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Sending PM’s armoured limos to India cost $1M

OTTAWA — The Conservative government is defending the $1 million cost of flying armoured vehicles to India for Prime Minister Stephen Harper, saying it was a security decision by the RCMP.

Harper’s use of an armour-plated car and SUV bearing Canadian licence plates during his November tour of Agra, Bangalore, Chandigarh and New Delhi prompted New Democrats to formally inquire about the cost.

The final tally of $1,061,448 was produced this week as parliamentarians returned to Ottawa following a six-week break.

The cost included $31,356 in personnel travel and a little more than $1 million for the use of the massive Canadian Forces C-17 Globemaster heavy-lift transport, which logged 48.5 hours of airtime flying the two vehicles to India.

Following an assessment of operational requirements and the threat environment, “the RCMP determined there were no appropriate vehicles available in India,” the government said in its official response to the NDP query.

“Further information on the selection criteria for armoured vehicles cannot be provided as it could compromise the security measures put in place for protecting the prime minister.”

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