The Liberal Government has signed off on a deal to sell Canadian made light armoured vehicles to Saudi Arabia. The deal was negotiated by a private Canadian company but the government has to sign off on the export permits for these vehicles. Foreign Affairs Minister Stephane Dion has done just that.
Saudi Arabia is a human rights abuser. But this is an over $11 billion deal that will create jobs for thousands of Canadian families when Canada desperately needs jobs. And really that’s what this comes down to. These jobs need to come to Canada and not China or Russia.
But Liberals being Liberals, they are consistently inconsistent. What they’re saying now compared to what they said when they were in full election mode is drastically different. January 21, 2015, Gerald Butts, Trudeau’s chief advisor condemned the arms deal, tweeting this: “reposting in light of today’s arms deal with Saudi Arabia, Principled foreign policy indeed.” Then Butts linked to a graphic comparing the human rights abuses of Saudi Arabia to those of ISIS. Now the Liberals are defending the very same deal. Principled foreign policy, indeed!
Dion is defending the arms deal by saying the Canadian light armoured vehicles will make no difference in the human rights abuses in the region. He is right. There is no evidence that these Canadian vehicles would be used against the Saudi Kingdom’s own citizens.
Now let’s take Dion’s reasoning and apply it to pipelines and energy development here in Canada.
Canada’s oil sands account for one tenth of one percent of global GHG emissions. Canada, as a whole accounts for less than 2% of world C02 emissions. Shutting down the entire country wouldn’t make any difference in whatever C02 generated climate apocalypse the Liberals keep telling us to be on the look-out for.
I’m glad the Liberals decided this time to not do something that would damage our economy the way cancelling a multi-billion dollar trade deal with the Saudis would. Dion is right. It won’t make a difference in the end.
Now they need to use that same logic and quit holding up Canada’s pipelines and energy development. It won’t make a difference in the end either.