Chopper causes political controversy

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Paul Teutul Sr. and co. are building a bike for Shaq.
When Paul Teutul Sr. showed up with the bike in 2009, it featured a sidecar configured to take a stretcher. Photo: AVCanada.ca

A chopper parked inside Ontario air ambulance ORNGE’s headquarters is causing political outrage, but not the kind you’d think.

There’s a big stir over the bike in Ontario’s provincial legislature, but it’s not because of loud pipes or missing turn signals. Instead, the provincial opposition partoes are calling the Orange County Choppers bike a symbol of questionable dealings, says the Toronto Star.

The bike was given to ORNGE by Italian company Agusta Westland, who also supplied the provincial service with its helicopters. Now, all sorts of ORNGE’s financial dealings are under scrutiny, company execs are being fired, and a scandal is well underway. The company gets $150 million every year from Ontario taxpayers, and investigators are trying to find if that cash was used unethically.

ORNGE spokesman Gannon Loftus says the bike was originally intended to be auctioned off to raise funds for ORNGE. On the other hand, the Star reports ORNGE called the chopper a “trophy bike” when it was unveiled in 2009.

PC MLA Frank Klees says the bike is just a symbol of the way ORNGE’s leaders ran the air ambulance service, and the bike, along with a lot of ORNGE employees, have no place in the company’s offices.

Lest you feel the need to call the PCs a bunch of spoilsports for getting upset over the bike, get this – even NDP health critic France Gélinas agrees, saying the bike epitomizes the issues are ORNGE, and keeping the machine around in the middle of the scandal raises a red flag.

So, who knows? If you actually want a Orange County Choppers bike, there could be one on the auction block soon – with a very motivated seller.

 

1 COMMENT

  1. […] The bike was an asset of the troubled ORNGE air ambulance service, donated by Italian helicopter company AgustaWestland; they also supplied ORNGE with helicopters. Now, ORNGE is being worked over by forensic auditors, and politicos were calling the machine a symptom of the outfit’s alleged corruption. We told you all about it back in January. […]

  2. OMG Ontario has been pissing away money from equalization payments for 30 years now and they are all of a sudden worried about a $50000 bike. What about the billions of dollars that us Albertains have been pumping into the east just to keep their lights on and them up to their armpits in bureaucracy.

  3. I believe ‘The Star’ also reported that it had been put up for auction at one point, but didn’t generate high enough bids. What a surprise…
    Want an Orange turd in your living room?

  4. Well the Purchase Order just specified a custom Chopper ..
    Easy mistake.
    Relax, the crate of Uzis were intercepted customs and returned

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