LIBERALS TURNING A BLIND EYE TO FOREIGN ARMS SALES

OTTAWA- Amid new reports of Canadian arms exported to countries with poor human rights records; New Democrats are renewing their call for a Parliamentary body to examine arms exports.

 

“Canadians are shocked that Canadian companies are selling arms that can be used to commit human rights violations - including to countries we have sanctions against, like Sudan,” said Hélène Laverdière, NDP Critic for Foreign Affairs. “We should already have Parliamentary oversight and transparency over these arms deals, but so far the Liberals have chosen to turn a blind eye.”

 

In April, the NDP moved a motion at the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee to establish Parliamentary oversight of Canadian arms exports - but Liberal MPs used their majority to defeat the motion. Since that vote, new reports have revealed a loophole in existing regulations that allows Canadian companies to sell arms to countries like Sudan despite sanctions.

 

“Our government must not treat the protection of human rights like a part-time job,” said Laverdière. “Canadians need to know that our flag stands for peace and human rights at home and abroad.”

 

With Parliament returning this month, the NDP will increase pressure on the Liberal government to establish a Parliamentary oversight body on arms exports.