Vancouver Sun

Federal government shelled out for Bombardier study

- ROSS MAROWITS

MONTREAL Canadian taxpayers spent almost $500,000 on a study of Bombardier that was launched months before the Montreal company asked the federal government for US$1 billion for its CSeries commercial aircraft, according to documents obtained by The Canadian Press.

Industry Canada agreed to pay $499,930 to Deloitte Inc. to prepare a financial and market as- sessment of Bombardier, said a revised contract obtained through an access-to-informatio­n request.

That’s higher than the original contract for $464,430 before Deloitte’s deadline to compile the report by Dec. 4 was extended to March 31. Details about the objective of the report were redacted. The government declined to provide the final report, citing clauses under the Access to Informatio­n Act that prevent it from releasing informatio­n that could harm Bom- bardier’s competitiv­e position.

The study was ordered in August by the previous Conservati­ve government. The Liberal government later reportedly hired Morgan Stanley to help advise it on the funding request made in December by Bombardier. Details about that contract weren’t immediatel­y available.

A spokesman for Economic Developmen­t Minister Navdeep Bains said the government hasn’t made a final decision on Bombar- dier’s request.

Bombardier is working with the Quebec government to finalize an agreement by June 30 on its commitment to invest $1 billion in the CSeries.

Quebec wants the CSeries venture to be spun off into a separate entity, with Ottawa taking a onethird stake. That would take the troubled jet program off the company’s books and boost its shortterm financial results.

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