"We urge the Saudi authorities to immediately release them and all other peaceful #humanrights activists".
However, foreign ministry spokeswoman Marie-Pier Baril stressed that Canada would "always stand up for the protection of human rights. including women's rights, and freedom of expression around the world".
Riyadh responded to Canada's remarks, saying: "The kingdom of Saudi Arabia. will not accept interference in its internal affairs or imposed diktats from any country". In little more than a year, the kingdom has led a four-country coalition that severed ties with neighbouring Qatar, recalled its ambassador to Germany and cut back its trade dealings with some German companies amid a diplomatic row. In tandem, the Saudi ambassador to Canada would also be recalled as well in light of the spat.
The global feud began with the Canadian government's criticism of Saudi Arabia's arrests of women's rights activists.
Media captionSaudi Arabia's permanent representative to the United Nations confirmed the change in policy What has the relationship between Saudi Arabia and Canada been like in the past?
Gates Describes Manafort Orders While Defense Hammers 'Secret Life'
In another heated exchange, Downing tried to press Gates into explicitly saying that he had embezzled money from Manafort. In addition, he testified, he did not submit the required forms at Manafort's direction.
The UAE has already taken Saudi Arabia's side in the dispute.
However, despite the potential impact of his government's foreign policy on local schools and students studying in Okanagan, Fuhr said he stands behind Canada's foreign affairs minister.
But Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir tweeted that Canada's position was based on "misleading information", adding that anyone arrested was "subject to Saudi laws that guarantee their rights".
Canada last week said it was "gravely concerned" over a new wave of arrests, including award-winning gender rights activist Samar Badawi, pictured left. Raif Badawi's wife lives in Quebec, in Canada. Later on Monday, the Saudi state airline, Saudia, suspended flights to and from Toronto by August 13. The news agency has noted that in 2014, the Canadian unit of US weapons maker General Dynamics Corp won a contract worth up to $13 billion to build light-armored vehicles for Saudi Arabia, in what Ottawa said was the largest advanced manufacturing export win in Canadian history.
A tweet from the Saudi Ministry of Education spokesman said that the country would end training programs, scholarship and fellowships in Canada. "We will always speak up for human rights and women's rights". The Twitter account had been described as "an official government" account in Saudi-owned state media, although the relationship to the Saudi state was not clear.
"The only class of wheat that Canada still exports to the region is durum but even that is not that much".
Canada says it does not know what will happen to a $13bn defence contract to sell Canadian-made General Dynamics Corp armoured vehicles to Saudi Arabia.