31 May 2008

To infinity, and beyond - redux

Planetspace, Inc., an American company that lost in its bid to develop NASA's Commercial Orbital Transportation Systems phase one demonstrations, is lobbying the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador for financial assistance for an unspecified venture.

Planetspace was one of 13 companies in the race to develop the commercial orbital system but lost out earlier this year to Orbital.

Mark Doucet, of Cabot Capital Network Projects is the registered lobbyist. Doucet has registered to lobby the Premier's Office, the Business Investment Corporation as well as the business, finance, tourism, innovation and transportation departments for a "financial incentive request".

The Globe and Mail reported last year that Fred Doucet, former chief of staff to Brian Mulroney, was lobbying the Government of Canada for $45 million to support development of a space tourism venture as part of the Nova Scotia project.

Fred Doucet, president and chief executive officer of Fred Doucet Consulting International Inc (FDCI), is listed in the federal government registry as a lobbyist for Planetspace. Mark Doucet is listed in the registry as a vice president of FDCI.

Fred Doucet's name popped up early in 2008 as the go-between who arranged meetings been Mulroney and German businessman Karlheinz Schreiber. He denied knowing anything about financial transactions alleged to have taken place at the meetings.

Fred Doucet is reported by the National Post to have been a business partner of former Premier Frank Moores in Government Consultants International.

Planetspace signed a deal in August 2006 with the Government of Nova Scotia for 300 acres of land as part of a plan to develop an orbital launch facility. Bond Papers reported the Nova Scotia deal in July 2007.