Bella Bella, British Columbia (January 24, 2019) – Heiltsuk Horizon Maritime Services Limited welcomes a decision by the Department of Public Works and Government Services (PWGSC) to follow a recommendation of the Canadian International Trade Tribunal (CITT), by re-evaluating the bids to supply two emergency towing vessels for the protection of Canada’s West Coast.
“We are pleased that Public Works has responded to our complaint with the bid process and plans to review the towing capacity of vessels proposed in all bids submitted,” said Chief Councillor Marilyn Slett of the Heiltsuk Nation, a majority partner in Heiltsuk Horizon Maritime Services Limited. “We’re confident with the new, state of the art vessels we’ve submitted, and we want to ensure the right emergency response vessels are in place to protect the vital coastal economies and fragile ecosystems of the British Columbia coast.”
Heiltsuk Horizon, which last year filed a complaint about the review process, was notified January 2 of CITT’s ruling that Public Works had deviated from its procurement process. The complaint contended that the winning bidder’s vessels, put into service on the BC coast last fall, did not meet the mandatory emergency towing power requirements.
“Together, with our partners, the Heiltsuk Nation, we are hopeful that today’s statement from Public Works represents a renewed commitment to Canada’s Oceans Protection Plan,” said, Steven Widmeyer, Chief Operating Officer, Horizon Maritime Services Limited. “Like all Canadians, we want to ensure that our country’s west coast is properly resourced, to prevent and respond to, marine incidents and emergencies.”
Hereditary Chief Harvey Humchitt was disappointed that the PWGSC failed in its response to acknowledge the Heiltsuk First Nation, a majority shareholder in Heiltsuk Horizon. Humchitt reiterated “Heiltsuk Horizon has the right vessels and the right West Coast team to keep our coastlines safe. It is time for Haitcistut – time for Canada to turn things around and make things right.”
For Comments from Chief Marilyn Slett, contact Heiltsuk Horizon Media:
heiltsukhorizon.ca | Cell: 343.883.8224