Toronto — Streetcar Content Ruling
Rail Transit Online, January 2008
The Canadian content of 204 new streetcars the Toronto Transit Commission is planning to order must be at least 25 percent. The 7C board made its ruling during a Dec. 18 meeting after rejecting a demand by organized labor for a 60-percent figure. similar to Buy America provisions in the United States.
Consultants Booz Allen Hamilton, hired to investigate the issue. had warned the 7C that a mandatory content higher than
25 percent could force all potential bidders out of the competition except for hometown favorite Bombardier. This could cause political controversy since the city has already awarded Bombardier a $674-million no-bid subway car contract. Should Bombardier get the streetcar job, Canadian content would be much higher than the minimum set by the TTC. Other manufacturers who have indicated they would participate are Siemens,
Alstom, Skoda and Vossloh-Kiepe.
"We have struck the right balance between good competition and preserving good manufacturing jobs in Canada," said TTC Vice Chairman Joe Mihevc. TTC Chairman Adam Giambrone compromised with activists seeking more local jobs by proposing an increase in Canadian content for up to 480 vehicles that would be ordered under a planned streetcar and light rail expansion scheme.