The Coalition for Gun Control/Pour le Controle des Armes

Guns in the News: Manitoba sends $1.2M in guns to Saudi Arabia in mysterious sale

Posted by cgccanada on July 13, 2009

By Mary Agnes Welch, Winnipeg Free Press

July 2, 2009

WINNIPEG — Manitoba exported a cache of guns worth $1.2 million to Saudi Arabia last year, but the federal government won’t say who sold them, who bought them, or what they were used for.

According to international-trade data available on the Industry Canada website, Manitoba exported a total of $3.1 million in “arms and ammunition” to foreign countries last year. That could include anything from flame-throwers to shotgun cartridges to rocket-launchers, and it’s double what the province exported in 2004.

Except for Manitoba’s guns, Canada sold virtually no other weapons or ammunition to Saudi Arabia last year.

Ontario was the next biggest exporter of arms to Saudi Arabia, at only $61,000.

Saudi Arabia, the Middle Eastern theocracy frequently criticized for its oppression of women, religious minorities and political dissidents, made a surprise appearance on Manitoba’s 2008 export list. The country was the biggest buyer of Manitoba arms and ammunition.

More data provided by Statistics Canada suggest the goods included 110 rifles meant for sport hunting or target shooting.

The data baffled Manitoba peace groups and raised more questions than Ottawa was willing to answer… More

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