The "Liberal" and "progressive" Canadian PM Justin Trudeau defended Canada's $15-billion weapons sale to Saudi Arabia, the biggest arms deal in Canada's history, as "a matter of principle."
Canada’s Justin Trudeau Liberal and progressive government has refused to back down in the face of growing criticism for having approved arms sales to Saudi Arabia that could help it wage war in Yemen, saying they were meant only for defensive use by the Saudi regime and would not be used in Yemen.
However, documents released by the Canadian justice department in response to a lawsuit seeking to block the deal showed otherwise.
Canadian media published excerpts saying Canadian foreign minister Stéphane Dion was advised that the sale of the vehicles equipped with machine guns and anti-tank weapons would help Saudi Arabia in its war in Yemen, where Saudi forces commited numerous war crimes against Yemeni civilians.
CBC News has obtained internal records that show the deal struck in February 2014 involved 928 of the most modern light armoured vehicles, known as the LAV 6.Of those, almost 40 per cent — 354 — are standard troop carriers.
The order also includes 119 LAV 6 vehicles of the "heavy assault" type, with powerful 105 millimetre canons affixed to their turrets, which were still under development at the time the documents were written.
Another 119 are configured as "anti-tank" vehicles and a further 119 are designated as "direct fire" support, with a two-man turret and 30 millimetre chain gun.
"Amnesty international" protested the Canadian arms sale, noting how those Canadian Light Attack Vehicles can be and are used by Saudi Arabia in Yemen and against protesters in Saudi Arabia.