"Safety concerns behind $100-million jet purchase"
OTTAWA - The government spent $100 million on new luxury jets because the old ones are no longer safe, the prime minister said Tuesday.
"Many times, I've been involved in some urgent landings with the one we have at this moment – many times," Jean Chrétien said.
But documents uncovered in access to information requests point only to a single case in which the prime minister's jet was involved in a serious situation. That was in June 2001, when it made an emergency landing in Stockholm.
The Challenger carrying Chrétien from a meeting with European Union leaders turned around 15 minutes after taking off from the Swedish city. The cabin pressure had suddenly dropped.
The Defence Department considered it an isolated incident, and said at the time the prime minister was never in any danger
Public Works Minister Ralph Goodale said on Tuesday the incident probably influenced the decision in March of this year to place a rush order for two new Challengers from Montreal-based Bombardier Inc. The order came to a total of more than $100 million.
"When those circumstances happen, it is not a pleasant experience, and therefore, safety considerations are no doubt part of the decision," he said.
The order was placed after senior officers in the Department of National Defence said the older jets were fine.
"Given that there were no identifiable problems or trends with this fleet … it is recommended that remedial action, such as fleet modernization or replacement is not warranted at this time," a report produced last winter said.
Opposition MPs have questioned the ethics of granting the large contract without a public tendering process, and wondered why the government can find money quickly for Challenger jets but can't replace aging military equipment such as the navy's Sea King helicopters.
But the prime minister continues to insist purchasing the two jets was not a waste of taxpayers' money.
"We needed them," Chrétien said. "And it was decided by the administration to have jets for the operation of the government."
MH772 From Canada, joined Jul 2000, 68 posts, RR: 0 Reply 4, posted (10 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 1224 times:
I believe they were 2 604s because the PM said that his current line of VIP transport planes have been creating a lot of problems which has caused him to take up options on the 2 new 604s so that his safety can be assured. The Pres of Bombardier said that the new planes will be 99% reliable. So I guess the PM can now fly the skies with a bit more ease knowing that he's on a prety safe plane.
Squigee From Canada, joined May 2001, 652 posts, RR: 4 Reply 6, posted (10 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 1212 times:
There was an internal audit done by the DND, and they found on two occasions that the current planes were safe and reliable. Even if the PM was concerned with the older aircraft, why didn't they do the full tendering process, and allowed bids from all manufacturers and suppliers. The only reason the deal was rushed was to give patronage to Bombardier, a huge supporter of the Liberal party.
Someday, we'll look back at this, laugh nervously, and then change the subject.
Matt767 From Canada, joined Jun 2001, 36 posts, RR: 0 Reply 8, posted (10 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 1122 times:
This whole deal smells of patronage, the DND conducted a study into whether their was a need for fleet modernization as requested by the Privy Council Office (PCO), the DND found that their was NO need at all to replace the current fleet of challengers, the PCO was not happy with this and requested that the DND re do the study but go back more further in time and again the DND found again their was NO need for fleet modernization. But the PM ordered the planes anyways probley because Bombardier is a big liberal supporter. The average cost for a new challenger 604 is 21.8 Million US so that is 34.3 Million Canadian times 2=68.6 million dollars, what happened to the rest? The PM says the rest went to crew training and parts, well for the 601 and 604 have the same type rating? So you can use regular crews and you can probley use 80-90% of the same parts from the challenger 601.
That’s my opinion and what of the missing 31.4 Million dollars? Who knows?
9y-isa From Trinidad and Tobago, joined May 2001, 221 posts, RR: 1 Reply 9, posted (10 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 1075 times:
as far as I read about it, the price of the new 604's would have been offset by the sale of the older Challengers that are apparently "unsafe".
They were put up for sale, so 100million dollars even CDN currency, seems a bit to steep for a 30ish million dollar aircraft.
But for those of you not familiar to Canadian politics, it's the same as many other gov'ts, scratch my back I'll scratch yours etc. Whether or not the Bombardier family has relations to the PM's family (rumours?), it's good advertising for the Bombardier jet, and hey the Canadian gov't wouldn't dare buy a plane that wasn't Canadian built, or else all hell would break lose up here.....
L-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29350 posts, RR: 62 Reply 10, posted (10 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 1013 times:
it's good advertising for the Bombardier jet, and hey the Canadian gov't wouldn't dare buy a plane that wasn't Canadian built, or else all hell would break lose up here.....
Although I do agree there is no excuse for the Canadian Aviation Maufacturing base being what it is compared to it should be, I do wonder where that thought was when the Canadian government cancelled the EH-101 and the Iroquois engine, and the Arrow.
That is what you get when you by an airplane that is manufactured by Ski-Do.
Everybody knows that Polarias and Yamaha make better snowmobiles.:D
OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.