The Conservatives Must Not Repeat Their Saudi Mistake

Andrew Scheer must make clear that he will never sell out Canadian values for foreign money.

I have been heavily critical of the Trudeau government for approving arms exports to Saudi Arabia. That criticism will continue. The Trudeau government campaigned against those exports, and then approved them while in office, which is a hypocritical disgrace.

That said, the Harper government made a big mistake by pushing for increased arms sales to the Saudi regime in the first place. During that time, there was also increased Saudi investment in Canada – which has gone in part to private Islamic schools and the promotion of wahhabism – a radical and extreme interpretation of Islam.

Stand up for Canada’s values

When Harper first took power, he took an admirable stance saying Canada wouldn’t sell out Canadian values to “the almighty dollar.”

Unfortunately, increasing arms sales to Saudi Arabia is doing exactly that: Selling out what our country is supposed to stand for.

Scheer should not repeat Harper’s mistake

Canadian values are under attack like never before. From a Prime Minister who wants us to become a “post-national” state, to a political elite that has no loyalty to Canadians, our country must regain our confidence and willingness to stand up for the values that shaped our country.

Andrew Scheer has a great opportunity to do that, but it will require learning from the mistakes made by the Harper government. Harper got alot of things right, but his attitude towards Saudi Arabia wasn’t one of them.

If Scheer can correct that mistake, and take a clear stance against selling weapons to Saudi Arabia, he will go a long way towards strengthening his credibility on the defence of Canadian values and human rights.

Spencer Fernando