Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Motor Coach sells four buses to Canadian military

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Winnipeg's Motor Coach Industries has inked a new deal to make buses for the Canadian military.

The Canadian Armed Forces will get four new highway cruiser buses for transportation of personnel under the terms of the $2.2-million contract announced Friday. An option for six more buses is part of the deal.

The buses will be built at the Winnipeg facility, which employs 900 people.

"We are so excited to be able to provide a product that makes our troops' lives more comfortable and safer as they travel," said Bryan Couch, MCI vice-president and general manager of operations.

"Our coaches are renowned for having the best safety record in the industry and I think it is very fitting that a Canadian-made product is transporting our troops across the country."

Couch said the buses will be the 2013 edition of the J4500 model, the best-selling coach in North America for the last nine years.

"This contract comes as MCI marks its 80th anniversary," he said. "It's worth noting that our first models were made for Canada's roughest roads and wildest frontiers. It's that integral strength that has driven our success right up to today."

Two of the new buses, which each seat 55, will replace older buses at CFB Shilo and CFB Wainwright in Alberta. The other two will be used at bases in Kingston and Meaford in Ontario.

CAF personnel will use the buses for transportation in day-to-day training for domestic and operational commitments and long-distance travel of troops.

MP Joyce Bateman (Winnipeg South Centre) made the announcement at the company's coach delivery centre in Winnipeg.

"Our Canada First Defence Strategy has committed us to ensuring the Canadian men and women in uniform have the equipment that they need while supporting our domestic industries," Bateman said.

"This contract is a terrific example of our government's commitment to using Canadian know-how to provide the Canadian Armed Forces with the vehicles they need."

ashley.prest@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 25, 2013 B2

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