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Montreal workers forced off contract over U.S. security concerns
Date: Saturday, January 13 2007
Topic:


Montreal workers forced off contract over U.S. security concerns

Bell Helicopter sidelines 24 employees from other countries; prime minister says he's 'very concerned'

Last Updated: Thursday, January 11, 2007 | 11:36 PM ET
CBC News

Ottawa says it is worried about an American policy that has forced Bell Helicopter of Montreal to ban 24 employees from working on a U.S. military contract because of their nationalities.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper told reporters Thursday that Canada has raised the issue with the U.S government over the past several months.

'…People are eliminated simply because they were born in a given country. This is total nonsense.'

-Montreal labour relations lawyer Gaston Nadeau"We are very concerned about this policy," he said in French while in Toronto.

The contract calls for the assembly of up to 480 helicopters for the U.S. military, starting in the spring.

The workers were taken off the lucrative U.S. military project because they were born in countries that the Americans consider a security risk. Security measures outlined in the U.S. International Traffic in Arms Regulations do not allow citizens from 25 countries to work on strategic military weapons.

"There are certain number of persons if they are born in one of 25 possible countries, then we are not to have these employees in contact [because of the] International Traffic in Arms Regulations," said Michel Legault, the director of business development for Bell Helicopter.

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/ottawa/story/2007/01/11/bell-contract.html

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