NPR

For Saudi Military Vehicle Deal, Canada Weighs Jobs And Human Rights

An agreement for Canada to sell light armored vehicles to Saudi Arabia continues to stir debate.
A light armored vehicle is part of a new monument at the Royal Canadian Regiment Museum in London, Ontario. General Dynamics Land Systems-Canada is producing hundreds of LAVs for sale to Saudi Arabia. Source: Jackie Northam

Last year, the Royal Canadian Regiment Museum in London, Ontario, installed a monument for the country's armed forces who have served in the Afghanistan war. It's a 25-ton, light armored vehicle, complete with a turret on top.

But these days, LAVs have taken on another sort of symbolism for Canada.

About a mile from the museum, workers with the Canadian division of U.S. defense company General Dynamics Corp. are building the eight-wheeled, amphibious vehicles for Saudi Arabia's National Guard.

Now the 15 billion Canadian dollar ($11.2 billion) deal is the focal point of a debate in Canada about balancing the country's respect for human rights with hundreds

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