Despite unpromising predictions, Justin Trudeau led his party to overwhelming victory close to a year ago. And like political prisoners held captive by a foul and reactionary regime, Canadians began immediately basking in the freedom they were so long denied. According to a Toronto Star article, that basking continues to this day.
“People are welcoming this more active, bolder form of federal government,” said Frank Graves, president of EKOS Research Associates.While I continue to feel much better than the years I chafed under the Harper cabal, it would be imprudent for any of us to simply turn our eyes away and merely trust Justin and his team to do the right thing. As many others have pointed out, there are some very troubling indicators that in many ways we are witnessing only a change in styles, not substance, from the previous regime. A cosmetic makevoer, if you will.
Graves said that the Liberals have been consistently polling above 40 per cent in popular support. His firm’s most recent survey had the Liberals at 46 per cent, the Conservatives at 26 per cent and the NDP at 15 per cent.
Thanks to Kev, who tweeted a link to this story, it would seem we have ample reason to worry, given the adamant refusal of Trudeau to reconsider the Saudi arms deal. Apparently his answer is to simply change the rules.
The Canadian government has quietly watered down its own mandate for screening the export of military goods, rewriting parts of the only substantive public statement available on Ottawa’s responsibilities for policing foreign sales.As the saying goes, the devil is in the details, and something akin to the diabolical is to be noted here:
The Report on Exports of Military Goods from Canada, published by the department of Global Affairs, offers the best insight into Ottawa’s export-control policy when it comes to screening deals to sell defence products to foreign customers.
Both the 2014 and 2015 versions of the Report on Exports of Military Goods were released recently by the Trudeau government. Like previous reports, they include several pages of prefatory statements that articulate the rationale and guiding principles for screening weapons sales.
It has removed a phrase about how export controls are intended to “regulate and impose certain restrictions on exports” in response to clear policy objectives.In 1987, Ronald Reagan made famous an old Russian adage while negotiating an arms control treat with Mikhail Gorbechev: "Trust, but verify." Clearly, with this latest development, that advice is as applicable today as it was then.
Instead, it substitutes more anodyne language saying the goal of Canada’s export controls on military goods is, in fact, to “balance the economic and commercial interests of Canadian business” with this country’s “national interest.”
This edit removes the only reference in the entire document to restricting and regulating the export of military goods.