Arms Canada: The Deadly Business of Military Exports


273 pages
Contains Index
ISBN 0-88862-960-5





Reviewed by J.L. Granatstein

J.L. Granatstein is a history professor at York University and author of
War and Peacekeeping and For Better or For Worse.


Ernie Regehr is arguably this country’s leading expert on the Canadian arms trade; certainly he is Canada’s major exponent of a limitation on arms sales. More to the point, he is sensible, national, and calm, and this book is a carefully researched and constructed statement of his case.

Focusing primarily on the years since Ronald Reagan greatly expanded the American military and its budgets, Regehr demonstrates irrefutably that Canadian corporations have landed in fat city as a result. Military exports to the United States have increased fourfold since 1980 as successive governments have encouraged our companies to meet the needs of Armageddon. Star Wars may be something with which Ottawa does not traffic — but if any Canadian company wants to play, the government has no objections at all.

Regehr knows that there is little point in calling for an end to munitions production — the jobs are too valuable to lose. But he does propose a series of measures which could establish tighter controls, and those would undeniably be a useful step. This is an important book.


Regehr, Ernie, “Arms Canada: The Deadly Business of Military Exports,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed May 30, 2024,