OTTAWA – Before seeking other options, and again delaying the delivery of the fleet, the NDP is calling on the Conservatives to design a new governance model for the troubled Cyclones procurement and present it to the National Defence Committee within 90 days for public study.
A recently released independent report indicated that failures in the Conservatives’ procurement process doomed the already flawed Cyclone helicopter purchase. The report recommended the development of a new governance plan within 90 days.
“This is another indictment of the Conservatives’ stunning inability to figure out whether equipment is off-the-shelf or developmental,” said NDP Defence critic Jack Harris (St. John’s East). “Worst of all, while the Conservatives spin their wheels, our navy has to make do with equipment that’s been around since Diefenbaker was prime minister.”
The report, commissioned by Public Works and Government Services Canada concluded that the project can be rectified, but the Conservatives must abandon their failed practices and adopt a successful model within 90 days to do so. While four helicopters have been delivered, none of them are fully operational.
“The Conservatives are as much to blame for this mess as the Liberals and they must take responsibility for their poor record on procurement,” said Harris. “let’s not forget, in 2008 they paid Sikorsky an extra $117 million to change the design of the choppers, leading to yet further delay.”