Total Votes:  5517

Should Canada re-establish full diplomatic relations with Saudi Arabia?

Poll: Ties with Saudi Arabia

Canada and Saudi Arabia are normalizing diplomatic relations and appointing ambassadors five years after the Liberal government's public comments on women's rights led Riyadh to expel the top Canadian envoy.

In 2018, Global Affairs Canada tweeted that it wanted Saudi Arabia to "immediately release" human-rights activists who had been detained.

Both countries maintained their embassies, but Saudi Arabia downgraded its presence in Ottawa and halted trade talks with Canada, saying it was unacceptable for the Canadians to weigh in on Saudi Arabia's justice system.

Global Affairs Canada said in a statement Wednesday that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman agreed during a chat last November that they wanted to restore diplomatic relations.

The department said this discussion took place on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Bangkok.

At the time, reporters noted Trudeau had attended a lunch with leaders including Prince Mohammed, who is Saudi Arabia's prime minister. That day, Trudeau played down the notion that Ottawa was seeking to restore ties.

"When we're in these summits, we attend a wide range of sessions with many people around the table, and it's extremely important that Canadians can know that regardless of who's around the table, regardless of whom we're speaking to, we always stand up clearly for human rights," Trudeau said at a Nov. 18 press conference.

Now, the department says the two countries are putting their ties back to where they were in five years ago "on the basis of mutual respect and common interests."

Dennis Horak, the Canadian ambassador who was expelled during the 2018 spat, said in an interview that Ottawa needs to seize on the momentum to build closer ties with Saudi Arabia, since it's a key ally with an "increasingly prominent role" in countries from Syria to Yemen.

"Re-establishing ambassadorial relations is a good first step, but it needs to be accompanied by a sustained engagement at senior levels," Horak told The Canadian Press.

He said his ouster partly stemmed from Canada not having connections with senior Saudi leadership through ministerial visits. This led Canada to be seen as expendable, he said.

Read more

Have an opinion? Send it to [email protected]

Previous Polls

September 19, 2023 - 9644 votes
Should the same rules apply to pot shops on First Nations reserve as ones in municipalies in B.C.?

Yes: 7149
No: 2116
Unsure: 379

September 18, 2023 - 11821 votes
Should Ottawa force Canada's major grocery chains to stabilize food prices?

Yes: 8875
No: 2338
Unsure: 608

September 16, 2023 - 11761 votes
Do you feel your municipality is doing enough to help address the housing crisis?

Yes: 2537
No: 8302
Unsure: 922

September 14, 2023 - 7009 votes
Should B.C. follow the federal lead and cut the PST on new rental apartment construction?

Yes: 4179
No: 2270
Unsure: 560

September 13, 2023 - 8777 votes
Should airlines let politicians use aircraft PA systems during flights?

Yes: 1229
No: 7224
Unsure: 324

Previous Poll Results

Should the same rules apply to pot shops on First Nations reserve as ones in municipalies in B.C.?

Total Votes:  9645

» Previous Polls

Have an idea for a poll question?
Email us [email protected]