Question Period – Arms Trade

Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, on March 18, critical negotiations will resume in New York within the United Nations on the arms trade treaty. I commend our government and thank the Prime Minister that our government has been supportive of this treaty but ask why we have taken the strange position that corruption should not be an essential criterion in deciding if an arms trade should go forward. We know from Transparency International that corruption is rife in the arms trade industry, and I ask the Prime Minister if we can change our position and work for a stronger treaty.


Hon. John Baird: Mr. Speaker, I thank the member opposite for her thoughtful contribution on this issue. I can say that Canada has some of the highest global standards when it comes to the exports of munitions and that we do want to clamp down on corruption. We believe that any treaty negotiated should meet the high standards that Canada has already imposed.

We believe that after so many years of the wasteful, inefficient long-gun registry, the last thing we want the United Nations to do is target law-abiding hunters and duck farmers.

An hon. member: Quack.