This is a matter of Principle

by | Apr 15, 2016 | Canadian News, Opinion

Corey Brehaut

Well, of course the Liberals lied when they said their arms were tied in regards to the Saudi arms deal.

Documents released by the Justice department from Global Affairs Canada show Foreign Affairs Minister Stéphane Dion signed off on export permits to ship $11 billion worth of the $15-billion vehicle sale to the country.

The Conservatives have been critical of the Liberals’ decision to go forward with this arms deal, which would be perfectly reasonable if it weren’t their idea in the first place.

The Harper government first struck the deal with the promise that it would create thousands of jobs. Notice how Conservatives never mention when a deal will cost thousands of lives?

Former cabinet ministers Rona Ambrose and Tony Clement suddenly finding their moral cores and going after this abhorrent deal doesn’t absolve Conservatives of their responsibility in setting up the arrangement in the first place, not to mention their hypocrisy in going after the Liberals, for it outclasses the Liberals wrongdoing by an order of magnitude.

And then there’s the NDP. That’s the progressive party that ran from the centre in the last election, now in the process of ousting leader Thomas Mulcair for bungling what should have been a slam dunk election.

Mulcair has joined the witchhunt by saying that, “The government lied to Canadians about who signed what when in the Saudi arms deal, and that is a very serious matter.”

During the campaign, the NDP reminded Canadians that they opposed the deal but would nevertheless sell out their ideals and support it because Unifor said so.

Clement’s concern is that Saudi Arabia will use the equipment to continue a war in Yemen, though Dion believes the Saudis will keep their word and not do so — despite their long and storied history of bald-faced lying to any country that asks.

Fighting in Yemen has killed almost 6,300 people, half of them civilians, since Saudi Arabia launched its controversial intervention against Iranian-backed Huthi rebels in March last year, according to the World Health Organization. This deal would lead to the deaths of more people without a doubt.

There are two takeaways from this partisan train wreck.

  1. All three of the major parties are a bunch of double-dealers who will do and say anything to curry favour, then turn around and say and do the opposite.
  2. Why do we care about our country’s relationship with Saudi Arabia in the first place?

This is a country that is well known for its massive and constant human rights violations including executions, suppression of political opposition, suppression of freedom of expression, mistreatment of women; and those are just the tip of the iceberg. It is also a country that until very recently had very close ties to the Taliban.

Obviously, it’s about the money. Saudi Arabia has some of the cheapest oil in the world, and with Canada’s recent oil crash, our country’s economy is in absolute shambles thanks to the previous Harper government due to an over-reliance on a boom and bust industry. This arms deal would also be the largest arms deal in Canadian history.

“Fundamentally, this issue is a matter of principle,” said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on keeping Canada’s word to supply a theocratic warmongering country with weapons. More so, apparently than observing the rights and freedoms of the people they will be used against.