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Canada: How Saudi Arabia, and a $15B armoured vehicle deal, became an election issue - by Mark Gollom

The issue of whether Canada should be involved in such a deal with a country with a poor human rights record carried forward Friday. Conservative Leader Stephen Harper, as he did the night before, defended the $15-billion deal that Canada helped secure last year, under which the London, Ont.-based manufacturer General Dynamics Land Systems will sell armoured vehicles to Saudi Arabia.

At a campaign stop in Rivière-du-Loup, Que., Harper was asked whether he was putting Canadian jobs ahead of human rights concerns.

"As I've said in the debate, it's frankly all of our partners and allies who were pursuing that contract, not just Canada. So this is a deal frankly with a country, and notwithstanding its human rights violations, which are significant, this is a contract with a country that is an ally in the fighting against the Islamic State.

A contract that any one of our allies would have signed," he said.

"We expressed our outrage, our disagreement from time to time with the government of Saudi Arabia for their treatment of human rights, but I don't think it makes any sense to pull a contract in a way that would only punish Canadian workers instead of actually expressing our outrage at some of these things in Saudi Arabia."

Note EU-Digest: what a weak excuse by Stephen Harper. It shows once again that most Conservatives, where ever they may be  always choose money over principles.

Read more: How Saudi Arabia, and a $15B armoured vehicle deal, became an election issue - Politics - CBC News

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