What Saudi Arabia's sanctions on Canada is really about

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"We urge the Saudi authorities to immediately release them and all other peaceful human rights activists".

Dan McTeague, a senior analyst at the fuel price tracking website GasBuddy, said any such disruption could easily be offset by alternative supply, as Saudi Arabia's oil continues to represent an increasingly small portion of Canada's crude imports.

"Canada will always stand up for the protection of human rights, including women's rights and freedom of expression around the world".

Canada's largest refinery in Saint John, N.B., owned by Irving Oil, relies on Saudi Arabia for almost 40 per cent of its crude supply, according 2018 statistics from the National Energy Board.

Saudi Arabia is hitting back at Canada after Canadian diplomats called on the kingdom to release recently detained women's rights activists.

Samar's brother, blogger Raif Badawi, was arrested in 2012 and sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in jail for "insulting Islam" in a case that sparked an global outcry. Saudi Arabia long has been sensitive to worldwide pressure over the Raif Badawi sentence.


Saudi Arabia announced on Monday it would be suspending all government-funded scholarships for Saudi students in Canada and would transfer students to other countries, escalating a dispute that started when the Canadian government criticized the Saudi state over human rights.

Canada last week said it was "gravely concerned" over a new wave of arrests, including award-winning gender rights activist Samar Badawi, pictured left.

"It's estimated to be about 100,000 (barrels per day), and that's down over the past two years", McTeague said of Saudi Arabia's oil exports to Canada.

Tension began to build on Thursday after Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland tweeted she was alarmed to learn that Samar Badawi, Raif Badawi's sister, has been imprisoned in Saudi Arabia.

Speaking in Mississauga, Finance Minister Bill Morneau said it's important the government bring Canadian values into its dealings around the world.

His wife, Ensaf Haidar, and three children were granted Canadian citizenship earlier this summer, and live in Quebec's Eastern Townships.


"Any other attempt to interfere with our internal affairs from Canada, means that we are allowed to interfere in Canada's internal affairs, " the Saudi government said.

'Canada is easier to cut ties with than the rest, ' Bessma Momani, a professor at Canada's University of Waterloo, told AFP.

Thomas Juneau, an assistant professor at the University of Ottawa, said it is hard to determine what the economic impact on Canada would be without specifics on which trade deals will be affected.

'There isn't a strong bilateral trade relationship and poking the Trudeau government likely resonates with Saudi's hawkish regional allies.

Thousands of jobs in Canada could be at risk if the arms agreement is scrapped.


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