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.
The story you want is part of the Maclean’s Archives. To access it, log in here or sign up for your free 30-day trial.
Experience anything and everything Maclean's has ever published — over 3,500 issues and 150,000 articles, images and advertisements — since 1905. Browse on your own, or explore our curated collections and timely recommendations.WATCH THIS VIDEO for highlights of everything the Maclean's Archives has to offer.