The federal government has slammed the brakes on a multimillion-dollar program to replace the military's aging trucks.
Companies had until 2 p.m. ET Wednesday to bid on a contract for 1,500 new medium-sized logistics trucks for the Canadian Forces.
But Public Works emailed bidders three minutes before the deadline to let them know the contract has been cancelled.
This purchase was originally announced by the Harper Government™ in 2006, at which time the DND described the need as urgent. Six years later our mostly competent government just went back to square one on it. And not for the first time.
Defence industry sources were upset with the 11th-hour cancellation, telling CBC News it was "absolutely ridiculous," showing "complete mismanagement" and "astounding incompetence."
They do seem a tad upset, don't they?
And not for nothing since they'd spent a bunch of money preparing their bids which, in this case, included preparing and shipping test vehicles to a test range in the US. The Canadian Forces will still need vehicles, of course, but if the specs change then all the work that the would-be suppliers have done thus far could be a waste.
On the one hand it's rather satisfying to see accusations of incompetence coming from "defence industry sources" instead of just from scruffy bloggers like me. And let's note that once again we're talking about what are supposed to be areas of core competence for Conservatives. They're supposed to know how to do business. And they're supposed to know how to run a defence department.
On the other hand, apparently one of the problems with the fleet of trucks that need to be replaced is that the brakes are failing. That means the people who rely on those vehicles are at unnecessary risk which adds an additional and very serious problem on top of the obvious incompetence and waste of taxpayer dollars. Am I the only one who's reminded of Chrétien and the Sea Kings?