Canada’s largest defence and security trade show took place in Ottawa this week. CANSEC is the annual trade show organized by the Canadian Association of Defence and Security Industries.
It is hard to imagine that when Dwight Eisenhower coined the term military industrial complex he could have foreseen how commercial the complex would become. SOFEX, the Kingdom of Jordan’s 10th biannual Special Operations Forces Exhibition and Conference, is just that: commercial.
Celebrated by the Canadian government as the “largest advanced manufacturing export win” in the country’s existence, the recently announced $10-billion sale of armoured vehicles to Saudi Arabia poses a “significant risk” of contributing to serious human rights violations.
The Conservative government’s drive to expand Canada’s arms industry is drawing on diplomats, government trade representatives, and senior ministers to aid Canadian companies as they aggressively pursue military exports to unsavoury regimes.
The Harper government is celebrating a recent $10-billion deal to sell Canadian-built armoured vehicles to Saudi Arabia, a country routinely condemned for its human rights abuses.
The Harper government wants to widen the list of Canadians arms customers in order to offset decreasing demand in “traditional markets” such as the United States and Britain.