Harper Criticized For Shipping Expensive Armoured Cars For India Trip Security


NEW DELHI — Prime Minister Stephen Harper was accused of wasting taxpayers’ money by shipping expensive armoured cars to India for his six-day, four-city tour this week.

The move is an unusual one for a Canadian prime minister. Harper has only brought his own transportation to two other nations — Haiti and Afghanistan.

A black sport-utility vehicle and a black luxury sedan carrying Ontario plates appeared in the motorcade when Harper arrived Sunday evening.

Harper would normally have been travelling in the ubiquitous Hindustan Motors Ambassador car, a vintage-looking white sedan.

There was no immediate information about how the vehicles were transported to India and at what cost.

“The deployment of RCMP resources are dictated by operational requirements, including public and officer safety considerations, and a threat assessment of the events/environments,” media relations officer Cpl. Lucy Shorey said in an emailed statement.

“For security reasons, details on the security plans will not be discussed.”

But the NDP said no previous Canadian prime minister on a visit to India had sought the need to have such expensive security cover and said it was another example of Conservative waste.