After more than three weeks of discussions surrounding how Canada should respond to the extrajudicial killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi by the Saudi Arabian government, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau today announced that Canada has decided to take the drastic but necessary step of banning all arms sales to the Middle Eastern nation. Within 50 years’ time.
“Our country stands by our record of having strong opinions on human rights issues, and of always being one of the first nations to say we are upset and outraged by a given atrocity, and then just hoping everyone forgets about it when something worse happens,” the Prime Minister said, in a surprisingly candid speech on Parliament Hill. “But not this time. In light of the actions of Saudi Arabia, we are left with no choice but to stop the delivery of all light armoured vehicles made in Canada. After the year 2070.”
A sustained round of applause followed the announcement, with many of the MPs present quickly doing the math, and then expressing gratitude that it won’t fall to them to tell constituents that their government had to break a deal that was made with a country of questionable human rights record; who had then done an unquestionably bad thing to a human, who – inconveniently for some – had rights. Which are not as easy to ambush as an unarmed man, and can’t just be dumped down a well afterwards.
While experts say they’re uncertain there will even still be people in 50 years’ time, many were quick to add that if there are this will likely be seen as a significant deterrent to the Saudis (should that nation still exist) and a firm sign that Canada means business. Later.
“Good for us, standing up to the Saudis,” said one man, waiting for an Uber outside Toronto’s Eaton Centre. “In around two generations that is really going to show those guys.”
“Well it’s a heck of a lot more than the Americans are doing,” responded a woman in Burnaby, BC. “Last I checked they were saying that they thought it was a bad thing, but a lot of money is involved, and these are complicated matters. Not like us. We moved straight to waiting for all this to blow over. That’s the beaver way.”
“Yep, that’s our Canada,” added her husband, visibly swelling with pride beside her, as the beginnings of a light drizzle threatened to moisten his brow. “Doing the right thing since since, well, since it was politically safe to do so.”