House of Commons to vote on Arms Export Review Committee

school-destroyed-yemen-bombingOn Thursday, 28 September 2016, NDP Foreign Affairs critic Hélène Laverdière introduced an important motion which reads in part:

That the House recognise that:
– Canadian arms exports have nearly doubled over the past decade, and that Canada is now the second-largest exporter of arms to the Middle East,
– Canadians expect a high standard from their government when it comes to protecting human rights abroad,
– Canadians are concerned by arms sales to countries with a record of human rights abuses, including Saudi Arabia, Libya, and Sudan,
– there is a need for Canadians, through Parliament, to oversee current and future arms sales;

The motion goes on to call for a new parliamentary Arms Export Review Committee to review and report on:

  • Canada’s arms export permits regime,
  • proposed international arms sales,
  • annual government reports regarding arms sales,
  • the use of these weapons abroad, and
  • all matters and broader trends regarding Canada’s current and future arms exports.

During the debate, Liberal government members questioned the cost of such a committee and the negative impact it could have on the Canadian arms manufacturing industry.

Click here for a link to the Hansard transcript of the debate, scrolling down the page to Government Orders.

We at strongly believe public support for a Canadian arms manufacturing industry can only be sustained over time if Canadians are satisfied that it is in full compliance with the highest international standards, as exemplified by the Arms Trade Treaty. This is the only way to ensure that Canadian jobs will not depend on selling arms to despots and tyrants.

The vote on this motion is TUESDAY, 4 OCTOBER, sometime after Question Period. But your views will still count even after the vote has taken place!

Please email Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at or his Chief of Staff, Katie Telford, through her Executive Assistance at to let them know that it is in Canada’s enlightened self-interest to have rigorous oversight of our arms exports through the establishment of an Arms Export Review Committee.

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12 Responses to “House of Commons to vote on Arms Export Review Committee”

  1. Pauli SommerOctober 18, 2016 at 3:03 pm #

    The time has come for all of humanity to approach conflicts with diplomacy. I thought that Justin Trudeau would be a Prime Minister who could be a model for civility.
    Why on earth has this outrageous involvement with selling weapons still happening?
    Are Canadians so desperate for jobs and is this government so desperate for money that this shameful involvement must continue? If so, we need to completely rethink our monetary policies in this country.
    We can do better. We must. “The world can’t wait anymore.”

  2. Peter HarrisOctober 10, 2016 at 2:32 pm #

    I think it is quite appaling, like adding fuel to a deadly fire

  3. Howard A. DoughtyOctober 4, 2016 at 6:22 pm #

    From the outset, the government of Justin Trudeau has demonstrated that it is, at best, a Harper-lite administration.

    People who voted “strategically” to ensure Mr. Harper’s defeat may have achieved their goal. If, on the other hand, they also wanted to elect a progressive government that would alter Canada’s course as a “powdermonkey” for imperial interests and restore some of our “peacekeeping” capacities, they were sorely misled.

    When we look at the election results in 2011, we find that the Conservatives won an artificial majority with 39.6% of the vote. When we look at the election results in 2015, we find that the Liberals won an artificial majority with 39.5% of the vote. Neither Mr. Harper nor Mr. Trudeau ought to govern as if they had a mandate, since over 60% of the Canadian electorate voted against them.

  4. John LissOctober 4, 2016 at 2:02 pm #

    Canada’s support for arms exporters is a national disgrace. We need much tighter controls.

  5. Carol PickuipOctober 4, 2016 at 1:59 pm #

    Good work Ceasefire!! Lets hope Trudeau gets the message. Carol Pickup

  6. Barbara BambigerOctober 4, 2016 at 1:11 am #

    This is the best set of comments I’ve seen in a long time. Way to go WOMEN!

  7. Louisette LanteigneOctober 3, 2016 at 10:48 pm #

    Currently CPPIB invests over a billion in weapons including F-35s, tanks etc. and we invest in Israel’s prisons and police surveillance system to the tune of 5.5 billion. If you look at the shareholders of these firms making the profits, many of them are participating in offshore taxes. The numbers also do not include the 5.8 billion being handed out in foreign aid in conflict zones. The CPPIB says they don’t invest in things that are illegal like cluster bombs, however evidence suggests they invest in the investors who do support these types of products. The CPPIB states that every dollar we spend must come back more for Canadians. If that is the case I fail to see how this math can net a profit when the costs of foreign aid are externalized along with cost of offshore taxation.

  8. Hilda FranzOctober 3, 2016 at 10:16 pm #

    I think it’s hypocritical and morally wrong , to talk about reducing carbon emissions and still continue to use natural resources to produce arms which are intended solely for the destruction of human life and the environment. How, in the name of common sense and any respect for human life can our world leaders continue to treat the world as though it is nothing more than a chess board.

    Hilda Franz

  9. Gisela RollingOctober 3, 2016 at 7:44 pm #

    Canadians and their government wish to promote peace-keeping and peace . If we truly mean it, why is there a need to sell weapons which will be used to increase warfare? Maybe our weapon industry has to downsize and create different ways to make profit, like other corporations have to adapt to change.

  10. Anne StreeterOctober 3, 2016 at 6:08 pm #

    Where is the anti war movement! To me this is the number one issue! Canada must absolutely separate from the U.S. on this! The U.S. foreign policy is a disaster!

  11. Kathryn LangleyOctober 3, 2016 at 5:24 pm #

    I am appalled at what our corporations are will to do to make profits. Recalling “Thou shalt not kill.” By selling arms we are causing human misery. The images of maimed children haunt me. As do, the images of ruined schools, hospitals, residential areas. This insanity must stop and our sales must be curtailed. The human suffering and environmental damage is truly deplorable. It will affect everyone because air and water travel. We need to be more civilized and look ahead generations. I often ask myself – what if THEY were doing it to me and to my family and to my community. We can and must be better global citizens.


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