Friday, February 23, 2024

Will Canada’s Foreign Affairs Ministry Try To Withhold Israel Military Export Documents?


Canada Foreign Affairs Global Affairs Israel weapons transfers military exports arms trade Gaza genocide politics deflection denial deception secrecy

“The people who are going to decide what gets disclosed are the very same people who are supporting Israel.”

Global Affairs Canada (GAC) has been ordered by a parliamentary committee to release 18 years of documents on military exports to Israel, but questions remain about whether or not the ministry will properly comply.

On February 12, the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development (FAAE) passed a motion that ordered GAC to “produce all documents, briefing notes, memorandums and emails within the department [...] related to the granting of any export or brokering permits for military goods and technology to Israel between 2006 and 2024.”

The motion, which was first moved by NDP Foreign Affairs Critic Heather McPherson, orders that the documents be provided without redactions, “except to protect cabinet confidences and respect privacy legislation,” within 30 days.

If GAC fully complies with the order, it would provide the committee with an unprecedented amount of information about such exports, and reveal far more details than are currently disclosed through the ministry’s annual reports on military exports.

The motion followed The Maple’s revelation on February 10 that the Trudeau government authorized at least $28.5 million of new permits for military exports to Israel during the first two months of the state’s brutal war on Gaza. The ministry redacted details about the manufacturers and the exact nature of the goods being sold.

After that story broke, the issue was raised in Parliament by McPherson in questions to Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly, by NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh in a question to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and again by Green Party MP Mike Morrice in a question to Liberal MP Pam Damoff.

In response to the questions, ministers in the Liberal government repeated GAC statements claiming that all newly authorized military export permits for sales to Israel are for goods that are “non-lethal,” a term with no legal definition and that can refer to components of deadly weapons.  (more...)

Will Canada’s Foreign Affairs Ministry Try To Withhold Israel Military Export Documents?

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