Ottawa's fixed-wing rescue plane plan delayed: reports
Prime Minister Stephen Harper responds to a question during question period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Wednesday, March 7, 2012. (Sean Kilpatrick / THE CANADIAN PRESS
Published Friday, March 9, 2012 6:41AM EST
OTTAWA - The Canadian Press has learned the Harper government's plan to buy new fixed-wing search-and-rescue planes has been delayed yet again.
The Defence Department is not going to issue a tender call to replace nearly 50-year-old C-115 Buffalos and C-130 Hercules transports until the spring of 2013.
The 3.1-billion dollar program has now been delayed almost a decade.
A 2010 air force assessment underscored the dire consequences of the repeated delays by warning that search-and-rescue capability could be imperilled if a contract wasn't in the pipeline immediately.
National Defence is facing cuts in the March 29th budget, but a spokesman for Associate Defence Minister Julian Fantino says the government remains committed to buying new search and rescue planes.