World’s Peacekeeper – Canada?

First, from this article check out the picture on top :

“In the service of peace 1947 – Present”

and here is the oxymoron…...

Canada’s military exports have soared in the past decade, a CBC News investigation has found, yet the federal government has not released an annual report on exports of arms and high tech military goods for four years.

CBC News found that military exports rose 3.5 times between 2000 and 2006. And according to the most recent report by the U.S. Congressional Research Service, Canada was the sixth biggest supplier of arms to the world in 2006.

So, we are a nation that upholds peace and then sells weapons of war? so much for the label “peacekeepers of the world”. From CBC here is the part that forever puts to rest the fairytale of Canada’s peaceful role in the world :

Critics say the government’s silence is troubling at a time when the defence industry is growing so rapidly.

“We have not had data in four years — that is surprising to the point of astonishment,” Janice Stein, director of the Munk Centre for International Studies at the University of Toronto, told CBC News.

“In its public foreign policy, Canada calls for transparency on this issue. It has supported an arms register, yet our own government hasn’t released good, reliable data about who it’s exporting to.”

A spokesperson for the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade blamed the delay on “technical glitches” due to a new online reporting system for companies that export military goods.

Ken Epps, of the arms control watchdog group Project Ploughshares, scoffed at that response. He’s been asking about the missing annual reports since Paul Martin was prime minister.

Officials in the defence industry have no answers as to why the government is so far behind in releasing information about Canada’s military exports.

“Beats me,” said Jeff MacLeod, the general manager of Colt Canada, which manufactures semi-automatic firearms and grenade launchers in Kitchener, Ont. “We report annually to both the Canadian government and the U.S. State Department, so it must be an internal issue with Foreign Affairs.”

Hmmmmm…..$3.6 billion pouring into the country on account of an industry that implicitly supports wars around the world. Why should the Canadian government give details? Their image may be tarnished…….oh wait…..

The situation has become an international embarrassment for Canada, Epps said.

The Geneva-based Small Arms Survey recently dropped Canada’s transparency rating because the reports aren’t being released. “Canada’s rating is 11 on the scale out of 20 this year, and the rating for Iran is 10.5. What does that say to you?” Epps said.

Why not actually release the figures and destinations? What is there to hide about? Is the weaponry going into hands that the public need not know about?

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