With operations in more than two dozen countries, Montréal-based Bombardier is one of the world’s largest transportation companies. Bombardier is also among Canada’s biggest arms contractors.
In recent years Bombardier has won hundreds of millions of dollars in contracts in Saudi Arabia.
They also provided trains for a state of the art railway to Tibet, which some claimed enabled China’s further colonization of the area.
Bombardier worked on a maritime patrol aircraft with Israel Aerospace Industries and a high-speed rail line that seized parts of two small Palestinian villages in the West Bank – Beit Iksa and Beit Sourik. The head of Bombardier's transportation division, Lutz Bertling, responded to a question about the company’s role in the illegally occupied West Bank by saying, "this is not a problem…. There is no apartheid in Israel… Requests to boycott Israel are a form of blackmail, and we will never agree to that.”
Bombardier quietly paid $35 million in “success fees” to a controversial arms dealer and middleman, Youssef Zarrouk, who helped it win a multibillion-dollar South African railway contract in 2010. As part of this sum, CBC News discovered “that a secret deal was brokered by Bombardier to pay $5 million to a South African middleman, Peter-Paul Ngwenya, who described himself as an ‘influential individual in political circles.’”
Bombardier has received billions of dollars in various forms of government support, including international aid. Regarding Bombardier in the 1980s, the company’s Senior Vice President Yvon Turcot recalled: “I traveled with them to foreign countries where they sold their locomotives and the only contracts they got were from CIDA [Canadian International Development Agency]. Nobody would buy except the governments of emerging nations, financed by CIDA on favourable terms.”
After a stint as president and COO of Bombardier, Robert Greenhill, became president of CIDA in 2005.