Report claims Canada sold $74 million worth of explosives to Saudi Arabia in 2020
KSA remains the largest non-US destination for Canadian military exports
By News Desk - July 27 2021

Canadian media reports that last year, the government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau approved a deal with Canadian business connections for the sale of nearly $74 million of explosives to Saudi Arabia. This comes despite the growing calls for Canada to stop selling weapons to the Saudis and profiting from the current humanitarian disaster in Yemen.

According to the 2020 Report on Exports of Military Goods from Canada, Ottawa issued a brokering permit to a Canadian company that sold $73.9 million worth of explosives to Saudi Arabia. Moreover, the report states that “Saudi Arabia was the largest non-US export destination, receiving approximately $1.311 billion in Canadian military exports (accounting for approximately 67 percent of the total value of non-US military exports).”

In 2018, the Canadian Parliament gave Ottawa authority to regulate the sale or transfer of weapons or other restricted technology between two or more foreign countries when Canadians or Canadian companies are involved in the transaction. This means that weapons deals outside of the country require a brokering permit from the federal government.

Very little is known about these transactions, as the government keeps the identities of weapons brokers and suppliers secret in order to protect “commercial confidentiality.” The government also keeps secret the nature of the goods sold, only saying in this case that they belong to Export Control List category 2.4, which includes “bombs, torpedoes, rockets, missiles, other explosive devices and charges and related equipment, and accessories.”

Since 2015, a Saudi-led coalition has been laying siege on Yemen, leading to what the UN has described as “the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.” According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, almost a quarter of a million people have died in Yemen since the start of the war.

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