As calls mount for Canada to cancel its sale of light armoured vehicles (LAVs) to Saudi Arabia, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that Canada has frozen permits on arms exports in the past — and is not afraid to do so again.
Canada is prepared to freeze a big arms deal with Saudi Arabia if it concludes the weapons have been misused, Trudeau said on Monday. Trudeau made the comments during question period in the House of Commons when asked by the NDP why, in light of Saudi Arabia’s ongoing war in Yemen and its role in the death of Saudi dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Canada was continuing to sanction the sale.
Trudeau’s statement signaled Ottawa might halt a 2014 contract that the Canadian unit of U.S. weapons maker General Dynamics Corp won to supply light-armored vehicles. The deal is worth up to CAD 13 Billion.
“We strongly demand and expect that Canadian exports are used in a way that fully respects human rights,” Trudeau said in Parliament. “We have frozen export permits before when we had concerns about their potential misuse and we will not hesitate to do so again.”