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Military truck deal set for jump start

OTTAWA - The federal government is set to jump-start its stalled, multimillion-dollar program to replace the military's aging truck fleet.

The Public Works Department is scheduling a series of meetings later this month with companies vying for a contract for 1,500 new medium-sized logistics trucks for the Canadian Forces.

A notice posted on a government contracts website says the meetings are meant to help Public Works "validate" its approach to the long-delayed truck purchase.

The government abruptly cancelled the truck contract last summer, three minutes before the deadline for bids.

An email to bidders blamed "economic, marketplace and budgetary circumstances" for the cancellation.

The new Standard Military Pattern Vehicles were to replace the current fleet of trucks, which has been in use since the 1980s.

But the vehicles are reaching the end of their service life; After more than two decades of service, the trucks are rusted out and have brake problems.

Former Defence Minister Gordon O'Connor first announced the program to great fanfare back in 2006.

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