Finley silent on fate of $2-billion armoured vehicle program as deadline looms - InfoNews

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Finley silent on fate of $2-billion armoured vehicle program as deadline looms

December 13, 2013 - 8:57 AM

OTTAWA - The Harper government has awarded a $74-million contract for hard-top army shelters to an Ottawa firm, but remains mum on the future of a long-promised $2-billion armoured-vehicle program.

The original deal for the shelters was announced in 2009 as part of a logistics truck program, but Public Works Minister Diane Finley says the government has decided to order 99 more — to be used as field command posts and work spaces — on top of the 895 that were part of the first contract.

She wouldn't say what the fate might be of a separate, hotly debated plan to buy 108 close-combat vehicles, meant to accompany army's Leopard 2 A6 and A4 tanks into battle.

Bids by three defence contractors — Nexter, BAE Systems Inc. and General Dynamics Land Systems Inc. — are set to expire Dec. 23.

The fate of the program has hung in the balance for months after army brass said they were worried whether they could afford to train, operate and maintain the new set of vehicles in a time of tight budgets.

Finley was non-commital today when asked whether the government intended to let the bids expire, which would effectively kill the program for a second time.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2013
The Canadian Press

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