Roundup: The “nice countries only” option

In the wake of news that Saudi Arabia has, rather unsurprisingly, used Canadian-built LAVs against its own civilians, former Liberal cabinet minister Irwin Cotler is calling on the government to end arms sales to that country. Part of the problem here is that it means a lot of lost jobs in economically vulnerable areas of the country (where these jobs are really the only thing that is keeping that region from being devastated), and the fact that there seems to be this notion that we can only sell arms to nice countries. That notion came up in last night’s NDP leadership debate in Victoria, where the three participants all gave variations of “we should only sell to nice countries,” which is unrealistic. Stephanie Carvin made this point over Twitter a couple of days ago, and it deserves a second look.

And that last point is the most salient – nobody wants to make hard choices, especially when it means lost jobs and economically devastating a region that each party covets (and make no mistake – all parties supported these jobs during the election, which makes it hard for them to be suddenly concerned about these sales to Saudi Arabia now, when they were all rooting for them when votes were on the line).

Good reads:

  • The government has created a NAFTA advisory panel, with names like Rona Ambrose, James Moore, Brian Topp, Hassan Yussuff and Perry Bellegarde attached.
  • There has been a spike of Haitian asylum seekers crossing from the US after Donald Trump has threatened their deporation.
  • In a bout of possibly overzealous symbolism, the walkway between the buildings housing the Justice department and the temporary Supreme Court will be walled off.
  • Here is a reminder of the kinds of online harassment that women politicians face.
  • Outstanding compensation claims for residential school survivors could drag on until 2023.
  • Nova Scotia’s judiciary is launching a mentorship programme to help more Black and Indigenous lawyers become judges.
  • Chatelaine got a rare interview with Trudeau’s chief of staff, Katie Telford.
  • At least five of the former Conservative leadership candidates have outstanding debts. Andrew Scheer is not among them.
  • Éric Grenier digs into the NDP leadership donation figures.
  • Terry Glavin is not impressed with the label of Trudeau as the free world’s best hope, and lays out the case for why it’s not true.
  • Andrew MacDougall compares Caroline Mulroney’s entry into politics with Justin Trudeau’s.

Odds and ends:

Census data shows more multigenerational households in Canada, plus more same-sex marriages.

2 thoughts on “Roundup: The “nice countries only” option

  1. You make good points about the lost jobs and the damage to the economy. Many European countries, however, have ended arms sales to Saudi Arabia, and have been able to absorb the economic hit. What you didn’t address, however, is Canada’s international reputation. At a time when the US reputation is in tatters, and there is a lot of push back against the empire, does Canada want to be seen as a hanger on, blindly following their lead into disaster?

  2. Pingback: Roundup: Urgent investigations | Routine Proceedings

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