by Eric Reguly, photograph by Tom Oldham
Neil Bruce saw his luck run out at precisely 4:46 p.m., Ottawa time, on Aug. 2, when Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland published her now-famous tweet about Saudi Arabia.
The tweet seemed innocent enough. Freeland "strongly" called for the release of detained Saudi dissidents Raif and Samar Badawi. But the Saudi regime went ballistic at what it viewed as Canadian interference in its domestic affairs. The Canadian ambassador in Riyadh was kicked out, and thousands of Saudi students were ordered to leave Canada. Saudi Arabia froze all new trade with Canada and instructed its investment arms to unload Canadian holdings at any price.
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