PBI-Canada helps deliver letter to Prime Minister on Canadian arms exports to Saudi Arabia
Photo by Koozma J. Tarasoff
On March 1, PBI-Canada helped deliver this letter to the Prime Minister’s Office in Ottawa expressing concern about Canadian arms exports to Saudi Arabia.
Canada has approved the export of $14 billion in light armoured vehicles (LAVs) to Saudi Arabia.
Some of the LAVs are reportedly standard troop carriers, while some are assault vehicles equipped with 105-millimetre cannons, and others are anti-tank vehicles armed with 30-millimetre guns.
The letter was signed by 68 organizations including the Canadian Friends Service Committee, Canadian Voice of Women for Peace, and World Beyond War.
It notes that US President Joe Biden announced earlier this month that the US would be freezing all American arms sales to Saudi Arabia. Germany and Italy also recently banned or halted arms exports to Saudi Arabia. The European Parliament also urged member countries to halt arms sales to Saudi Arabia earlier this month.
The letter also urged the Prime Minister to work with trade unions representing workers in the arms industry to develop a plan that secures the livelihoods of those who would be impacted by the suspension of arms exports to Saudi Arabia.
On March 23, 2020, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for “an immediate global ceasefire in all corners of the world.”
In September 2020, this UN expert report stated that weapons provided by Canada and other countries are fuelling the war that has killed 112,000 people. Canada was named in that report because of the notable increase in its arms sales to Saudi Arabia (from $500 million in 2017 to $1.282 billion in 2018 to $2.864 billion in 2019).