Newly released secret documents show how the Foreign Affairs Minister quietly gave the green light to sell combat vehicles to Saudi Arabia – challenging the Liberal government’s claims that their hands were tied on the $15-billion ‘done deal’ brokered by their Conservative predecessors. Here are eight key takeaways from the documents
WHERE DO THESE DOCUMENTS COME FROM?
The Global Affairs Canada memo, marked “secret,” was released by the Justice Department on Tuesday in connection with a lawsuit led by a University of Montreal law professor. Daniel Turp alleges that an arrangement to sell light-armoured vehicles to Saudi Arabia – which has a notoriously poor human-rights record, and has been suspected of using Canadian-made LAVs in its proxy war against Iranian-backed rebels in Yemen – is illegal, and is challenging the deal in Federal Court. (Here’s an explanation from The Globe’s Steven Chase of what that deal entails, how Stephen Harper’s Conservative government brokered it and why it’s so controversial.)
EIGHT IMPORTANT THINGS TO HIGHLIGHT IN THE MEMO
1. The date
The memo is dated March 21, the same day Mr. Turp’s group filed the Federal Court lawsuit.
2. When it was approved, and who approved it
A note scrawled across the memo in French reads: “Approved by the foreign affairs minister April 8, 2016.”
The memo bears a signature from Mr. Dion, next to a ticked box saying “I concur.”
The secret Saudi memo: Dissecting how the document condradicts*Ottawa - The Globe and Mail