According to a late-breaking report by Murray Brewster of CBC News, the Government of Canada intends to make every effort to single-handedly put an end to specialized publications in Canada.
Security and defence publications in Canada provide a service to Canada and to the industry and to responders and to the government itself by providing a dedicated stream of informed commentary and analysis, awareness and education on topics that are of relevance to these communities writ large.
As everyone expects this to be a free service, very specialized publications such as FrontLine depend almost exclusively on advertising to cover the high costs of writers, production and distribution, and have no sources other than the defence industry itself... an yet, according to the draft RFP for Canada's largest procurement, the Canadian Surface Combatant (CSC) for the Navy, as reported on last night by CBC News, the Government of Canada apparently sees fit to kill our business by requiring that any companies interested in bidding, or any of their subcontractors, stop all advertising – or the bid will be instantly deemed non-compliant.
According to the CBC News report by Murray Brewster:
"Neither the bidders, nor any of their respective subcontractors, employees or representatives shall make any public comment, respond to questions in a public forum or carry out any activities to either criticize another bidder or any bid — or publicly advertise their qualifications,"
If this is allowed to stand, and permeate to other contracts, we have just learned that our business will close immediately.
— Chris MacLean is the editor and publisher of FrontLine Defence and FrontLine Safety and Security magazines.