Peter MacKay calls Cyclone helicopter deal ’worst procurement’ in Canadian history

Defence Minister Peter MacKay says the Liberal deal to purchase a new fleet of helicopters for the air force was “the worst procurement in the history of Canada”, CBC reports.

The purchase of 28 CH-148 Cyclones from Sikorsky International Operation, was organized by the Chretien government in 1993, and is four years overdue. This week, the American aerospace company missed another deadline and the helicopter’s arrival continues to be delayed.

MacKay, in Halifax on Tuesday for a shipbuilding announcement, said the federal government is pushing as hard as possible to deliver the choppers.

“Timelines weren’t met. Timelines were broken,” MacKay told CTV news in Halifax, according to the Chronicle-Herald.

Although MacKay has been defence minister for almost five years, and mired in his own procurement problems, he says the delays are rooted in the original deal. The first Cyclone was supposed arrive in Canada in November 2008.