Amazon deploys 20 lobbyists in Quebec

Nicolas Lachance

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Amazon is ramping up its lobbying activities with all departments and organizations in Quebec to get the juicy contracts for hosting cloud-based data, which irritates the businesses.

While the government Legault seeks to store the data for Quebec in the cloud-a private company, the american company Amazon has deployed heavy artillery to present its ” cloud-based (Cloud) “.

Not less than twenty representatives of Amazon are recorded in the register of lobbyists in Quebec for a year. The objective of the company is to “analyze the possibilities” that the Council of the treasury or the government would have recourse to their products.

Departments, agencies and Crown corporations such as Hydro-Quebec are in the focus of the company owned by the richest man in the world, Jeff Bezos.

“The steps are undertaken in the event of a call for tenders on invitation to the public or a negotiated contract “, stresses the mandate of the government.

“They have a strike force much stronger than us. In terms of policy, the government is inclined to think of them more often than it should, ” said Matthew Pine, director of sales at OVH, a French group based in Beauharnois.

Since Monday, fears of a us company and get a generous contract to become the custodian of the data from Quebec are increasing, mainly because of u.s. laws that could put in danger the privacy of the Québécois.

Too powerful

And even if businesses want to compete for these contracts, they will face a formidable opponent shopping.

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According to Matthew Pine, companies such as Amazon manage to have the ear of government because they are investing much more money in lobbying than the hosts in quebec.

“The big players put a lot of money on the table to do marketing and to lobby “, he says.

For its part, the quebec-based company SerWeb shall ensure that it has the capacity, resources and skills to support the Quebec to the cloud. “We are monitoring the situation closely,” explained the company.

In Canada also

Amazon Web Services (AWS) Canada is also heard in the corridors of the House of commons, in Ottawa. In the past 12 months, AWS Canada is entered in communications over 150 times with public office holders, according to the Register of lobbyists of canada.

Contacted by The Journal, Amazon argues that there is in Quebec a wrong understanding of the “Cloud” Act american, and that the fears are unfounded.

“We do not disclose customer information, unless required to do so, in accordance to a prescription legally valid and binding, such as a subpoena or a court decision “, said the spokesperson, Candi Jeronimo, ensuring that Amazon respects the privacy and security of its customers, which encrypt their data.

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