Metrolinx speaking with alternate light rail vehicle supplier amid court battle with Bombardier

File photo of a Bombardier light rail vehicle. Global News

MONTREAL – Ontario transportation agency Metrolinx says it has been in discussions with an alternate light rail vehicle supplier as it continues a court battle with manufacturer Bombardier.

Metrolinx, which helps co-ordinate transportation in the greater Toronto and Hamilton area, said in an Ontario court filing Thursday that talks with an unnamed supplier are designed to ensure “the urgent supply” of vehicles for the Eglinton Crosstown line in Toronto.

It noted the number of potential suppliers is limited because it would have to comply with Canadian content requirements.

READ MORE: Bombardier files injunction against Metrolinx over notice to end contract

Metrolinx submitted the lengthy legal document, including affidavits, in response to an injunction filed last month by Bombardier that aims to prevent the provincial agency from terminating its $770-million contract for 182 vehicles.

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It alleges that Bombardier (TSX:BBD.B) has repeatedly failed to deliver a prototype vehicle on time for the scheduled 2021 opening of the $5.3-billion line, citing deficiencies in Bombardier’s operations in Mexico and Thunder Bay, Ont.

Metrolinx says Bombardier’s injunction effort is a tactic to force it into months of litigation that would make it impossible for another supplier to provide the vehicles in time.

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

Bombardier responded by saying it rejects the allegations made by Metrolinx. The Montreal-based company says Metrolinx’s reasons for wishing to end the contract have nothing to do with its ability to deliver.

Bombardier said in statement that it is able to deliver the vehicles on time by November 2018, well before the Eglinton Crosstown tracks are even built.

It says Metrolinx has refused to inspect the pilot vehicle since October and won’t use a dispute resolution process included in the contract.

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