In response to Russia’s February invasion of Ukraine, Canada has announced successive shipments of military goods to the Ukrainian government. As of mid-May 2022, the value of all committed transfers was in excess of $150-million, with military aid worth a further $500-million proposed in Canada’s 2022 federal budget.
For some time, Canada’s silence has been a standard feature of international discussions on autonomous weapons. True to form, Canada remained quiet at the April 26-27 informal, virtual sessions on lethal autonomous weapons systems hosted by Brazil, the current chair of the United Nations Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW).
“There is the real threat that the Ukrainian government can potentially not control all of these weapons,” said Kelsey Gallagher, a researcher with Project Ploughshares, a Canadian non-government disarmament group. “They could end up anywhere.”
“Footage released of air strikes carried out by Ukrainian Bayraktar TB2s include the graphical interface associated with Wescam surveillance and targeting sensors. This is Canadian hardware,” – Kelsey Gallagher
On Monday, February 14, Prime Minister Trudeau announced that Canadian officials had authorized $7.8-million worth of arms transfers, described as “lethal equipment and ammunition” to Ukraine. The transfers are to include “machine guns, pistols, carbines, 1.5 million rounds of ammunition, sniper rifles, and various related equipment.”
The following excerpt is from an article published by Ricochet on February 3, 2022 Canada has one of the most rigorous arms export oversight processes in the world. So goes, …
More than a year and a half after Canada’s unsuccessful run for a seat on the UN Security Council, shortcomings in Ottawa’s arms control and disarmament agenda remain prominent. As the international community continues to face multiple, overlapping security challenges at the start of 2022, the federal Cabinet installed last October has a fresh opportunity to take stock of Canada’s foreign policy priorities.
The following excerpt is from an article published by Ricochet on January 25, 2022 It was a 45-second clip intended to go viral and elicit fear — and it did just …
The undersigned, representing a cross-section of Canadian labour, arms controls, antiwar, human rights, international security, and other civil society organizations, are writing to reiterate our continued opposition to your government’s issuance of arms exports permits for weapons destined to Saudi Arabia. We write today adding to the letters of March 2019, August 2019, April 2020 and September 2020 in which several of our organizations raised concerns about the serious ethical, legal, human rights and humanitarian implications of Canada’s ongoing transfer of weapons to Saudi Arabia. We regret that, to date, we have received no response to these concerns from you or the relevant Cabinet ministers on the matter. Critically, we regret that Canada finds itself in violation of its international arms control agreements.
For more than half a century, Canadian arms manufacturers have been selling weapons to foreign states. Much of this economic activity is the direct result of government assistance. From brokering contracts to staffing international arms fairs, the Canadian government goes to bat for Canadian weapons manufacturers.