Union questions captive market fast-food chains given on military bases

According to a news report from canada.com, “Such fast-food outlets as Tim Hortons, Pizza Pizza and Subway are quietly popping up on military bases across the country in sole-source deals that “hand them a captive market,” says the Union of National Defence Employees.”

“It wants to challenge the legality of replacing base restaurants, canteens and cafeterias operated by the Canadian Forces Exchange System — known as CANEX — with food outlets and franchises without seeking bids from other suppliers,” said the story. “”What bothers us is these private sector companies are selling on Crown property to provide services to a captive market, the military troops and their families, without being publicly tendered. It raises the question of how many small businesses would love to put in a bid for such a captive market or say KFC or McDonald’s for that matter,” said UNDE President John MacLennan who intends to ask Auditor-General Sheila Fraser investigate.”

“We’re challenging these contracts. How can one arm of a department be exempt from contracting rules, the Federal Accountability Act, and fair competition? At the end of the day, they all answer to the Chief of Defence Staff who is a public servant.” But CANEX, which runs all retail and food services on bases, wings and units, is exempt from the contracting rules that govern National Defence and all other federal departments,” according to the article.

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