But Canada has stood firm, with Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland insisting it would defend human rights around the world.
The tensions seem to have begun with a tweet from Canada's Foreign Affairs Department, which decried the detention of some female activists in Saudi Arabia.
"Throughout its long history, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has never accepted any interference in its domestic affairs by, or orders from any country", the country's foreign ministry wrote on Twitter, accompanied by a freaky and long-winded statement.
It estimates that at least 15 Saudi activists have been arrested since May 15, though some estimate that the actual number of arrests, including unreported ones, may be higher.
A state-run news organization is reporting the kingdom is cutting off scholarship and fellowship programs to about 15,000 students now taking classes in Canada.
"Some of these issues we choose to discuss privately with our friends, with our partners, with our allies", Nauert said. Raif Badawi, who won Europe's top human rights prize in 2015, was later sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes for insulting Islam while blogging.
"We are always going to speak up for human rights, we are always going to speak up for women's rights and that is not going to change, " Freeland said in Vancouver.
In recent months, Saudi Arabia has reacted more aggressively against countries that it perceives as intervening in its internal affairs.
"Both sides need to diplomatically resolve this together".
Angelina Jolie Wants Divorce From Brad Pitt Expedited
However, an insider familiar with the situation told TooFab , " Brad always fulfills his commitments". Reps for Pitt declined to comment and Jolie's didn't get back to us.
According to Reuters, Saudi-Canadian trade consists largely of Saudi exports of petrochemicals, plastics and other products.
A Saudi Arabian youth organization is apologizing after after posting an image on Twitter appearing to show an Air Canada plane heading toward the CN Tower in a way that is reminiscent of the 9/11 attacks in the U.S.
A diplomatic row between Canada and Saudi Arabia isn't expected to have much impact on student enrolment at Thompson Rivers University.
We consider the Canadian ambassador to the kingdom persona non grata and order him to leave within the next 24 hours, ' the Saudi foreign ministry tweeted early Monday.
The Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs responded by expressing concern over Saudi Arabia's actions, but resolving to stand their ground.
Dahl said said he was not aware of any Canadian shipments now en route to Saudi Arabia.
"It is a significant portion of our barley exports", Dahl said, noting the market had been considered a stable market, noting the industry saw growth potential there given ongoing food sustainability concerns within Saudi Arabia.
Canada's relationship with Saudi Arabia has been cordial in the past, which has sometimes stoked controversy at home.
Saudi Arabia's trade freeze now throws that deal into doubt.