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Ottawa OKs Boeing’s participation in fighter jet competition following Bombardier spat

The federal government says Boeing has been approved to participate in an upcoming competition to replace Canada's CF-18s. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

The federal government says Boeing has been approved to participate in an upcoming competition to replace Canada’s CF-18s, though the U.S. aerospace giant says it still hasn’t decided whether it will actually bid.

READ MORE: Canada launches contest for 88 fighter jets, with clause taking aim at Boeing trade challenge

Public Services and Procurement Canada says Boeing, which makes the Super Hornet jet, is one of five companies approved as potential bidders in the multibillion-dollar competition to deliver 88 new aircraft.

Boeing had remained on the fence when asked whether it would throw its hat in the ring, saying it was waiting to see how the government would run the competition, which will formally kick off next year.

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The comments appeared to be in response to the government’s plan to change future competitions for military equipment, including fighter jets, to penalize companies deemed to be hurting Canada’s economic interests.

The proposed change is believed to be a direct response to Boeing’s complaints against Bombardier over the latter’s C Series passenger jet, which were largely thrown out last month by the U.S. International Trade Commission.

READ MORE: Boeing not backing down on Bombardier challenge as Canada pivots on jet search

Still, even though Boeing has been allowed to participate, company spokesman Scott Day says the company is continuing to monitor the process and still hasn’t decided whether to submit a formal bid.

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