Computer hardware still in the packaging

Du matériel informatique encore dans l’emballage

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Nearly 7,000 pieces of electronic equipment intended for emergency services québec, including radio, sleep in a warehouse for nearly ten years, despite the millions invested by Québec in these facilities and the risk that they become obsolete.

At the end of the last year, not least of 6819 29 264 technological equipment purchased in 2009 by the Centre des services partagés du Québec (CSPQ) were still sealed in their packaging, learned about The Newspaper.

It had been almost ten years that some of these devices, intended in particular for the Sûreté du Québec and the pre-hospital emergency services, sleep in a warehouse.

“Ten years is an eternity,” says Florent Parent, professor of electrical engineering and computer science at the University Laval.

Among these facilities, the CSPQ has acquired 7783 radios of an emergency (see box). It was not possible to know how many of these radios are always stored.

This long-term storage, that could make these obsolete equipment, according to experts consulted by The Newspaper, costs approximately $ 200,000 per year to taxpayers. This amount includes the cost of rent, monitoring, security, and the compensation of two clerks warehouse.

This invoice adds up to 346 Million$ invested so far in this controversial program of radio, dubbed RÉSEAU. Originally, the RÉSEAU had to be completed in 2008 and cost “only” $144 Million.


Asked to justify the situation, the CSPQ indicates that the use of this material is ” as the deployment with the customer “, as the SQ and the ambulance services.

The organization ensures that, despite a long-term storage over many years, these devices are not “outdated” and that they ” will be used for the system RÉSEAU “

Experts, however, fear that the computer equipment and stored can be damaged, if the environment in which it is located has not been controlled.

These specialists also believe that changes in technology may render the instruments invalid in the long term.

“Temperature controlled “

“It is well-maintained, and the temperature there is controlled “, argues a spokesman for the CSPQ in an e-mail.

However, it has been impossible to verify the claims of the body, he refused the Newspaper access to the stored material.

The CSPQ ensures that all equipment will be in service by the summer. The organization adds that the acquisition of this equipment, in 2009, has allowed Quebec to achieve economies of scale, which he estimated at$53 Million.


Portable Radio dual-band (VHF-700/800)

  • Average cost : 6538 $
  • Purchase of 615 radios
  • Total:$4 Million


Mobile Radio XTS 5000

  • Average cost : 5546 $
  • Purchase of 2598 radios
  • Total:$14.4 Million


Mobile Radio XTL 5000

  • Average cost : 6524 $
  • Purchase of 4570 radio
  • Total : 29.8 Million$
  • Total since 2009 to portable radios and mobile:$48 Million