Emergency towing vessels
On August 9, 2018, Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC), on behalf of the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG), awarded a contract to Atlantic Towing Limited for the chartering services of two emergency offshore towing vessels (ETVs) as part of the Oceans Protection Plan (OPP).
- The Government is committed to investing in the Canadian Coast Guard to ensure it can provide the vital services needed by Canadians, while also growing our economy and creating jobs
- Following an open, fair and competitive process, Atlantic Towing Ltd. of Saint John, New Brunswick, was awarded a three-year contract worth $67M for the lease of two emergency towing vessels
- These vessels will provide an interim heavy-towing capacity for three-years as a long term strategy is developed
If pressed on Heiltsuk Horizon legal challenge:
- Public Services and Procurement Canada is committed to fair, open, and transparent procurement to procure goods and services at best value for Canadians
- On November 1, 2019, PSPC received the CITT’s Statement of Reasons for its determination regarding Horizon Heiltsuk’s additional complaints (PR-2019-020 and 025)
- We are confident that we have taken the appropriate steps to ensure that this procurement process was conducted properly and fairly
- Therefore, the Government has filed an application for Judicial Review of the CITT determination with the Federal Court of Appeal
- PSPC cannot comment on any aspect of this matter as it is currently before the courts
On February 5, 2018, PSPC issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the lease of two ETVs under the OPP to meet an immediate need for increased emergency response capacity on the West Coast. Industry and stakeholders were consulted extensively on this process and the requirements for this contract, and all parties were given several opportunities to provide input.
On August 9, 2018, Atlantic Towing Ltd., Saint John, N.B., was awarded a three-year contract worth $67M (taxes included) for the lease of two ETVs. The contract includes up to 7 one-year options for extensions.
The first ETV vessel entered into service in November 2018 and the second ETV entered into service in December 2018.
Heiltsuk Nation had created a joint venture with Halifax-based Horizon Maritime Services Ltd to submit a bid proposal for this requirement. Heiltsuk Horizon has submitted several complaints to the Canadian International Trade Tribunal (CITT) about the fairness of the bid evaluation process.
A partial re-evaluation was conducted in response to the initial complaint and confirmed the original results.
On October 18, 2019, the CITT determined that Heiltsuk Horizon’s second and third complaints (PR-2019-020 and PR-2019-025) were valid in-part.
On November 1, 2019, the CITT issued the reasons for its determination. The CITT dismissed allegations that the Crown was biased and that it improperly allowed bid repair during the re-evaluation of one of the mandatory requirements (MR). This requirement, MR-12, outlines the Bollard pull (i.e. the towing capacity of the vessel). However, the CITT determined that the complaints are valid in-part, recommending a further re-evaluation of MR-12. In the CITT’s view, the re-evaluators’ interpretation of MR-12 was unreasonable and inconsistent with the language of MR-12.
The contract with Atlantic Towing remains in place given the importance of the services provided by the emergency offshore towing vessels in the context of Canada’s Oceans Protection Plan.
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