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December 17, 2018 | Local, Land

Trudeau says Canada wants out of $13 billion deal to sell armored vehicles to Saudi Arabia

Bloomberg News, Natalie Obiko Pearson

Canada was looking for a way out of a US$13 billion deal to export armored vehicles to Saudi Arabia, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a televised interview Sunday.

“We are engaged with the export permits to try and see if there is a way of no longer exporting these vehicles to Saudi Arabia,” Trudeau told CTV on Sunday, without elaborating.

Amid growing international outrage over the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the government has been reviewing the planned sale of the armored vehicles made by London, Ontario-based General Dynamics Land Systems, a unit of U.S.-based General Dynamics Corp.

Trudeau's administration has said it wouldn't issue new export permits during its review of the deal, which was signed by the previous government.

The Canadian leader had indicated previously that his government's hands were somewhat tied by the contract, saying it could cost $1 billion to cancel it.

“The murder of a journalist is absolutely unacceptable and that's why Canada from the very beginning had been demanding answers and solutions on that,” Trudeau told CTV.

On the same subject

  • Leonardo’s AW139 supporting COVID-19 operations in Canada

    May 28, 2020 | Local, Security

    Leonardo’s AW139 supporting COVID-19 operations in Canada

    Posted on May 28, 2020; by Leonardo Helicopters During the spread of COVID-19, Leonardo has seen operators of its aircraft adapt, react and overcome the challenges posed by the pandemic across geographies. Air ambulance operators Ornge and STARS have managed to continue conducting life-saving missions across Canada throughout the emergency. Both of these healthcare organizations have shared with Leonardo how they were adapting to the ‘new normal' and how the Leonardo AW139 helicopter has been supporting their patient transportation missions during these difficult times. STARS serves Western Canada, catering to remote areas and communities as well as highways and passenger transportation. The provinces STARS operates in includes Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. The air ambulance operator is seeing around 12 per cent of its missions involve patients with influenza-like illnesses, which may include COVID-19. “Our team has adapted very well to the challenges posed by COVID-19. We have undertaken significant efforts to develop and train crews on enhanced procedures and secure supplies of critical equipment to protect our crews,” said Mike Haska, director of marketing and communications at STARS. Ornge also shared similar sentiments and emphasized how the great people behind these organizations are ensuring it is business as usual despite these trying times. “Like every healthcare organization, the health and safety of Ornge staff and patients is our top priority. Ornge staff have adapted to the pandemic and helped implement a number of innovative solutions including enhanced telemedicine support, an expanded critical care land ambulance program and more,” said Joshua McNamara, public relations officer at Ornge. Ornge is a vital lifeline to the people of Ontario and its AW139 fleet, comprising of a dozen helicopters alongside aircraft and land ambulances, performs duties from one of 12 bases across the province. Both operators are adhering to guidelines and directives from the provinces' health authorities as well as Transport Canada regulations. The twin-engine AW139 is operated around the world and, in September 2019, the 1,000th helicopter of the type was delivered. The helicopter is an ideal EMS platform with its spacious and configurable cabin which can accommodate up to 15 people. “The AW139 is a state of the art aircraft allowing Ornge to access patients in remote locations. Additionally, the AW139 travels faster and allows our crews to transport patients safely due to state of the art navigation and on board technology,” added McNamara. “The range, speed, and versatility of the aircraft allow us to respond to a variety of types of patient transports, which is critical as we respond to COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients across the province.” Within the STARS fleet portfolio are three AW139s, alongside other aircraft, which enable the air ambulance operator to operate 24-7. “The AW139 is a modern and capable helicopter for EMS operations. We continue to see steady mission volumes across our bases so ensuring we are ready to respond to patients in need, whether their medical circumstances involve COVID-19 or not, is crucial,” Haska commented. The AW139 has been adapted to the challenges posed by the pandemic — not only are the crew more adept and learned with wearing PPE but they have adapted the helicopter's configuration and equipment placement within each aircraft to suit the mission, Haska explained. He continued that “select equipment or supplies [can] be off-loaded prior to responding to a COVID-19 positive or suspected patient to reduce the amount of decontamination required post-mission.” STARS' air medical crews are extremely experienced and highly trained to deal with many types of infectious diseases, so the team's existing processes were able to deal with the COVID-19 threat well. However, the frequency has increased by which the crews use PPE such as masks, gowns and gloves on all types of missions during this time. “This is to ensure our staff are not required to self-isolate in the event a patient is later found to have been COVID-positive. This helps us ensure we can maintain 24-7 operations across our bases,” explained Haska. This approach is similar to Ornge which has enhanced its cleaning to high touch areas. “Leonardo has provided Ornge with instruction for approved methods of disinfection in the cockpit and cabin for the AW139. The company remains supportive and responsive and continues to provide seamless support for maintenance activities since the onset of COVID-19,” said McNamara. “We're also grateful that, as the world faces a strain on the supply chain due to numerous requests and organizational shutdowns, Leonardo's supply chain remains uninterrupted and Ornge continues to receive the necessary parts to maintain our aircraft.” As operators like STARS and Ornge continue to meet the threat of COVID-19 head-on, Leonardo plays a key role in the work of the air ambulance services and the crucial role they play in transporting people by providing and supporting helicopters which undertake life-saving missions around the world, day after day.

  • Canada's defence spending hasn't made it a NATO pariah — but that could change, ex-diplomat warns | CBC News

    April 24, 2023 | Local, Other Defence

    Canada's defence spending hasn't made it a NATO pariah — but that could change, ex-diplomat warns | CBC News

    Canada's apparent unwillingness (or inability) to meet NATO's defence spending target has not yet dented the country's reputation among its allies, says one of the country's top former diplomats.

  • Title Publication Date	Department	News type Teaser Minister Blair officially accepts delivery of first new Armoured Combat Support Vehicles for the Canadian Army

    October 19, 2023 | Local, Land

    Title Publication Date Department News type Teaser Minister Blair officially accepts delivery of first new Armoured Combat Support Vehicles for the Canadian Army

    Today, the Honourable Bill Blair, Minister of National Defence, and General Wayne Eyre, Chief of the Defence Staff, visited Garrison Petawawa where the first four new Armoured Combat Support Vehicles (ACSVs) were officially accepted by the Canadian Army.

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