Minister of health (images borrowed from CBC & CP)


Niagara Falls, Ontario - Tuesday, May 13, 2003 - by: Joe Hueglin


In 1993 plans were to purchase the best helicopter available for both search and rescue operations and the navy. Though the tasks differed the airframe was to be the same yielding savings in maintenance.


Now in 2003 though the best helicopter, one with three rotors rather than two, a larger carrying capacity and range, has been purchased for search and rescue alterations in specifications have occurred for the still to be tendered military craft. Lowest bid has replaced best value and only two rotors rather than three are being required.
  Aside from the lessened range and carrying capacity as well as the dangers attendant upon having to land on the ocean should one engine fail, maintenance technicians will not be interchangeable between the two operations and inventory on two sets of parts will have to be maintained.
  Lowest bidder rather than best buy? Not the better of the choices available but "a rare move" that demands justification if it is to be the Government's final word.


Joe Hueglin



Thorne, Stephen, McCallum dismisses charges of political interference in helicopter bid process (PDF) May 12, 2003, National Post



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