Post by Greg Carr
What happens to the 15 billion arms deal between Saudi Arabia and Canada by Harper that Trudeau gave a thumps up to. These weapons have been used in Bahrain and probably Yemen.
The $15 billion agreement was given the further blessing of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Liberal government in the spring of 2016 when it began issuing permits for the export of the combat vehicles.
The order also includes 119 LAV 6 vehicles of the "heavy assault" type, with powerful 105 millimetre canons affixed to their turrets, which were still under development at the time the documents were written.
Another 119 are configured as "anti-tank" vehicles and a further 119 are designated as "direct fire" support, with a two-man turret and 30 millimetre chain gun.
Internal government emails, obtained in 2015 by The Globe and Mail, show the Saudis stipulated that releasing the details of the deal would amount to "breaking the terms of the contract."
Stephen Harper personally reassured the late Saudi King Abdullah, in writing, that Ottawa would hold up its end of the bargain, the newspaper reported.
Deal includes 14-year support program
"These documents raise very important questions and I think our understanding of what was announced in 2014 has to change, needs to change," said Cesar Jaramillo, the executive director of Project Ploughshares.
"This shows us that these are combat-ready vehicles and certainly not the jeeps that the government once told us that they were."
The records obtained by CBC News show the contract between London, Ont.-based GDLS and the Saudis goes much deeper than just than just selling the vehicles.
It also involves a 14-year support program that covers ammunition, crew "training in Canada/Europe" and "embedded" maintenance, with a fleet management team in 13 workshops.
The reference to Europe has to do with training Saudi crews on the gun system, slated to take place in France.
The service agreement in Saudi Arabia would be delivered through a subsidiary of the Canadian manufacturer located in Riyadh, said the documents obtained by CBC News.
The support deal is significant on a couple of different levels, said Dave Perry, an expert in defence procurement at the Canadian Institute of Global Affairs.
For starters, it partly explains the enormous price tag. Most of the value in defence deals today is not in the hardware, but in the long-term maintenance and support services being provided, said Perry.
It could give Canada "a fairly significant amount of leverage" going forward, he added, pointing out that the support deal could be used to apply diplomatic pressure in the event Canada has new concerns about Saudi Arabia's human rights record.
"If we are simply selling them a piece of equipment and walking away, you don't really have much recourse afterwards to do anything, if they do something that you don't want," he said.
Okay, so now Canada is questioning the Saudi's human rights record. Is the Trudeau government going to ignore the imprisonment of human rights activists - or lose a whole lot of money - and trade - over our stance?
I think the Saudis must have all of the arms that Canada sold them for the $15 billion and now they don't give a damn what their relations with us will become.
But where is the brave, big-mouth, Donald Trump in this? The woman being detained is a Saudi-American by citizenship. Why is he silent on the issue while Canada is taking the frontal assaults?
Oh yeah . . . . the Americans have major financial investments in Saudi Arabia and vice versa. And they didn't even take action against the Saudis when it was discovered bin Laden was a Saudi and behind the 9/11 attack.
Sometimes major money makes even the big mouths go silent. Right, Trump?
The only good thing about this dust-up is that it may free up spaces in our universities and colleges:
(CNN) Amid escalating tensions that are damaging economic and diplomatic ties between the countries, Saudi Arabia said Monday that it would relocate about 7,000 Saudi scholarship recipients studying in Canada.
"We will be able to accommodate this number of students in excellent countries such as the US, UK, Australia and New Zealand," Jasser bin Sulaiman Al Harbash, Saudi Arabia's deputy minister of education for scholarship, told state-run television.
This is in addition to suspending training programs and fellowships in Canada, two Saudi Education Ministry officials said.
See? The woman they've detained is a Saudi-American citizen, but they say they're going to move their students to the 'excellent country of the U.S.'
Who says Americans aren't bought-and-paid-for by the Saudi government?