Wheatley shipbuilder angry ferry contract goes to Chile
A Canadian company has lost out to one from Chile for the new Pelee Island ferry contract.
After a lengthy consultation and bidding process, the 55-year-old Pelee Islander is set to be replaced. By 2018, the Pelee Islander will come into port for the last time.
A Chilean company, Asenav received the $40 million contract to build a new ferry.
Not everyone is pleased with the development.
A Wheatley-based shipbuilder is up in arms that the company chosen by the government to build it is thousands of miles away.
Hike Metal Products applied for the contract, but the owner says his company was quickly disqualified without a reason.
“I’m devastated. It's preposterous that our government would pull something like this. It’s definitely put a sour taste in my mouth, no doubt,” says Hike president Andy Stanton.
“We've just given them this $40 million contract. That’s yours and my tax money streaming out of the country. I think it's absolutely diabolical.”
Stanton says if the contract stayed local, it would have created about 75 direct jobs and 50 sub-contracting jobs.
In a statement to CTV News, Ministry of Transportation spokesperson Liane Fischer said Asenav submitted the best value bid.
“Ontario follows non-discriminatory and geographically neutral procurement practices. An independent fairness monitor participated in the procurement, including the evaluations, to ensure a fair, open and transparent process."