Canada closely monitoring all arms deals, has legal ‘levers’ on Saudi deal
Liberal government “categorically” not considering canceling LAV3 deal.
OTTAWA — The Canadian Press has learned that Canada’s foreign ministry is closely monitoring all of the country’s military exports, but won’t revisit the controversial decision to allow the sale of light armoured vehicles to Saudi Arabia.
A government official, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk on the record, says Canada has levers it can use under its export permit regime to stop or suspend exports.
But the official says Canada is “categorically” not considering suspending the $15-billion sale of Ontario-made LAV3 vehicles to Saudi Arabia, and is instead keeping a close eye on future exports.
The former Conservative government approved the sale, and the current Liberal government is standing by the decision.
Groups such as Amnesty International are calling on Canada to suspend the sale because they say the vehicles could be used by the Saudi government to crush dissent among its own citizens.
Global Affairs Canada is also reviewing its latest human rights assessment on Saudi Arabia with an eye towards publicly releasing a censored version that protects the identity of sources who could otherwise face reprisals.
© 2016 The Canadian Press