July 14th, 2015

Kenney must clarify comments on Cyclones

The NDP is calling on Defence Minister Jason Kenney to verify comments he made regarding a critical safety feature for the Cyclone Maritime Helicopters.

"The ability for the helicopter's main gearbox to run 30 minutes after a total loss of oil lubricant became crucial after the tragic crash of a Sikorsky helicopter off the coast of St. John's in 2009, claiming 17 lives. Sikorsky was required to meet this standard in its contract for the Cyclones," said NDP Defence critic Jack Harris (St. John' East).

Although it was reported last year that the Conservative government removed this requirement, along with other safety measures in renegotiations with Sikorsky, Minister Kenney recently assured reporters at a press conference in Halifax that the CH-148 gearbox would have this capability.

"If this is now the case, the Minister must be clear. I have written the Minister asking him to verify his remarks," said Harris.

"The men and women of the Canadian Forces deserve equipment that meets the highest standard of safety, which is why we have been critical of the Conservatives’ inability to ensure that Sikorsky will meet its requirements," said NDP deputy Defence critic Elaine Michaud (Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier).‎