Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Rule Britannia!


Gosh, it makes me so proud that with $20.1 billion in new business, the United Kingdom was the world’s biggest arms seller last year. That’s a huge amount, but putting it into perspective, it’s still only 4.5% of all British exports.

Canada by the way, is the sixth-biggest supplier of military goods to the world, according to the most recent report by the U.S. Congressional Research Service. The former government’s last annual report to Parliament, for 2002, showed that military exports had climbed to $678 million from $304 million in 1997.

Current figures are unavailable however and requests by the CBC for in-depth interviews with International Trade Minister David Emerson and Foreign Affairs Minister Maxime Bernier regarding arms controls have been denied. The CBC News also states that “for a full year, requests for background briefings by export control officials were also turned down.” So much for the Harper government’s vaunted “transparency.” Oh, and according to the Small Arms Survey, a Geneva-based monitoring group, Canada’s transparency rating on arms controls dropped to 10.5 on a scale out 20, just above that of Iran with a rating of 11. Hmmm. How impressive.