Evidence of meeting #41 for Foreign Affairs and International Development in the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was treaty.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

  • Habib Massoud  Deputy Director, Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Division, Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade
  • Paul Galveias  Senior Export Control Officer, Export Controls Division, Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade
  • Mark Fried  Policy Coordinator, Oxfam Canada, and Member, Control Arms Coalition
  • Hilary Homes  Campaigner, International Justice, Security and Human Rights, Amnesty International, and Member, Control Arms Coalition
  • Lina Holguin  Policy Director, Oxfam-Québec, and Member, Control Arms Coalition
  • Kenneth Epps  Senior Program Officer, Project Ploughshares, and Member, Control Arms Coalition
  • Steve Torino  President, Canadian Shooting Sports Association
  • Tony Bernardo  Executive Director, Canadian Shooting Sports Association
  • Solomon Friedman  Lawyer, As an Individual

3:55 p.m.

Deputy Director, Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Division, Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade

Habib Massoud

I wouldn't refer to myself in that way, no.

Members of the delegation all sign a confidentiality agreement because we have to be able to speak freely. Our Canadian delegation to each of the PrepComs has worked very well. We're very pleased we get along very well. I have never seen the internal confidentiality of a Canadian delegation violated.

3:55 p.m.

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc Beauséjour, NB

So you would be surprised, then, if people purporting to be part of that delegation were offering, on the website, a rather detailed analysis of what the Canadian government would be putting forward at these discussions?

4 p.m.

Deputy Director, Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Division, Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade

Habib Massoud

My best guess is that this person was probably not a member of the delegation.

4 p.m.

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc Beauséjour, NB

And if the person were either involved with the delegation or a senior official of one of the groups involved with the delegation, you'd want to look into how that happened.

4 p.m.

Deputy Director, Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Division, Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade

Habib Massoud

I prefer to trust my colleagues.

4 p.m.

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc Beauséjour, NB

You would never verify, though, that this kind of stuff is posted on websites. If somebody were to send you websites....

You're not a police officer or a lawyer, and I understand that, but I'm sort of worried that perhaps there is a tendency to speak freely about what is an important discussion and the role of Canada in those discussions. My concern is that it can be compromised by people who can't resist going on the Internet late at night and posting stuff.

That would be unusual for you, certainly.

4 p.m.

Deputy Director, Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Division, Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade

Habib Massoud

I fully trust all members of my delegation. I know there are people who think they know things and will write all sorts of things without actually knowing what the facts are. I have complete trust in every member of my delegation.

4 p.m.

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc Beauséjour, NB

Thank you for your answer.

We only have one minute left. Perhaps you could give us a sense of where the resistance would be coming from, what countries. If you're correct to say there's no guarantee of a success next month, where do you see the biggest resistance currently from your impression of where different state parties may be in approaching the discussions next month?

4 p.m.

Deputy Director, Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Division, Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade

Habib Massoud

Let me give you the impression of the room I have when I've been at the PrepComs.

There is a great deal...and growing distrust among many delegations. There are some countries that aren't fully convinced. When we say that we want to impede the flow of weapons to human rights violators, to those who aggravate civilian conflicts, to those who are under UN Security Council sanctions, there are some countries that don't actually believe it. There are some countries that think this is an excuse. There's a great deal of suspicion that maybe—

4 p.m.

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc Beauséjour, NB

Sorry—an excuse in what sense?

4 p.m.

Deputy Director, Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Division, Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade

Habib Massoud

There are some who believe that western countries—

4 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Dean Allison

Go ahead and finish the answer, but then that's all the time.

4 p.m.

Deputy Director, Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Division, Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade

Habib Massoud

Some countries think that western countries are simply looking for any excuse to prevent weapons going to them for their own political purposes. They're not quite convinced that we're sincere when we say that we just don't want weapons going to human rights violators. So there's a bit of suspicion.

There are harder-line countries that seem to believe there's some sort of western plot at regime change. They think that the real purpose of the ATT is to be able to give weapons to those we like and to not give weapons to those we don't like, and that there's a political motive beneath all that.

When we come out and say, “No, look, we just think that human rights violators should be prevented from getting weapons, that criminals and terrorists should not be getting weapons”, they don't think we're sincere.

4 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Dean Allison

Thank you very much.

We're going to start our second round of five minutes. We'll probably have a chance for a couple of interventions.

I'm going to start with Ms. Grewal.

June 11th, 2012 / 4 p.m.

Conservative

Nina Grewal Fleetwood—Port Kells, BC

Thank you, Chair.

To Mr. Galveias, currently military goods shipped from Canada to the United States do not require export permits. An arms trade treaty could affect this licence, the free arms trade arrangement with the United States.

Due to the fact that the Pentagon is Canada's largest customer for military goods, what would be the impact of the implementation of such a treaty on relations with the United States?