Association for Defending Victims of Terrorism – Canadian shipments of military goods to Saudi Arabia hit a record high in 2019 despite a moratorium on approvals of new arms export permits announced by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government after the murder of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the hands of Saudi agents
A new report from the department of Global Affairs shows Canada exported close to $2.9-billion of military equipment to Saudi Arabia in 2019, That’s up from $1.3-billion in exports in 2018 and just under $500-million in 2017.
In November, 2018, after the murder of Mr. Khashoggi, , the Canadian government announced it would cease issuing new export permits for arms sales to Saudi Arabia
Cesar Jaramillo, executive director of Project Ploughshares, an arms-control advocate, said the 2019 surge in combat vehicle shipments to Saudi Arabia demonstrates the Liberal government’s arms export permit moratorium was a hollow gesture.
“This suspend-and-reinstate routine had absolutely no impact on anything. It was all a public relations thing,” Mr. Jaramillo said. “The Saudis knew it was meaningless all along,”.”
Alex Neve, secretary-general of Amnesty International Canada, said “That entire picture does not give any confidence that we were truly seeing a serious, effective response to the concerns that had come up around arms dealings with Saudi Arabia,”
He said Amnesty has long been opposed to the sales of Canadian-made LAVs to Saudi security forces because there are “repeated and very credible reports” that they are being used in the Yemen conflict.