How Canada really can pressure Saudi Arabia to clean up its human rights (Hint: export our oil) – by Mike Bowerman (National Post – January 22, 2019)

Shutting down Canadian oil does not reduce global oil consumption — it only increases the Saudis’ market share

After barricading herself in a Thai hotel room and launching a Twitter campaign as loud as it was effective, Saudi teen Rahaf Mohammed has admirably won the freedom she sought in Canada.

Her plight is the latest in a series of dismal news reports from the Saudi kingdom, and was an obvious diplomatic win for Canada. But if this country really wants to help the millions of Rahaf Mohammeds, Yemeni children and imprisoned or murdered journalists and activists, what we should be doing is putting the corrupt Saudi government out of the oil business.

When crises like Rahaf Mohammed’s arise, a fleeting sense of national pride envelopes Canadians. We temporarily remember that Canada is a country that shines so brightly around the world — it is among the most sought out places to live despite a frozen climate even we complain about. Yet that sense of pride vanishes when we begin making policy that determines our success on the world stage.

Today, Saudi Arabia is the world’s largest oil exporter selling nearly three times Canada’s oil exports to the world. And the Saudi elite is wildly rich and indifferent to global norms of human decency as a result. Without competition for their share of global oil markets, that will continue. If we want to influence Saudi Arabia, we have one — and only one — lever to do so: erode its economic power.

By competing directly with Saudi Arabia for the world’s oil markets, depriving it of billions of dollars that fuel and export its values, Canada can shape the world for the better.

For the rest of this article:

Comments are closed.