UPDATE: Judge blocks Metrolinx bid to cancel contract with Bombardier
A judge has put the brakes on Metrolinx's bid to cancel a $770 Million contract with Bombardier for light rail vehicles.
The vehicles would serve the Eglinton Crosstown and Finch West LRTs.
The court ruling grants the company's request for an injunction to keep the transit agency from terminating the deal without first undergoing a dispute resolution process.
Metrolinx wanted to look at other suppliers, claiming the delays would put the project behind schedule.
In a statement on the ruling, Metrolinx President & CEO John Jensen says, "Nothing in today's decision changes our focus on delivering high-quality vehicles on time. We remain uncompromising on that point. We are reviewing the decision and identifying the best path forward. We will take the appropriate time to finalize details."
Bombardier says it will be able to deliver the vehicles on time.
The company issued the following statement Wednesday afternoon:
"We are very pleased with the Court’s ruling. The decision confirms our belief that Metrolinx acted
inappropriately in seeking to avoid the dispute resolution provisions of the contract.
The hundreds of Bombardier Transportation employees in Ontario are committed to the success of
the light rail expansion projects, and we are on track to deliver high quality, state-of-the-art vehicles
on time to support the Eglinton Crosstown expansion.
It is unfortunate that Bombardier had to resort to the Courts to resolve this matter, and it is our hope
that today’s ruling will now allow the parties to focus on delivering the light rail expansion projects
on time and on budget.
We are eager to sit down with Metrolinx to find a clear path forward; one that delivers value to all
parties: Bombardier, Metrolinx and the people of Ontario.
Ultimately, we are all focused on the same goal – advancing the projects and ensuring that the
people of the GTHA have the most efficient, comfortable and reliable transit system in the world."
Metrolinx is a provincial government agency and the opposition at Queen's Park is calling for better government oversight.
Progressive Conservative Transportation Critic Michael Harris says the delays and court proceedings will end up costing taxpayers. "The Metrolinx/Bombardier contract spat and now court ordered injunction is a complete mess that, frankly, falls directly at the feet of the Wynne Liberals," Harris says.
Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca has issued a written statement. It reads:
"My priority is to deliver the transit that the people of the GTHA expect and deserve, and to do so on-time and on-budget. As I have said previously, I expect all of our suppliers to honour their contractual obligations, perform professionally, and to recognize that there are consequences for failing to do so.
Metrolinx has been consistently escalating their concerns with Bombardier's ability to deliver quality vehicles on the schedule required. Instead of focusing on delivering vehicles, Bombardier has chosen to litigate.
The injunction application has now been considered in court. Over the coming weeks we will carefully assess today's decision, as well as what options are available to us, to ensure that we can achieve our project timelines, while at the same time ensuring proper value for money."
With files from the Canadian Press