Tri­bunal or­ders feds to post­pone con­tract in $60B war­ship project

Tillsonburg News - - NATIONAL NEWS - Lee Berthi­aume

at the sum­mit.

“self-deter­mi­na­tion isn’t about giv­ing gov­ern­ment to indige­nous groups. it’s about rec­og­niz­ing indige­nous gov­ern­ments and the rights that al­ready ex­ist, and have ex­isted since time im­memo­rial.”

miller, who gar­nered ap­plause af­ter open­ing his re­marks in mi’kmaq, quipped that he hoped his at­tempt at the indige­nous lan­guage “wouldn’t set our re­la­tions back 10 or 15 years.”

he added that indige­nous Peo­ples’ con­trol over their own ed­u­ca­tion — in their own lan­guage — is “not only a right but an es­sen­tial el­e­ment of iden­tity” and an im­por­tant part of self­gov­er­nance.

First Na­tions lead­ers from across Canada at­tended the re­gional sum­mit on self-gov­er­nance. The three-day event, which wraps up Thurs­day, is fo­cused on find­ing a path­way to na­tion­hood for indige­nous Peo­ples in the at­lantic re­gion known as mi’kma’ki.

The sec­ond day of the sum­mit fea­tured a panel with three for­mer assem­bly of First Na­tions na­tional chiefs: ovide mer­credi, matthew Coon Come and ge­orges eras­mus.

The indige­nous lead­ers spoke of their strug­gles to es­tab­lish sovereignty for their peo­ple and a path for­ward for the at­lantic re­gion.

eras­mus noted that indige­nous Peo­ples have been strongly in­flu­enced by the in­dian act for more than a hun­dred years.

he said First Na­tions in the at­lantic re­gion have the op­por­tu­nity to re­think what their gov­er­nance struc­ture should be.

“we all had our own sys­tem of gov­er­nance be­fore,” he said, not­ing that el­e­ments of the past that are still rel­e­vant could be rein­tro­duced.

mean­while, mer­credi said the assem­bly of First Na­tions should help indige­nous com­mu­ni­ties reestab­lish na­tion­hood.

“it should be proac­tive in terms of the de­vel­op­ment of laws — not with Canada, but with our peo­ple. it needs to re­di­rect its fo­cus away from giv­ing ad­vice to Canada, to giv­ing ad­vice to our peo­ple.”

oT­Tawa — The $60-bil­lion ef­fort to build new war­ships for Canada’s navy is fac­ing another de­lay af­ter a trade tri­bunal or­dered the fed­eral gov­ern­ment to post­pone a fi­nal con­tract for the ves­sels’ de­sign.

The fed­eral gov­ern­ment an­nounced last month that u.s. de­fence giant lock­heed martin beat out two ri­vals in the long and ex­tremely sen­si­tive com­pe­ti­tion to de­sign re­place­ments for the navy’s frigates and de­stroy­ers.

lock­heed’s de­sign was based on a brand-new class of frigates for the bri­tish navy called the Type 26. The com­pany is now ne­go­ti­at­ing a fi­nal con­tract with the gov­ern­ment and hal­i­fax-based irv­ing ship­build­ing, which will build the ships.

but one of the other two bid­ders, alion sci­ence and Tech­nol­ogy of vir­ginia, has asked the Cana­dian in­ter­na­tional Trade Tri­bunal and the Fed­eral Court to quash the gov­ern­ment’s de­ci­sion.

it says lock­heed’s de­sign did not meet the navy’s stated re­quire­ments and should have been dis­qual­i­fied. Two of those re­quire­ments re­lated to the ship’s speed, alion al­leged, while the third re­lated to the num­ber of crew berths

late Tues­day, the tri­bunal re­leased a one-page state­ment ordering the gov­ern­ment to “post­pone the award­ing of any con­tract ... un­til the Tri­bunal de­ter­mines the va­lid­ity of the herein com­plaint.”

alion has ar­gued that the rules of the com­pe­ti­tion re­quired the fed­eral pro­cure­ment depart­ment and irv­ing, which helped eval­u­ate the bids, to re­ject lock­heed’s bid be­cause of its non-com­pli­ance. in­stead, they se­lected it as the pre­ferred de­sign.

The com­pany also main­tains that its own pro­posed de­sign, which is based on a dutch frigate, met the navy’s re­quire­ments. it has said that it has re­ceived no in­for­ma­tion about why lock­heed’s bid was se­lected over its own, de­spite re­quests for an­swers.

lock­heed martin and Pub­lic ser­vices and Pro­cure­ment Canada de­clined to com­ment be­cause the mat­ter is be­fore the tri­bunal and fed­eral court. The third com­pany in the com­pe­ti­tion, span­ish firm Na­van­tia, has re­mained largely si­lent on lock­heed’s suc­cess­ful bid.

The gov­ern­ment is plan­ning to build 15 new war­ships start­ing in the next three or four years, which will re­place Canada’s ag­ing hal­i­fax-class frigates and re­tired iro­quois-class de­stroy­ers. They’re to be the navy’s back­bone for most of the cen­tury.

The bid by lock­heed, which also builds the F-35 stealth fighter and other mil­i­tary equip­ment, was con­tentious from the mo­ment the de­sign com­pe­ti­tion was launched in oc­to­ber 2016.

The fed­eral gov­ern­ment had orig­i­nally said it wanted a “ma­ture de­sign” for its new war­ship fleet, which was widely in­ter­preted as mean­ing a ves­sel that has al­ready been built and used by another navy.

but the first Type 26 frigates are only now be­ing built by the bri­tish gov­ern­ment and the de­sign has not yet been tested in full op­er­a­tion.

There were also com­plaints from in­dus­try that the deck was stacked in the Type 26’s favour be­cause of irv­ing’s con­nec­tions with bri­tish ship­builder bae, which orig­i­nally de­signed the Type 26 and part­nered with lock­heed to of­fer the ship to Canada.

irv­ing also worked with bae in 2016 on an ul­ti­mately un­suc­cess­ful bid to main­tain the Cana­dian navy’s new arc­tic pa­trol ves­sels and sup­ply ships.

irv­ing and the fed­eral gov­ern­ment have re­peat­edly re­jected such com­plaints, say­ing they con­ducted numer­ous con­sul­ta­tions with in­dus­try and used a va­ri­ety of fire­walls and safe­guards to en­sure the choice was com­pletely fair.

THE CANA­DIAN PRESS fIlES

At a sum­mit on First Na­tions self-gov­er­nance in Hal­i­fax, Marc Miller, the par­lia­men­tary sec­re­tary to the fed­eral Crown-Indige­nous Re­la­tions min­is­ter, told del­e­gates that the pa­ter­nal­is­tic con­straints of the In­dian Act lead di­rectly to de­pen­dency, iso­la­tion and in­dig­ni­ties.

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