Print Print

Tensions between Canada and Saudi Arabia


I do not agree with the way our federal government is handling Canada’s recent human rights dispute with Saudi Arabia.

When the Saudi kingdom removed restrictions on women driving and allowed them to attend concerts and sporting events, Canada did not offer a single word of support. When the country’s movie theaters were opened to the public, again no recognition from Canada.

If the federal Liberals want to address human rights issues in Saudi Arabia, I feel they should have done so with greater respect and intelligence. Why didn’t Foreign Affairs minister Chrystia Freeland call the Saudi Ambassador directly about Canada’s concerns?

We do not know yet who actually did it, or if Freeland and PM Trudeau approved the wording in advance, but to publicly Tweet a demand that another state “immediately” free any individuals jailed under its jurisdiction is a big mistake.

If this is really a matter of voicing Canadian values to the world, then why is our government not advocating for the human rights of Palestinians in Israeli jails, or confined to Occupied Territories?

Please, enough with the double standards!

Justice, unfortunately, takes time to prevail; it took Canada years to redress the wrongs done to Maher Arar, for example.

The Liberals’ social media response to Saudi human rights issues will not achieve anyone’s freedom – and some sectors of the Canadian economy are already paying the price.

Dr. Mohamed Elmasry,

Waterloo, Ontario