Neither clear nor transparent: Recently released figures on Canada’s arms exports show the need for clear reporting standards in an ATT

Kenneth Epps Conventional Weapons

Kenneth Epps

The Ploughsares Monitor Summer 2012 Volume 33 Issue 2

The recent release of six years of data on Canadian military export permits offers unique and important insight into Canada’s arms export authorization process. The permit data reinforces the need for clear and common national reporting standards in an international Arms Trade Treaty.

The data compiled by the Export Controls Bureau of Foreign Affairs Canada on military goods approved for sale to other states between 2006 and 2011 were only made public earlier this year. In response to a Question on the Order Paper from Deputy Speaker of the House Denise Savoie, the government in January provided the annual values of authorized export permits to all states for Group 2 (military) goods for that six-year period.

The permit values were large, totaling $33.5-billion—an average of more than $5.5-billion per year. But the annual totals fluctuated significantly, tripling from less than $4-billion in 2010 to more than $12-billion in 2011.

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