Mayor seeks assurance on Edmonton LRT timeline after Bombardier concerns in Toronto

Click to play video: 'Why Edmonton is keeping a close eye on Bombardier’s Toronto problems'
Why Edmonton is keeping a close eye on Bombardier’s Toronto problems
WATCH ABOVE: The City of Edmonton is keeping a close eye on a key partner in its Valley Line LRT project. Bombardier has run into problems on a project in Toronto. Tom Vernon reports on why that has some in Edmonton concerned – Nov 4, 2016

After word that Toronto’s transit authority filed a notice to end its contract with Bombardier for an LRT project, questions were raised about Edmonton’s Valley Line.

Ontario’s transit authority, Metrolinx, filed a notice of intention to terminate its contract with Bombardier Friday due to the pace of production of light rail vehicles for its Eglinton Crosstown LRT.

READ MORE: Metrolinx files notice to end contract with Bombardier for Eglinton Crosstown 

In Edmonton, Bombardier is part of the public-private partnership consortium known as TransEd building the new Valley Line from downtown to Mill Woods. The line is scheduled to be operational by 2020 and there is tremendous pressure on the consortium to deliver on time.

“None of the contract partners get paid if any single contract partner fails to deliver on time,” Mayor Don Iveson said.

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He said TransEd “for now remains confident Bombardier will be able to deliver along the timeline.”

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Learning from the delays with the Metro Line, which still isn’t running at full speed more than two years after it was scheduled to open, the city has built very strong expectations into the contract with TransEd.

READ MORE: ‘Don’t let idiots build your transit’: Reporter rips into Edmonton’s Metro LRT Line 

“I have reached out to them through the city manager to get assurance from them, in no uncertain terms, that they remain confident in all aspects of their team,” Iveson stressed.

“If they start to think they may miss some of those milestones, that will be extremely expensive for them,” the mayor said.

For its part, TransEd said everything in Edmonton is on schedule and not connected to Toronto’s project.

“Bombardier is a partner in TransEd and everything is on schedule for the Valley Line LRT,” Sue Heuman, a communications manager, said.

“The Toronto project is completely unrelated to the Valley Line project and we wouldn’t comment on any projects in other jurisdictions.”

READ MORE: Bombardier says it has been awarded part of Edmonton’s Valley Line LRT project 

Meanwhile, in Toronto, Metrolinx spokesperson Anne Marie Aikins confirmed the transit agency has taken action that may quash its $770-million contract with the Quebec-based plane and train manufacturer.

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“I can confirm we issued a notice of intention to terminate. This doesn’t mean the contract with Bombardier for Toronto LRV projects is cancelled however,” Aikins said in a statement.

“There have been some concerns about Bombardier’s performance as there have been significant quality and manufacturing issues that, to-date, have not been resolved. As a result, we have taken the next step available to us through our contract.”

Bombardier said in a statement on Friday they are aware of the notice but that it is a “normal contractual” and not legal procedure initiated by Metrolinx.

With files from Tom Vernon and David Shum, Global News

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