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To: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

No business in abuse: halt the Saudi arms deal

This week, former Liberal Justice Minister Irwin Cotler renewed calls on the government of Canada to re-examine its $15 billion sale of armoured vehicles to the Saudi government, adding to the long list of groups, including the United Nations, calling on Canada to quash the deal over serious human rights concerns. [1]

Any deal that puts Canadian weapons in the hands of a government that commits grave violations of human rights should not go ahead. We're calling on you to halt the Saudi arms deal.

Why is this important?

Saudi Arabia has one of the worst human rights record in the world, and is currently leading a nine-country coalition committing horrific violations against civilians in Yemen’s bloody civil war. The UN has accused Saudi Arabia of crimes against humanity for “widespread and systematic” attacks on civilians, including the relentless bombing of residential neighbourhoods, and treating entire cities as military targets.[2]

Thousands of innocent civilians have been killed, and millions more injured or displaced in what rights groups are calling a severe humanitarian crisis causing immense human suffering. [3]

Former Prime Minister Stephen Harper brokered this $15 billion arms deal to Saudi Arabia, despite widespread calls from civil society to drop it. Already it’s been found that Canadian-made combat vehicles have been used by Saudi Arabia to mobilize troops at its border with Yemen.[4]

Like 48% of Canadians, the new Liberal government has stated it does not approve of the $15-billion arms sale to the Saudi government. But the Liberals have also said that they won’t do anything to stop it -- even though it is completely within its power to do so. [5]

Canada should be taking a leadership role in the international arena, especially when it comes to respect for human rights and the protection of civilians in war. The Liberals have committed to “a new era” of Canadian foreign policy, but this arms deal falls in direct conflict with that goal.

Last week, European lawmakers passed a resolution "to launch an initiative aimed at imposing an EU arms embargo against Saudi Arabia" over its alleged war crimes in Yemen. We need Trudeau to do the same here in Canada. [6][7]



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2016-03-01 17:54:29 -0500

100 signatures reached

2016-03-01 12:40:06 -0500

50 signatures reached

2016-03-01 11:30:45 -0500

25 signatures reached

2016-03-01 11:15:10 -0500

10 signatures reached