Trudeau: Canada will 'stand up for human rights', even as rift with Saudi Arabia grows

Amid the growing diplomatic dispute between Canada and Saudi Arabia, the Prime Minister suggested that he doesn't regret criticizing the conservative Kingdom's human rights records.

When asked at a press conference in Ville-Saint-Laurent this afternoon about the diplomatic divide, Trudeau spoke frankly. "Diplomatic talks continue, but as [Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland] has said, and as we will repeat, Canada will always speak strongly and clearly, in public and in private, on questions of human rights."

Trudeau did not directly answer when a reporter directly asked him if he would consider apologizing to the Saudis, who have suspended all trade talks, expelled Canada's ambassador in Riyadh, begun to recall all foreign students in Canada and suspended all flights to and from Toronto on the country's state-run airline, Saudia.

He added that while "we recognize that they have made progress on a number of important issues", such as finally lifting their ban on women driving cars, Canada will continue to make its opinions known on matters of human rights "at home and abroad."

Saudi Arabia's actions against Canada were sparked by a Tweet from Global Affairs Canada urging the country to release imprisoned women's rights activists. However, Trudeau did not indicate that such rhetorically-charged Tweets from GAC would cease, however, saying, "In today's world, there are a broad range of communication tools available to countries...and we will continue to use the full range of methods of communications as appropriate."