August 16, 2019 11:14 am

Federal government set to make announcement at London’s General Dynamics

An upgraded Light Armoured Vehicle is unveiled at a news conference at a General Dynamics facility in London, Ont., on January 24, 2012.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mark Spowart
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A high-ranking federal minister is set to make an announcement at London’s General Dynamics Land Systems Canada (GDLS).

Few details have been released about the nature of the announcement, but the Minister of National Defence Harjit Sajjan will be appearing at the east London facility at noon Friday.

Officials have only said it’s related to the Canadian Armed Forces.

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In February of this year, Ottawa announced it had awarded a $186 million contract to GDLS-Canada to upgrade and maintain underwater sensors for the Royal Canadian Navy’s frigates.

RELATED: General Dynamics wins $186-million Canadian navy contract for underwater sensors

Operations at GDLS have come under national scrutiny in recent years related to one of its largest contracts. The deal signed in 2014 worth $15 billion to build and maintain armoured vehicles for Saudi Arabia has been criticized because of the kingdom’s human rights abuses.

Treatment of women, the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and allegations that the kingdom uses the armoured vehicles against its own citizens are the main issues raised by critics.

RELATED: Canada could face severe consequences for cancelling Saudi arms deal: global affairs expert

When the contract was announced five years ago, it was believed it would supply work for the plant on Oxford Street for about 15 years.

GDLS-Canada’s London location employs more than 1,900 people, including more than 600 engineers and roughly 500 Unifor members.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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