From swimsuits to snow melters: Feds go shopping on Christmas Eve

The military is shopping for 15,000 swimsuits—but doesn't need them until summer

OTTAWA – Just like some Canadians, federal departments and agencies went shopping Christmas Eve.

The military is looking for 12,000 men’s swim suits, and 3,000 more swim suits for women, over the next three years for the Canadian Forces Leadership and Recruit School at Garrison St. Jean in St. Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que.

The men’s trunks are pretty standard — the pictures in the tender posted online Thursday were of a man in a regular bathing suit standing in nondescript room.

But the winning bidder will have to meet specific details for the women’s suits, including an O-back commonly seen on racers’ swim suits, “boyshort” legs and a decorative detail for “below bust.”

And despite the warm weather that meant no snow for many Canadians on Christmas Eve, the military posted another bid document for a portable snowmelter for use at CFB Trenton in eastern Ontario.

Santa need not worry about making the delivery quickly: the military doesn’t need the snowmelter until next summer, just in time for next Christmas.

That’s also about the same time that the National Gallery of Canada will want to have up to 40 new display cases to house its permanent collection of Canadian and aboriginal art.

The planned purchase is part of the gallery’s “signature project” for the 2017 when Canada will celebrate its 150th birthday.

The bid documents posted Thursday say the gallery wants a “new system of showcases” for the Canadian and Indigenous galleries to create a narrative of the “development of the visual arts in Canada through paintings, sculpture, decorative arts, photographs, and prints and drawings.”

There were no price tags attached to any of the bid requests.

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