Wednesday, January 20, 2016

From Peacekeeper To Arms Dealer


Stephen Harper claimed that his government  was all about free trade. But recent data begs the question, "What kind of trade?" Elizabeth Thompson, at ipolitics, reports:

Canada’s arms exports shot up while Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservative government was in office, fuelled by higher sales to countries like Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Mexico and Austria.

Between 2006 and 2013, the last year for which numbers are available, Canada’s exports of military goods to countries outside the United States rose 89 per cent. However, that number is likely to hit a new high once figures for 2014 become available and a controversial $15 billion General Dynamics armoured vehicle sale to Saudi Arabia is added to the totals.

While the United Kingdom was the top destination outside of the United States for military equipment manufactured in Canada when the Liberals left office in 2005, that title now goes to Saudi Arabia, whose human rights record — particularly the recent beheading of a Shiite cleric — has made the armoured vehicle deal a target for opposition critics, including the Conservatives who approved of it in government.

The Middle Eastern country accounts for near a quarter of the military goods exported by Canada to countries other than the U.S. in 2013. In 2012, a year that Canada set a record for arms exports with $1 billion worth of sales, Saudi Arabia accounted for 40 per cent of military exports.

Harper used to castigate countries like Russia for  exporting arms and tyranny. But the destination of those arms sales calls into question everything Harper said about Canada standing on the side of Freedom and Justice.

Clearly, Mr. Harper stood on the side of Profit -- at any cost.


Toby said...

Apparently the most popular weapon used during the American Civil War was Samuel Colt's 45 which he happily sold to both sides. The lesson was well learned amongst arms dealers.

Owen Gray said...

A good point, Toby. There is a profit to be made keeping all sides supplied -- and the wars going.

lungta said...

harper is harper
if you were paying attention to what he said before getting his first majority
his total disregard and lack of moral compass was pretty much obvious from the beginning
his "return Canada to it's proper place on the worlds stage" was word for word old friend Adolf circa 1938
in his time in power he hamstrung virtually every possible corner he could
to deliver Canada to its "proper" rulers ....the corporations
not once did he favor Canadians except to gain a vote
peacekeeping died with a stroke of his pen
when he changed our Afghanistan engagement from support and policing to active duty under the americans
and under JT there we remain
15 united nations votes aligned with the US and Israel against the rest of the world
harper was and is an apocalyptic christian at heart
and pushed that agenda as hard as he could arming for the end times
with that in mind
know few of us qualified as the chosen saved in his gods plan for canada
and when the conservatives want to be "inclusive"
they are just looking for disposable worker bees not real members

Owen Gray said...

His view of Canada's role in the world represented a 180 degree turn for us, lungta. And we'll see what the Liberals do about it.

thwap said...

There's no doubt that the House of Saud are a bunch of degenerate scum-bags and that we shouldn't be selling weapons to them.

But by the same token, what do we think happens to weapons we sell to the USA or the UK? Do we think that they plant them in the ground and that flowers of happiness grow out of them?

We should work hard to get out of this sickening industry altogether. Canada should have no part of it.

Owen Gray said...

That's a consummation devoutly to be wished, thwap. But don't hold your breath.