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Failed bidder files trade challenge against Ottawa’s frigate design pick

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The federal government’s decision to select a group of companies led by Lockheed Martin Canada to design and support the construction of the navy’s new frigates is now facing a trade challenge, on top of a Federal Court challenge filed last week.

Alion Science and Technology Corp. and its subsidiary, Alion Canada, have asked the Canadian International Trade Tribunal to look into the procurement deal. They’re telling the tribunal that Lockheed Martin’s design will need substantial changes to meet the federal government’s requirements, which would mean higher costs and more delays.

The company last week separately asked the Federal Court for a judicial review and an order quashing the decision, which saw Public Services and Procurement Canada select Lockheed Martin Canada as the preferred bidder on the $60 billion program.

Alion pitched the De Zeven Provinciën Air Defence and Command (LCF) frigate, a Dutch-designed warship that is already in service in other countries.

More delays?

Depending upon how they play out, said defence procurement expert Dave Perry, both challenges have the potential to further delay the frigate program. Federal procurement officials had hoped to nail down a fully fledged design contract with Lockheed Martin by the winter.

Perry, who works with the Canadian Global Affairs Institute, said he expects those negotiations to continue — unless the Federal Court orders them to halt.

« Unless there is a compelling reason to stop, they are going to keep going, » he said. « There is a recognition of the urgency across the board. »

That urgency is partly due to the program’s legacy of delays, which have stretched the design competition out for almost two years.

Public Services and Procurement Canada would not comment on the matter because it is before the courts, but a senior official, speaking on background Thursday, said the federal government has up to 20 days to respond to the court challenge.

The official — who was not authorized to speak on the record because of the sensitivity of the file — said there is flexibility built into the timeline and the government is optimistic it can meet its goal of an early 2019 contract signing.

Perry said there are aspects of both the court challenge and the application to the Canadian International Trade Tribunal that he finds puzzling.

Alion claimed in its court filing that the winning bid was « incapable of meeting three critical mandatory requirements » of the design tender.

Speed bump

The company said, for instance, that the Type 26 cannot meet the mandatory speed requirements set out by the navy and that both Public Services and Procurement Canada and Irving Shipbuilding, the yard overseeing the construction, should have rejected the bid outright.

Perry said the criteria cited by Alion were among the first the federal government evaluated.

« The rest of Lockheed Martin’s bid wouldn’t have been looked at if the Crown and Irving was not satisfied that the bid met each of those [initial] criteria, » he said. « It’s a weird dynamic. »

Alion’s trade tribunal application argues in considerable detail that in order for the Type 26 to meet Ottawa’s speed requirement, it will have to undergo considerable redesign.

The court application also cites the fact that the design tender was amended 88 times and those changes « effectively diluted the [warship] requirements » and allowed the government and Irving to select « an unproven design platform. »

Unlike its two competitors, the Type 26 has yet to enter service with the Royal Navy. Competitors have privately knocked it as « paper ship. »

Navantia, a Spanish-based company, was the other bidder in the competition.



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Anglais

A stunning Water Lantern Festival is coming to Montreal

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What might just be the most magical night ever is coming up for Montreal this year.

The Water Lantern Festival has announced that it will be gracing Mississauga with thousands of floating lanterns later this year, as part of a celebration that spans the entire world.

According to the festival’s official website, the event is a celebration of life with proceeds going towards charities and non-profit organizations within the area.

“Water Lantern Festival brings together individuals from all ages, backgrounds, and walks of life to join in one emotional and memorable night. At the Water Lantern Festival, we cherish these moments and will do our best to help you have a memorable experience that you’ll never forget as you witness the beauty of thousands of lanterns reflecting upon the water,” the website states.

The festival takes place throughout multiple cities around the world, with the Canadian cities of Quebec, Regina, Vancouver, Hamilton, Calgary, Ottawa, Mississauga, and, of course, Montreal taking part.

For the Calgary event, a date has been confirmed and tickets are already rolling out. Montreal shan’t be far behind, and you can click the Notify Me tab on the event’s site to be kept in the loop.

Expect an evening filled with food trucks, music, lantern designing and finally, a magical launch of the lanterns into the water as the sun goes down.

For our pals over in Calgary, their event includes a floating lantern, a commemorative drawstring bag, a marker, and a wristband. Expect something similar, if not the same, when more details float through about Montreal’s event.

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Anglais

Euthanasia order on hold for Montreal dog that attacked children

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A pit bull dog that attacked four children and two adults in August 2018 in Montreal North will not be euthanized in the immediate future.

The euthanasia order has been temporarily suspended pending the appeal of a Quebec Superior Court decision.

On Tuesday, Judge Lukasz Granosik rejected a request to halt the euthanasia order issued by the Montreal North borough, which declared the animal a “dangerous dog.”

The City of Montreal has not changed its mind. This is only a delay before it proceeds with euthanizing the dog, a source told the Canadian Press.

Shotta, the one-year-old dog, was in the care of its owner’s acquaintance in August 2018. The dog attacked four children and two adults, causing serious injuries in separate incidents on the same day.

After the attacks, the dog was taken from the home and entrusted to the SPCA.

WATCH: Dog found dead in Angrignon Park

The Road to Home Rescue Support, an American shelter, asked the court if it could take in the dog. Christa Frineau, the dog’s owner, had also asked that Shotta not be euthanized.

Granosik refused to grant the request.

—With files from Global’s Kalina Laframboise

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Anglais

9 Things To Do In Montreal This Friday, Saturday & Sunday

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Today’s sunny skies have me itching to make weekend plans. I absolutely cannot wait to make the most of this warmer weather. This might be the time to inflate my bike tires and dust off my running shoes…

Whether you want to brush up on your cooking skills, let loose, or fill your stomach with amazing food, there’s an event out there for you. Read on for 9 fun things you can do with friends or a fling this weekend.

TL;DR Read on for 9 fun things you can do in Montreal this weekend.

Let Yourself Go At Dress Up

Where: 185 Avenue Van Horne, Montréal.

When: Friday, March 29, 9:00 p.m.

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