Public Works puts the brakes on plan to purchase new military trucks | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Public Works puts the brakes on plan to purchase new military trucks

Gordon O'Connor stands in front of an old army truck in this June 27, 2006 file photo, to announce the urgent needed purchase medium-sized logistic military trucks, at CFB Valcartier north of Quebec City. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jacques Boissinot

OTTAWA - The federal government has slammed on the brakes on a multimillion-dollar program to replace the military's aging trucks.

The last-minute cancellation of the program raises questions about the future of the long-delayed military acquisition.

Companies had until 2 p.m. ET Wednesday to bid on a contract for new medium-sized logistics trucks for the Canadian Forces.

Former Defence Minister Gordon O’Connor first announced the program to great fanfare back in 2006. The new trucks were to replace the current fleet, which has been in use since the 1980s. The vehicles are reaching the end of their service life.

But Public Works emailed bidders three minutes before the deadline to let them know the contract has been cancelled.

"Economic, marketplace and budgetary circumstances have changed since this solicitation process began," the notice said.

"Therefore, the government of Canada needs to reassess this procurement to ensure that the right equipment is acquired for the army at the best value for Canada, prior to proceeding with a new solicitation."

The medium-weight trucks are considered the workhorses of the regular and reserve forces, ferrying supplies to troops at home and abroad.

But after more than two decades of service, the trucks are rusted out and have brake problems.

The Defence Department referred questions to Public Works, which was not immediately available to comment.

This is not the first time the government has put the brakes on the plan to replace the aging trucks.

The Ottawa Citizen reported the government told companies last fall that it was restarting the process and taking eight types of trucks that had already been qualified for the program out of the running.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2012
The Canadian Press

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