How to let Parliament know you want better oversight of arms exports

ParliamentHélène Laverdière, NDP Foreign Affairs Critic and member of the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee, tabled a motion on February 4th to establish a sub-committee on Canadian arms export controls. This sub-committee would monitor Canadian arms exports to ensure that Canadian export control policy is being upheld.

This proposal comes against a backdrop of ongoing revelations about Canadian arms exports to one of the world’s most repressive regimes, Saudi Arabia, in blatant contradiction of our arms export control policy.  The latest bombshell is that at least two types of Canadian-made weapons, Light Armoured Vehicles  and sniper rifles, are apparently being used in the brutal conflict underway in Yemen.

Canadian arms trade expert Ken Epps highlights how hard it is to get a handle on the scale of Canadian arms exports, given the weak reporting requirements and the “significant loophole” that omits component parts shipped to the United States from any reporting requirement whatsoever.

Establishing a Parliamentary sub-committee specifically responsible for providing oversight of Canada’s arms export controls could go a long way towards reducing the potential for Canadian-made arms ending up fueling regional conflicts or contributing to the abuse of civilians.

A majority of members of the Committee must vote in favour of this motion in order to have this important committee established.

Please send an email to the Foreign Affairs Committee members urging them to support this motion to establish a sub-committee on Canadian arms export controls.

The contact information for all committee members is provided below:


Robert Nault (LIB)
Phone: 613-996-1161


Dean Allison (CON)
Phone: 613-995-2772

Hélène Laverdière (NDP)
Phone: 613-992-6779


Marc Miller (LIB)
Phone:  613-995-6403

Tony Clement (CON)
Phone: 613-944-7740

Peter Fragiskatos (LIB)
Phone: 613-992-0805

Peter Kent (CON)
Phone: 613-992-0253

Michael Levitt (LIB)
Phone: 613-941-6339

Raj Saini (LIB)
Phone: 613-995-8913

Jati Sidhu (LIB)
Phone: 613-992-1248

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7 Responses to “How to let Parliament know you want better oversight of arms exports”

  1. Lorna JohnstonFebruary 25, 2016 at 2:35 pm #

    I am old enough to remember being in a theatre in Toronto at the age of ten and watching a news reel discussing that when Japan invaded China the guns being used were made in the United states. This news that the country you sell arms to doesn’t mean they stay in that country is very old news. I am as horrified today as I was then. News that this is a race we want to be in and are in is a shock. it wasn’t that many moons ago that we were proud not to be in the business of selling war goods. No good will come of this.

  2. RonMacDougallFebruary 25, 2016 at 7:50 am #

    It is grievious wrong to have exported arms to Saudi Arabia

    • Don KerrFebruary 25, 2016 at 10:56 am #

      I agree but, at the same time, let’s promote an effective policy of full employment and the production of non-weapon goods.

  3. Another PersonFebruary 24, 2016 at 8:54 pm #

    Given what Saudi Arabia has done, I can’t argue with that. If we’re going to export our weapons, we should export them to more trusted countries.

    • Elaine HughesFebruary 25, 2016 at 9:18 am #

      As we’ve seen, today’s so-called ‘trusted’ user of Canadian-made arms can, tomorrow, be a NOT so ‘trusted’ user . . . pretending to ‘monitor’ this business is utter nonsense. Once the item leaves the factory, any and all control, perceived or otherwise, is technically lost!

      Question: Why is Canada involved in this abhorrent, unspeakable industry at all??? Are we that desperate for the money? How can arms factory workers possibly tell their grandchildren – with pride and a sense of accomplishment – that they spent their time and energy on this Planet making instruments that kill other people’s grandchildren???

      • Another PersonFebruary 25, 2016 at 5:05 pm #

        It’s the fact that while yes, they kill people, they also defend freedom. It’s not all “military bad no matter what”, and whether you support peacekeeping or fighting, either one requires a strong military nowadays.


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