NDP proposes oversight on arms sales
September 28th, 2016 - 10:22am
New Democrats move to create a committee to oversee all current and future Canadian arms exports
Today, the NDP announced that it will put the issue of oversight of Canadian arms exports to a vote in Parliament as an opposition day motion in the coming days.
“There is currently no parliamentary oversight of Canadian arms exports, despite the fact that Canada is now the second-largest arms dealer to the Middle East,” said NDP Foreign Affairs Critic Hélène Laverdière. “These questions are too important to brush to the side. We need a multi-partisan committee on arms exports - one empowered to examine all aspects of Canada’s arms exports regime, now and in the future.”
Polls show that most Canadians disapprove of arms deals with human rights abusers. But Canadian weapons exports have nearly doubled over the last ten years, and Canada is now the second-largest arms dealer in the Middle East, including to countries with poor human rights records like Libya, Sudan and Saudi Arabia. Details on these Canadian arms exports remain scarce. A new committee would ensure oversight and increased transparency for Canadians on these important questions.
"For too long, Canadians have had too little information about arms exports to countries with questionable human rights records. This must change," said Laverdière. “Canadians deserve to have a say in who Canada does business with, and under what conditions. It’s parliament’s role to ensure we do this right.”