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Global Affairs issues export permit to B.C. company that said five-month delay threatened contract


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OTTAWA — Within hours of a National Post story on a backlog at Global Affairs Canada threatening a B.C. firm’s multi-million-dollar defence contract, the government issued the export permit.

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“We kind of caught their attention,” said Greg Menzies, president of Current Scientific Corp., based in Port Coquitlam.

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Menzies’s company has a contract to supply optics systems to patrol boats owned by the Indian navy. He told the Post this week that the contract was in jeopardy as a result of GAC’s five-month delay in issuing export permits.

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The first shipment of the order sat for weeks in Current’s loading dock, waiting for government approval to ship the items to India.

The order needed to be shipped by Thursday to make the contractual deadline, he told the Post.

Menzies said he got a phone call from a senior GAC manager on Wednesday evening, shortly after the Post contacted the government department for comment.

“Last night, at 9 p.m., we got a message that our export permit had been approved,” he said.

Even though Menzies and his employees are breathing a sigh of relief, he said delays in processing export permits are only getting longer.

“In the past it used to be 10 days — 40 days for the worse-case scenario,” Menzies said.

“Five-and-a-half months is too long.”

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