Canada’s Conservative government has shown a penchant for militarist solutions to international problems, and is now focused on ramping up international arms sales and the arms industry in Canada. It’s put its attention on the Middle East, where regional tensions are encouraging several Arab dictatorships to squander their petroleum wealth on weapons.
One of their big deals was okaying a $10 billion arms deal with the Saudi Arabian dictatorship, which bought armoured vehicles from General Dynamics Canada. The deal was strongly criticised from all quarters, because of the government’s failure to provide assurances that the vehicles wouldn’t be used to repress local populations. Ceasfire.ca pointed out that it is likely that Canadian made light armoured vehicles from a previous deal were used by Saudi Arabia when it went to Bahrain to help that country’s dictatorship suppress democracy protestors.
In February 2015 TheNational reported that Canada was aiming for another $10 billion in arms sales at the IDEX arms show. The Canadian government, using the Canadian Commercial Corporation, was to spend $2.5 million to support 53 companies trying to sell their arms at the regional arms show. IDEX 2015 is a regional arms show in Abu Dhabi, UAE, the biggest in the Middle East.
TheNational reported that the Canadian Commercial Corporation and was also in negotiations with the Abu Dhabi government (another Arab dictatorship) to promote light armoured vehicles and flight simulators.
At least 30 Canadian companies were assisted to attend the Abu Dhabi show, among them Terradyne Armoured Vehicles, CAE, L3/Wescam, Ratheon Elcan, and General Dynamics Canada.
Part of IDEX is an ‘unmanned systems exhibition and conference’, featuring a purpose-built airstrip where drones can be demonstrated.