I want to pay for peace by Madelyn MacKay
I want to pay for peace. At tax time we have an opportunity to send a power-packed message, one act with multiplying benefits for our present and future. We can take far-reaching action for the security of the environment, economy, and humanity.
If you also want to do more to increase security and reduce your carbon footprint, you can cut your funding to big carbon polluters. For example, the F-16 killing machine uses more fuel in one hour than an average car owner consumes in two years. Others use even more! Especially damaging are emissions at high altitude by the world’s military aircraft in daily exercises and warfare. “…Militarism is the most oil-exhaustive activity on the planet, growing more so with faster, bigger, more fuel-guzzling planes, tanks and naval vessels…” and relies on our willingness to let our taxes foot the bill. (http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/3181:the-military-assault-on-global-climate)
Repairing the economic effects of the trillions spent on military security, we need a broad consensus here on big spending. What would you like to fund with our biggest military procurement ever–for warships? Research continues to show that other sectors are more efficient at creating jobs than the military. We could choose to spend this $40B for a National Green Jobs Strategy, a National Affordable Housing Strategy, a National Early Learning & Childcare Strategy, a Kelowna Accord for First Nations, a National Municipal Infrastructure program, etc. Senator Colin Kenny, a former chairman of the Senate defence and security committee, emphasizes, “Issues are going to be settled in the Arctic through diplomacy and with lawyers. We’re not going to go to war up there.” Converting military spending into green jobs and a healthier environment reduces our biggest security threats. (See Demilitarize.ca and The Green Collar Economy: How One Solution Can Fix Our Two Biggest Problems.)
Create jobs where workers are not disabled physically and with PTSD, and dramatically reduce rape, sex slavery and trafficking. Limit proliferation of weapon use and the glorification of single-solution violent behaviour which make possible domestic violence and school shootings. Decide whether the military is protecting your interests.
New options are emerging to providing weapon-free, bully-free security at one tenth of the cost of the military. Canada could regain international respect as a bold, peacemaking nation with well-trained, weapon-free Canadians assisting in conflict zones around the world in ways that reduce violence and protect civilians. See NonviolentPeaceforce.org.
Check in with your conscience (and ConscienceCanada.ca peace tax return info.) about specifying your desire to pay for peace, reallocating to peaceful projects your portion of tax dollars conscripted to join the military. Hear more about this, Wed., April 10, 7-9pm at Expressions. Participate in Earth Day and the Global Day of Action on Military Spending as we consider security benefits of alternative job creation using the $1.8 trillion annual global military expenditures.