|(Screenshot from a TV ad by Ethical Oil)
The federal Conservatives are cool to the idea of taking public action against Saudi Arabian efforts to censor Canadian media.
When QMI Agency reported that Riyadh had hired a high-powered law firm to tell Canadian media not to air Ethicaloil.org ads that are critical of Saudi oppression of women, several Tory ministers denounced the move as a violation of free speech rights.
The Commons foreign affairs committee has been asked to look into the matter, but Conservative MP and committee chairman Dean Allison just lumps it in with a host of issues the committee might look into.
“I mean we have Africa that seems to continue to permeate, so we’ll certainly consider all that, but remember it’s the majority of the committee that’ll make a decision,” he said.
Allison refused to say whether he’d try to convince the Conservative majority on the committee to take up Ethicaloil.org’s concerns, but he didn't close the door completely.
“We are going to have a steering meeting this Thursday,” said Allison. “I think that when we meet Thursday, I think what we’ll end up doing is trying to nail down a bit more of an agenda as we move forward.”