Cablegate: Still No Details On Revised Canadian Iter Bid

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.






E.O. 12958: N/A
SUBJECT: Still no details on revised Canadian ITER bid

1. In December 2002 during the 7th ITER Negotiations
meeting in Barcelona, the Canadian delegation announced
that in light of the competing proposals made by the
European Union and Japan to host ITER, it would
reassess its offer with a view to indicating a revised
position early in 2003.

2. The Canadian delegation had noted specifically
that, "the Canadian offer to host had a diminished
chance of success given current developments in the
negotiations unless the Government of Canada agreed to
participate financially in the project." At that time
the Canadian negotiators anticipated a revised offer by
the end of March 2003. As of early May, however, no
announcement has been made.

3. To determine when Canada's revised plan might be
available Emboff spoke with officials at the Department
of Natural Resources (NRCan) and Department of Foreign
Affairs (DFAIT).

4. Serge Bernier, Senior Policy Analyst in the
Economic and Fiscal Analysis Division at NRCan told
Emboff that NRCan Minister Dhaliwal has discussed ITER
with his federal cabinet colleagues and is presently
leading discussions with senior ministers of the
Ontario provincial government about the ITER bid.
Details regarding the discussion are however, lacking.
(It should be noted that Jim Campbell of NRCan, who was
Canada's head of delegation to ITER negotiating
meetings, retired from government service at the end or
April. Bernier is now acting in his stead, although we
understand that Campbell may well continue to attend
ITER meetings as a contract employee of NRCan.)

5. Dave Church, Senior Policy Advisor with the Science
and Technology Division at DFAIT told us that he
anticipates details of Canada's renewed bid will be
made public at the June 19th "P-1" meeting.

6. Comment: Although Church and Bernier appear hopeful
that Canada will present a new and attractive bid,
Church acknowledged that the European Union and Japan
are many laps ahead in the race to host ITER, while
Canada's bid remains in the pits for an overhaul. To
overtake the other proposals and become a front-runner
Canada's bid would have to include significantly
greater federal commitment and a federal investment far
larger than the C$3million the GoC provided in 2000.
Our perception is that achieving these objectives will
be difficult, at best. End comment.


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