On May 31, the Canadian government tabled the 2021 Exports of Military Goods report, providing details on reported Canadian arms exports and brokering of military goods for that year. The total value of these exports was the second highest in history: $2.73-billion. As has been true in recent years, most exports were light armoured vehicles (LAVs) destined for Saudi Arabia; however, exports to non-Saudi destinations also hit historic highs.
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.
Canada is in dire need of a solid diplomatic strategy that responds to the growing nexus between emerging technologies and national security. Newly-appointed foreign minister Mélanie Joly would do well to prioritize the development of robust and forward-looking policies to tackle tech-related security concerns, as is increasingly the case in the foreign ministries of a number of countries—including key Canadian allies as well as would-be adversaries.
On April 27, 2021, Ploughshares Executive Director Cesar Jaramillo and Researcher Kelsey Gallagher provided testimony to the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development of the Government of Canada. The subject was Granting of Arms Export, with a particular focus on permits granted for exports to Turkey.
During a week of virtual sessions hosted in September at the Geneva offices of the United Nations Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons, Canada remained silent. Not once in the last year has Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs focused on autonomous weapons when explaining Canada’s foreign policy priorities.
In the fall of 2014, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced Operation IMPACT, Canada’s military contribution to the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS. Approaching its sixth anniversary, Operation IMPACT is Canada’s most significant military operation since the war in Afghanistan.
The Right Honourable Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, P.C., M.P. Prime Minister of Canada 80 Wellington Street Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A2 14 May 2020 Re: Final Report – Review of Export …
On April 10, GAC issued an official statement in support of a global ceasefire, in response to the high-profile appeal on March 23 by UN Secretary-General António Guterres. The day before, however, it had announced that it was lifting a moratorium on arms-export permits to Saudi Arabia, one of the worst violators of human and women’s rights on the planet.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has long wanted to get Canada back on the UN Security Council, where it last had a seat in 2000. For Trudeau, such a return would signal Canada’s “renewed commitment to international peace and security.”
The undersigned, representing a cross-section of Canadian civil society organizations focused on arms controls, human rights, international security, humanitarian assistance and the protection of civilians in conflict, are writing to follow up on a letter that was sent you five months ago, outlining ongoing concerns about Canada’s export of LAVs to Saudi Arabia.
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