Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Saturday October 28, 2018
‘Difficult contract’ binds Canada to Saudi LAV deal, Trudeau says
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says it’s difficult to break Canada’s deal to supply light armoured vehicles to Saudi Arabia because of the way the contract was negotiated by the previous Conservative government.
“The contract signed by the previous government, by Stephen Harper, makes it very difficult to suspend or leave that contract,” Trudeau told host Matt Galloway on CBC Radio’s Metro Morning on Tuesday. “We are looking at a number of things, but it is a difficult contract.
“I actually can’t go into it, because part of the deal on this contract is not talking about this contract, and it’s one of the binds that we are left in because of the way that the contract was negotiated.”
Saudi Arabia faces possible international repercussions over the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Trudeau, in Toronto today to announce how Canada will go about implementing the carbon tax, was asked in the Metro Morning interview what Canada could do.
Canada and many of its allies are trying to figure out what kind of diplomatic and economic pressure can be applied to Saudi Arabia to make it clear that the killing of the dissident journalist inside the Saudi Consulate in Turkey is unacceptable.
Germany, for example, has stopped its arms sales to the kingdom in light of this incident.
But Canada continues to fulfil its contract to supply the kingdom with LAVs built by General Dynamic Land Systems Canada, a military supplier in London, Ont.
Even before Khashoggi’s death, human rights advocates said Canada should not be supplying the Saudis with military vehicles that could assist in its ongoing military intervention in Yemen, where civilians have been brutally targeted.
Trudeau said he understands this situation “very well,” calling it “incredibly frustrating.” (Source: CBC News)