Conrad Grebel University College
140 Westmount Road North
Waterloo, ON, Canada N2L 3G6
How is it possible that an arms deal that is tainting the Canadian peacebuilding identity and has had twelve articles by Steven Chase on the cover of our national newspaper in the past year is relatively unknown by Canadian citizens?
And how could this information not have any public attention in the face of the upcoming Federal election? A MSCU Centre for Peace Advancement affiliated member, Project Ploughshares, is shedding light on this story.
Thanks to support from Conrad Grebel University College, the MSCU Centre for Peace Advancement, and St. Jerome’s University College, local community members gathered in the Theatre of the Arts on the International Day of Peace to hear from four panelists about the lack of Canadian involvement in the Arms Trade Treaty, and our current arms deal with Saudi Arabia.
Cesar Jaramillo and Kenneth Epps form Project Ploughshares presented stark facts on this deal, and the history of the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). Unfortunately, the audience’s initially reflected surprise was a good representation of how little the general public knows.
The reality of the situation is exactly our audience’s second reflection: a dismay.
Although the Saudi deal is seldom spoken about in the light of day on Parliament Hill, most politically inclined individuals have heard of the social injustices taking place there.
Hilary Homes was the event panelist to give a chilling account of recent Saudi news. The jail time, the torture, the beheadings and the tight security in exchange for freedom of speech: these are all realities Canadians do not face, but are simply enabling with our ignorance.
So why isn’t Stephen Harper, Justin Trudeau, or Tom Mulcair talking about this?
Shouldn’t this important issue make it into the foreign policy debate next Monday evening?