09/12/2014 03:48 EDT | Updated 09/12/2014 03:59 EDT

Christyn Cianfarani, New Top Defence Lobbyist, Drafted Policy For Harper Government

Simon Bruty via Getty Images
AT SEA - AUGUST 28: Joint Strike Fighter F-35 Lightning II on the deck of USS Wasp on August 28, 2013 at sea off the coast of Virginia. (Photo by Simon M Bruty/Any Chance Productions/Getty Images)

OTTAWA — The relationship between Ottawa and defence contractors may get smoother as the industry's leading association prepares to name a new president who was deeply involved in drafting the Harper government's military procurement strategy.

The Canadian Association of Defence and Security Industries will appoint Christyn Cianfarani in a public announcement expected soon.

She will replace Tim Page, who resigned last spring to take a senior job with Vancouver Shipyards.

The hiring of Cianfarani, a former employee of Montreal-based CAE, was circulated internally at the defence association this week.

She will be the first woman to lead the association.

A number of failed projects and misfired military procurements in recent years have left the defence industry increasingly frustrated with the government.

The problems include the cancellation last fall of the army's $2-billion close combat vehicle project, the cancellation and restart of the navy's supply ship program and the botched attempt to acquire the F-35 stealth fighter.

Defence industry insiders say Cianfarani's appointment signals what could be an important shift toward warmer relations.

She was a part of the team assembled by Tom Jenkins, the chief executive officer of Open Text, to help reshape the disastrous procurement file for the Conservatives.

Cianfarani, a graduate of the Royal Military College, was seen as a driving force in the development of the procurement strategy.

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