Foreign Minister Stéphane Dion faces lawsuit over multibillion dollar Saudi armored vehicle deal
Mar 22, 2016 04:32 AM EDT
A lawsuit was filed in Federal Court against Foreign Minister Stéphane Dion. The suit alleged the minister of illegally issuing permits that allow the exports of combat vehicles to Saudi Arabia.
The $15 billion arms deal with Saudi has caused the Trudeau government to face the lawsuit. The suit attempts to block the shipments of the fighting vehicles that are bound to Riyadh. A professor of international and constitutional law at the University of Montreal, Daniel Turp, has led the allegations.
According to Macleans, Turp together with his students said Canada is violating its own laws and policies that prohibit Ottawa from selling firearms to other countries that have records of human rights violations and without ample accounts that will show it will not be used against civilians.
Dr. Turp reiterated that it is a question whether the Liberals have fulfilled their obligations to properly implement the Canadian restrictions on weapon exports which he believes violated the Geneva Conventions Act. He added that it is the obligation of Dion to see to it that the arms that will be sent will not go to countries with poor human rights records as per The Globe and Mail.
This will give the Liberals the burden of explaining why they will allow the shipment despite the Canadian rules that restrict weapon shipments on countries where civilians are abused. Turp said that Saudi is a country that is ruled by dictatorship which is supported by a very powerful army. This country constantly and systematically violates the rights of its citizens.
The General Dynamics and Land Systems Canada are the manufacturers of the armored vehicles which will be equipped with machine guns or anti-tank weapons. The factory created 3,000 jobs in Canada.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stood by the contract. As reported by National Post, Trudeau said that it would be impossible for Canada to do business internationally if there will be an observation that any contract that went beyond the life cycle of a given government might not be honored. He added that it would injure Canada's reputation if Ottawa will walk away from the deal.
Saudi Arabia is now waging a war against its neighbor country, Yemen, who on the other hand said that there have been massive cases of human-rights violations. The Saudi forces have been accused of a widespread air strike attacks on civilians during its war against the Houthi rebels in Yemen.