thePANEL presents its sixth debate on a major foreign policy issue: What role should Canada play in the global arms trade?
We invite you for complimentary refreshments, followed by a cutting edge discussion on the #GlobalArmsTrade.
Moderator: Hannah Thibedeau
Hannah Thibedeau is a veteran political reporter having covered the Hill for three organizations over 13 years, both behind the scenes and in front of the camera. She currently covers politics for CBC TV, CBC Radio and CBC Politics online.
In 2014, Canada signed a $15-billion, 15-year deal to sell military vehicles to Saudi Arabia - a country regularly ranked among the world’s worst for human rights. To add to the tension, this controversial transaction creates 3000 Canadian jobs.
The international community is torn on how to react to the current state of the global arms trade: the US and UK continue to supply weapons to Saudi Arabia, while the EU has voted in favour of an embargo on selling arms to Riyadh.
General Dynamics Land Systems, the Canadian company selling the combat machines to Saudi Arabia, advertises its fighting vehicle (machine gun included) with photos of poutine, Mounties, a hockey game and a moose. The tagline: This is Canadian.
Is this the reputation Canada wants, and at what point should our values trump economic interests? Is Ottawa doing enough to monitor and control this lucrative business? In a poll by Nanos Research for The Globe and Mail, 6 out of 10 respondents said human rights should trump job creation.
The debate extends beyond the Middle East. Six of the world's ten largest arms importers are in Asia and the region has accounted for 46 percent of global imports over the past five years.
Canadians are torn.
Do we protect Canadian jobs while supplying arms to governments involved in human rights abuses? At what point would Canada fail to meet its obligations under arms control agreements? What is our responsibility?
Join thePanel on May 9 to explore these questions and more at our next debate: What role should Canada play in the Global Arms Trade?
Date: May 9, 2016
Location: Sir John A MacDonald Building, 144 Wellington St, Ottawa, ON K1A
Tickets on EventBrite: $20 general admission and $15 for students - refreshments included!
Tickets are limited!
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