Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Stephane Dion continues to stand by the controversial $15 billion arms deal signed by the previous government with Saudi Arabia. International pressure continues to mount on countries who have arms deals with the Saudi government. In the last two weeks both the Dutch and European Parliaments passed motions suspending arms trade with the Middle Eastern state. Dion expressed irritation with critics, stating: “Riyadh does not care if the equipment comes from a factory in Lima, Ohio or Sterling Heights, Mich., rather than one in London, Ont.” Louise Arbour, a former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights who once sat on the Supreme Court of Canada responded that the contention that some other country would just take over the contract is “the weakest argument” that could be made. These events take place against the backdrop of Saudi Arabia’s actions against Houthi rebels in the conflict in Yemen which have elicited calls for arms embargoes from both Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International.

Globe and Mail