The Trudeau government is facing accusations it misrepresented the $15-billion Saudi arms deal to Canadians as the Liberals play down their unexpectedly large role in green-lighting exports of these weaponized armoured vehicles to a country notorious for human-rights abuses.
As The Globe and Mail first reported, Foreign Affairs Minister Stéphane Dion only last week quietly approved export permits covering more than 70 per cent of the transaction with Saudi Arabia – a decision that represents the most vital step in determining whether a weapons shipment to a foreign country can proceed or whether it’s “illegal,” as Ottawa calls it.
NDP Leader Tom Mulcair on Wednesday said the Liberals misled Canadians. “I am going to say this straight up and I don’t say it lightly: The government lied to Canadians about who signed what [and] when in the Saudi arms deal and that is a very serious matter,” he said. “The Liberals lied.”