Canada

Anger over Bombardier

POLITICS

June 15 1998
Canada

Anger over Bombardier

POLITICS

June 15 1998

Anger over Bombardier

POLITICS

etting aside its own guidelines, the federal government awarded an untendered $2.85-billion defence contract to Bombardier Inc. The 20-year deal to pur-

chase and maintain equipment for training NATO jet pilots is the biggest single government contract in Canadian history. Industry Minister John Manley defended the decision, saying the Bombardier group was the only one in Canada capable of the work. The Liberals’ move provoked outrage in the Commons reminiscent of the

response to the Tory government’s 1986 decision to award a $1.8-billion CF-18 contract to a Montreal firm despite a technically superior bid by a Winnipeg company. The ensuing tide of western anger was pivotal in the 1987 birth of the Reform party, and last week Reform MPs accused Ottawa of again playing favorites.