---- Trudeau re-starts Harper weapons sales
Project Ploughshares and Amnesty International Canada in a new report, August 11, accused the Canadian federal government of violating international law by selling weapons to Saudi Arabia. They insist Canada stop selling weapons to Riyadh as they could be used in the war in Yemen in violation of international human rights. There is no way to restrict where this equipment goes.
According to the report, by continuing to sell arms to Saudi Arabia, the Justin Trudeau government is violating its international commitments under the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) of which it is a party since 2019. The report refutes the defense provided by Trudeau that arms sales to Saudi Arabia are consistent with Canada’s human rights obligations.
Canada is the second largest arms exporter to Saudi Arabia after the US. In 2020, it sold weapons worth USD 1.05 billion to Riyadh. Weapons sales to Saudi Arabia amount to 67% of Canada’s total arms sales in the world outside the US. The Stephen Harper government had signed a deal to supply Light Armoured Vehicles (LAVs) worth USD 12 billion to Saudi Arabia in 2014. Trudeau’s government has approved Harper's deal and defended it.
In 2020, Canada lifted the freeze on its weapons sales to Saudi Arabia which had been imposed after the assassination of Jamal Khashoggi in 2018, saying that “there is no substantial risk” that its weapons will be used for human rights violations in Yemen. No evidence for this conclusion has been provided.