Ms. Laverdière, thank you for your question.
With your permission, I will answer in English because of the terminology, which is quite technical.
I, of course, associate myself with the comments Alex made, but I would also like to address a section of the treaty that the foreign affairs officials purported to rely on, and that is article 26, which essentially talks about defence co-operation agreements:
This Treaty shall not be cited as grounds for voiding defence cooperation agreements concluded between States Parties to this Treaty.
It is our understanding that this is what the Benelux countries are relying on, that they have a defence co-operation agreement.
I, like Alex, don't agree that this is what it means. It doesn't mean not complying with the treaty; it means using this as an excuse to get out of an agreement. Nonetheless, even if we give them that interpretation, which I don't agree with, it applies only to states parties to the treaty, and the United States is not a state party to the treaty. Canada could not rely on this provision, even if we gave it that interpretation, which I think is an incorrect one. The act very clearly talks about applying the act to all of our exports in a “non-discriminatory manner”, and that is as clear as can be, indicating all of our exports.