Banning Military Exports to Saudi Arabia
This motion may be redundant per existing policy 1998 - Peace and Security which would universally ban the export, co-development, or resale of any military equipment or services to foreign powers. This motion is more targeted and less general than existing policies and may have the political impact or negative effect on our trade deals with some countries. The motion is consistent with other Green Party policies regarding military exports.
WHEREAS in February 2012 Postmedia reported that $4billion in weapons sales to Saudi Arabia, by companies such as General Dynamics Land Systems, were approved by the federal government and reportedly later used in suppression of the anti-government uprising in Bahrain;
WHEREAS in 2014 another $10billion Canadian arms exchange with Saudi Arabia has been approved;
WHEREAS the mixed theocratic-monarchical regime upholds gender apartheid, through banning female travel without male guardians, child marriages, workplace gender segregation, banning female driving, electronic tracking of women’s cross-border movements, high female unemployment, a near-complete ban on female sports participation, and female exclusion from positions of political power;
WHEREAS the Saudi state perpetrates severe human rights abuses of other kinds such as absent due process, a ban on public protest, a ban of public displays of other religions besides Wahhabi Islam, state executions for blasphemy and changing religion from Islam, flogging and stoning executions for extra-marital sexuality and homosexuality, executions for “sorcery”, slicing of hands off thieves, eye-for-eye punishments, and many other extremities;
WHEREAS the Saudi regime is a nominal ally against terrorist networks with its apparent absence of state connections to terrorist networks and opposition to Iran, yet it nonetheless has supported abusive regimes such as the former Taliban regime and the current military dictatorship of Egypt, and has promoted Wahhabi propaganda domestically and abroad such as with hateful anti-Jew literature;
BE IT RESOLVED that the Green Party of Canada will support federal cabinet directives to ban any further exports of Canadian military goods to the state of Saudi Arabia.
This policy motion assumes that Canadian companies’ exchange of weaponry with the Saudi regime at Canadian government approval is de facto endorsement and support of one of the most medieval of states in the world. The motion fulfills Green Party principles regarding Nonviolence and Social Justice. The motion does not anticipate a need for new legislation and expects the policy change to occur through changes in executive discretion.
The motion accepts that if Canada were to inspire other OECD countries to block their respective military exports to Saudi Arabia, the regime could hypothetically be deposed with a worse Wahhabi Islamist regime taking its place, but that this threat should not outweigh the principle of doing no harm with regional interference that will deliberately uphold an unethical existing regime. The motion is anticipated to be of political utility in appealing to Canadians’ universal disgust with the kinds of abuses of the Saudi state, and also because of the tendency of incumbent governments approving weapons sales to pre-empt would-be public backlash through policy silence.