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Defence minister visits London, Ont. to thank GDLS for Ukraine contributions

Canadian Defence Minister Anita Anand (second from right) shares a laugh with employees during a visit to General Dynamics Land Systems in London, Ont. Andrew Graham / Global News

Canadian Defence Minister Anita Anand paid a visit to London, Ont., on Thursday to personally express her gratitude to the more than 1,800 employees at General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS).

The east London military manufacturer is supplying a shipment of 39 armoured combat support vehicles (ACSVs) which Canada will deliver to Ukraine in light of Russia’s ongoing invasion.

Read more: As NATO summit ends, Canada promises more military aid to Ukraine

“I was pleased to stand with the Prime Minister at the NATO Leaders Summit last week, where he announced that Canada is in the process of finalizing negotiations with GDLS to supply up to 39 combat support vehicles to Ukraine,” Anand said.

“Some of which I had the opportunity to see today and all of which will make a meaningful impact on the ground.”

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One of 39 ACSVs being sent overseas as part of Canada’s latest round of military aid for Ukraine. Andrew Graham/Global News

Anand also thanked GDLS for the 360 armoured vehicles it will provide to the Canadian Armed Forces.

An intent to buy those vehicles was first announced in 2019 by then-defence minister Harjit Sajjan, which led to a $3-billion contract with GDLS.

“The 39 vehicles that we are providing to Ukraine is on top of the 360 (being provided to the Canadian Armed Forces),” said Anand on Thursday.

“Those 39 vehicles will begin to ship this summer and the remaining 360 will continue to be delivered over the next number of months as well.”

Read more: Canada opening 4 new embassies, boosting Latvia battlegroup to counter Russia

Along with supplying 39 ACSVs to Ukraine, and spare parts to support their maintenance, Canada is also providing six new drone cameras as part of its latest round of military aid for Ukraine.

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The delivery of vehicles, spare parts and drone cameras will cost the balance of the $500 million in military aid the Trudeau government promised in the 2022 federal budget.

“As our friends in Ukraine continue to fight Putin’s illegal, unjustified and full-scale invasion of their country, our government continues to provide comprehensive military aid,” Anand said.

“To help them fight and win this war.”

— with files from Global’s David Akin.

Click to play video: 'Canada to provide drones, armoured personnel in new military aid for Ukraine'
Canada to provide drones, armoured personnel in new military aid for Ukraine

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