The Canada–Saudi Arabia Arms Deal

Now that a new tone is heard in Ottawa, human rights activists may pressure the government to reconsider the arms deal its predecessors have concluded with Saudi Arabia. I have no idea whether cancellation of the deal is legally possible but one would think the contract contains clauses that allow re-negotiations under certain circumstances. It is the largest arms exports contract in Canadian history and raises a multitude of ethical questions.

The deal was brokered by the Canadian Commercial Corporation (CCC) – a taxpayer-financed Crown corporation – for an undisclosed number of light-armoured vehicles to be manufactured by General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS), based in London, Ontario.

One would think that objections to it may have been raised by Israel. But one source familiar with the process said that the Israel desk inside Foreign Affairs was consulted as part of an internal check to make sure that they saw no major problems with the deal. Saudi Arabia and Israel do not have diplomatic relations but are both allies of the United States and consider Iran a major problem, and believe ISIS is a monumental threat. For all I know, Israel also sells arms to Saudi Arabia.

The issue poses a fascinating conundrum for the new government.


One response to “The Canada–Saudi Arabia Arms Deal

  1. Israel isn’t worried because these vehicles are probably designed for use against civilians. Charming bunch the Saudis.