If You’re Looking to Moralize About Trudeau’s Government, Try the Saudi Arms Deal, Not Some Fundraising Pseudo-scandal BS

Last week, as the Globe and Mail celebrated one of its writers for winning coverage on the Canadian arms deal with Saudi Arabia, the U.S. announced that they are blocking sales of precision weapons to the country over “poor targeting”  in the ongoing conflict with Yemen.

However, Foreign Affairs Minister Stéphane Dion says the Canadian armoured vehicle exports, worth $15 billion, will continue. As reported by the Globe: “Mr. Dion said Canada feels it is doing a pretty good job of monitoring Saudi Arabia for illicit use of combat vehicles, although he did not indicate how this is done.” The Canadian government maintains that it has never come across an instance where the machines have been misused. . . . . Mr. Dion revealed, however, that Ottawa has cautioned the Saudis to be careful how they fight in Yemen, where cluster bombs have been blamed for widespread civilian deaths. “We have asked to the Saudi coalition to be much more respectful and cautious about the equipment you are talking about.”

The secrecy surrounding this deal is a disgrace (read this story from April; it makes me think that the quickest way to end it would be to expose every single one of the 500 subcontractors involved), and it’s a shame that as Trudeau goes about undoing the work of the Conservative Government he can only muster a shoulder shrug of fait accompli regarding the deal.

UNICEF stated that as a result of the war: “At least one child dies every ten minutes in Yemen because of preventable diseases such as diarrhoea, malnutrition and respiratory tract infections.” And the NYTimes produced a short multimedia story that introduces you to some of those children.

Amy Sanderson21/12/16