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Canada's Liberal leader and Prime Minister-designate Justin Trudeau leaves at the conclusion of a news conference in Ottawa, Ontario, October 20, 2015

Canada Going Ahead With Massive Saudi Arms Deal Despite Executions Row

© REUTERS/ Chris Wattie
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Canada has condemned Saudi Arabia's recent mass execution, but will go through with a controversial arms deal to sell the Middle East kingdom $15 billion worth of weapons.

Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Stéphane Dion released a statement this week decrying the execution of 47 people on January 2 and urging the Saudis to respect peaceful dissent and human rights.

But the killings have not caused Ottawa to back out of a deal to supply the kingdom with armored fighting vehicles. The transaction will support about 3,000 jobs in Canada for 14 years, the Globe and Mail reported.

"A private company is delivering the goods according to a signed contract with the government of Saudi Arabia. The government of Canada has no intention of cancelling that contract," Adam Barratt, director of communications for Dion, said on Monday.

Federal law compels the Canadian government to consider whether shipping weapons to countries with poor human-rights records, such as Saudi Arabia, would put the local population in danger.

Cesar Jaramillo, executive director of Project Ploughshares, an anti-war group that tracks arms sales, said on Monday that Dion's criticism of the mass executions sounds unconvincing given Ottawa's unwillingness to cancel the arms sale.

"Canada's condemnation of the most recent gross human-rights violations by the Saudi regime rings somewhat hollow against the backdrop of the $15-billion worth of Canadian military exports that this very regime is set to receive with Ottawa’s blessing," Jaramillo told the Globe and Mail.

Among those executed was prominent Iranian Shiite cleric Nimr al-Nimr. His killing sparked outrage in Iran, and protesters stormed and set fire to the Saudi embassy in Tehran. In response, Riyadh cut ties with Tehran.

Canada is making plans to expand diplomatic relations with Iran, which could include reopening Canada's embassy in Tehran.

Conservative foreign affairs critic Tony Clement urged the Liberals to shelve the idea.

"Iran continues to be a dangerous state sponsor of terrorist groups around the world. When Iran moves away from its terrorist activities, Canada should then act to restore relations," Clement said.

Tags:
executions, arms deal, arms sale, Stéphane Dion, Nimr al-Nimr, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Canada
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  • Jg38691
    Clement is right....Canada should keep out of Iran and stand with Israel. Saudi law is Saudi law...nothing to do with any other nation. If Canada were to restrict trade based on human rights abuse, China would be top of the list.
  • jas
    So far Trudeau hasn't done anything but welcome mass immigration and multiculturalism to Canada.
  • alisudarahmani
    The Canadian SOB Hypocrites!.
  • elsa.zardini
    As expected. Why is Mr. Trudeau always smiling? Smiling at what?
  • Mr. Blair M. Phillips
    Not very well thought out.
  • michael
    good to see that nothing changes with a 'new' government. Hypocrisy is alive and well.
  • in reply tojas(Show commentHide comment)
    Mass immigration, marijuana for all, licking Saudis boots, this the ZOG's leftists.
  • dvdgrg09
    Included in the deal is a special edition of commemorative head chopping swords for the lord high executioners.
  • rzuber78
    the more these saudi loosers spend the sooner they go..so i say..yes.let em pay the 15bln.
  • Ayelyah
    irresponsible
  • hopscotch64
    This is no surprise when dealing with any of the corporate run states such as Canada or the United States where the motto is "Profits Over People". This type of amoral activity on the part of these states is exactly why the economic system of Capitalism is a threat to every citizen in the world even their own citizens. The very idea that a nation has no moral or social responsibility to their own people to even consider how those nations will use these weapons is the hallmark of Capitalism.
  • ivanwa88
    Recent events shows Canada is now taking the baton from US who stumbled and fell on the line.
    Formerly a trusted neutral entity Canada has some how been sucked into becoming a prop for the failed US economy. Perhaps they will join together under the Canadian constitution is this the master plan? events 1; 290 billion in loans to Ukraine!!? 2; firing on Iraqi soldiers 3; Current arms deal which confirms Canada is now one of the axis of evil fighting and oppressing mankind to forestall the beginning of multi-polar era and sustained world peace. Shame on you Canada you can never justify these actions your fate de compli is sealed in mistrust and treachery.
  • lianasammartino
    in his promises before elections, Trudeau said "nothing will be changed of the contracts already made". The Canadian minister of defense said today that a careful analysis will be made in the future, and he opened to the possibility to reopen the Canadian embassy in Iran. A much as all of you, I would like a rapid 360 degree u-turn in Canadian policy, but things are moving, slowly, not to take too much attention....
  • Truth Hunter
    Money talks, and the condemnations are only for political currency, so when the money flows, "all is forgiven" and life, and profits go on, ( the dead are forgotten ).
    The Canadian Govt. takes guns away from its citizens, then sells to oppressive govts.
    Hypocrisy in the highest order.
  • shaun.byattin reply toJg38691(Show commentHide comment)
    Jg38691, So, having your head removed for not believing in god or for being a warlock is a justice system as far as your concerned? Besides its the US that kills more prisoners than anywhere else. Look up some facts some time. China is up there, but, "democratic" america is the worst on the planet the only reason their numbers are lower the last 2 years is because their suppliers will no longer sell them the lethal injection drugs. In which case they've used some terrible cocktails. Meanwhile Israel is only a fair state if your zionist, ask left wing Jews and Israeli Arabs if the justice system is any good there.
  • allperils
    The order and contract was drawn up and agreed upon prior. So I don't think it's wrong that Canada fulfills it's contractual agreement to send the arms.
  • Normpich
    It is all about Money's and Jobs, and the human element becomes an irrelevant factor in today's Politics.
  • art
    1- Why on earth would anyone want to buy arms from CANADA?!
    2- If any one should cancel it, it should be SA for not having that type of money anymore.
    3- Why would Clement think Iran will welcome the rapproachment without an appology for breaking ties without even having a lousy excuse other than Israel told us? At least SA's excuse was a dozen people attacked an empty building, never mind missile attack of their new embassy in Iraq did not amount to a reason for them!
  • Money talks! Everything else is just political spin to keep the population quiet.
  • QuantumParadox
    Quel bel hypocrite!
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