est M. Trudeau lui-même qui donnera les tours de parole. Plus de détails à venir... https://www.lesoleil.com/actualite/politique/davie-aura-probablement-des-contrats-de-brise-glaces-dit-trudeau-66016c8dd2d1281f382381dd0efd39bd