Is there a Canadian-owned company with manufacturing operations in the United Arab Emirates that is selling to sanctioned destinations goods that would be on Canada’s Export Control List if they were manufactured in Canada? It appears that the answer is “Yes”. Does the Canadian Government believe that the sales are legal under Canada’s current economic sanctions laws? Apparently, the answer may be “Yes”. Is this catching the attention of reporters and interest groups? The answer is “Yes”.
On September 6, 2016, the Globe and Mail published an article entitled “Canadian-owned firm sold armoured vehicles to Sudan despite export ban“. On August 10, 2016, the CBC published an article entitled “Armoured car sale to South Sudan should be investigated, rights group says“. Both of these articles refer to a UN panel report, which is the “Letter dated 22 January 2016 from the Panel of Experts on South Sudan established pursuant to Security Council resolution 2206 (2015) addressed to the President of the Security Council“.
There is another UN panel report entitled “Letter dated 4 March 2016 from the Panel of Experts on Libya
established pursuant to resolution 1973 (2011) addressed to the President of the Security Council”, which contains information about the Streit Group’s sales to Libya. On August 15, 2016, the CBC published an article entitled “Feds want RCMP to look into Canadian firm’s armoured car shipments to war-torn Libya“. On August 13, 2016, the CBC published an article entitled “Liberals put on the spot by Streit sales in South Sudan and Libya“.
What Geoffrey York (Globe and Mail) has reported is that the Streit Group sold from its factory in the UAE 173 armoured vehicles to South Sudan.
Murray Brewster (CBC) has reported that:
“In its initial response to the UN’s report, Global Affairs Canada said Streit didn’t break Canadian law because the armoured vehicles were manufactured and shipped by the company’s branch in the United Arab Emirates, and therefore the sale is outside of the federal government’s arms export regulatory regime.
It took the department almost a week to respond to CBC’s questions.
“We take this issue very seriously,” said spokesman Francois Lasalle, who went on to note the government’s recent decision to ratify the Arms Trade Treaty means there will be “more rigour and transparency for Canada’s export controls system,” and that legislation will be coming this fall.
The department didn’t say what Canada knew about the Streit deal and when, nor did officials respond to the allegation that the deal may have violated sanctions.”
Despite all that has been written by two reporters, this news has not caught the attention of many. Maybe this is because many Canadians take vacation in August. Maybe this is because most Canadians are not thinking about sales of military vehicles from half way around the world to a place on the other side of the world.
However, it is likely that changes to Canada’s export controls and trade restrictions legislation coming this Fall will raise the thermostat on these types of transactions. Canada is getting some unfavourable press and this may cause a few perceived loopholes to be closed or restricted. What has happened in the recent past may have a rippled effect into the future – time will tell.
For more information about Canada’s economic sanctions and export controls laws, please go to Free Information at www.LexSage.com. If you have questions about Canada’s economic sanctions laws, please call Cyndee Todgham Cherniak at 416-307-4168 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.