Metrolinx, Bombardier court battle continues today

Metrolinx and Bombardier will be in court on Tuesday for an injunction hearing amid an ongoing court battle in which the provincial agency aims to make it clear the Canadian manufacturing giant hasn't lived up to its contract obligations.

Bombardier "is in default of an $870.5 million agreement" to provide Metrolinx with light rail vehicles, notes the latest legal argument provided to the courts, and supplied to CBC Toronto by Metrolinx.

"Metrolinx has repeatedly warned Bombardier of the concerns about its performance and delays, yet Bombardier has failed to take any meaningful corrective action," reads the final factum from Metrolinx.

"As a result, Metrolinx had no realistic choice but to deliver a notice of intention to terminate its contract with Bombardier, and begin to prepare contingency plans to move forward with another supplier."

Bombardier filed the injunction in February with the goal of preventing Metrolinx from terminating its contract. Metrolinx, which helps co-ordinate transportation in the greater Toronto and Hamilton area, has been looking for alternate suppliers for the Eglinton-Crosstown and the Finch West light rail transit lines in Toronto.

"Metrolinx remains determined to get good value and high-quality light rail vehicles for the Eglinton Crosstown and Finch West LRT projects," said spokesperson Anne Marie Aikins in a statement provided to CBC Toronto.

She said the agency "will make it clear to the courts that Bombardier defaulted on its contract obligations, and termination of the contract is appropriate if we believe they cannot honour their contract."

Metrolinx previously alleged the manufacturer has repeatedly failed to deliver a prototype vehicle on time for the scheduled 2021 opening of the $5.3-billion Eglinton Crosstown line.

On Monday, Aikins said the pilot vehicle still hasn't met basic requirements, including moving under its own power, having working brakes, or taking power from an overhead line.

Bombardier says it's 'on track' to deliver vehicles

In a statement also released on Monday, Bombardier said the company is "on track" to deliver the light rail vehicles (LRVs) necessary to support the 2021 opening of the Eglinton Crosstown, "notwithstanding the pending contractual dispute with Metrolinx."

"Static testing of the first pilot vehicle has successfully demonstrated brake and high-voltage operation, as well as confirmed the functionality of major subsystems," the statement continued.

The manufacturer said it is ready to ship a second pilot vehicle from its Thunder Bay facility to its Kingston LRV Centre of Excellence, where it will begin dynamic testing later this spring. After its arrival, the first pilot vehicle will be sent to Ottawa to undergo climate testing, according to the statement.

"These actions clearly demonstrate that Bombardier is fully capable of delivering the LRVs necessary to support namely the Eglinton Crosstown project," said Mark McGregor, project manager for Bombardier Transportation.