Judge blocks Metrolinx from cancelling Bombardier rail contract for now - Business


Metrolinx can't just tear up its $770-million contract with Bombardier for light rail vehicles, a Toronto judge has ruled.

Glenn Hainey of the Superior Court of Justice granted the transportation company an injunction in the case that prevents the Greater Toronto Area's transit authority from cancelling a deal — at least for now.

Metrolinx wanted to get out of the contract because of repeated delays from Bombardier in living up to its end of the bargain to supply 182 vehicles for a planned transit expansion that has had its plans, expected rollout and cost structure change repeatedly.

The judge's ruling means the "mandatory multi-step dispute resolution process" must be followed. In effect, it compels both sides to go back to the bargaining table to work out a solution.

Bombardier filed the lawsuit in February after Metrolinx accused the company last summer of being in breach of the contract it signed in 2010. 

Metrolinx alleges that Bombardier has repeatedly failed to deliver a prototype vehicle on time for the scheduled 2021 opening of the $5.3-billion Eglinton Crosstown line, and says the company's injunction is a tactic to force it into months of litigation that would make it impossible to find anyone else who could supply it with enough vehicles on time.

Bombardier rejects Metrolinx's allegations, saying it will deliver the vehicles on time by November 2018, well before the Eglinton Crosstown tracks are even built.

In a statement Wednesday, Bombardier said it was pleased with the court ruling. "The decision confirms our belief that Metrolinx acted inappropriately in seeking to avoid the dispute resolution provisions of the contract."

"It is our hope that today's ruling will now allow the parties to focus on delivering the light rail expansion projects on time and on budget," Bombardier said. "We are eager to sit down with Metrolinx to find a clear path forward; one that delivers value to all parties: Bombardier, Metrolinx and the people of Ontario."

"We are reviewing the decision and identifying the best path forward," Metrolinx president and CEO John Jensen said. "We will take the appropriate time to finalize details."

The court ruling means the contract could still be nixed, but a lengthy process must be undertaken before that happens.

Read more http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/metrolinx-bombardier-light-rail-1.4075589?cmp=rss