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Posted by on Mar 21, 2012 in General News

That is why we are saying: 'NO F-35s and YES to Kyoto

Dear Editor,

Billions of dollars for F-35 fighter-jets are supposed to make Canadians more secure? This, as our country’s democratic traditions and commitment to fundamental human rights are eroded?

It is not just our financial security that would be undermined by the F-35 purchase. Few people take into consideration the ecological damage caused by F-35s. Their fuel consumption would be comparable to that of other bombers, about as much in one hour as the average car would consume in two years.

With the money saved by getting out of the F-35 purchase, we could afford a whole range of great programs, such as affordable housing, renewable energy, affordable daycare, grants for post-secondary education and more.

Beyond spending, we need to change how we think about security. True security includes supporting the only binding international climate agreement the world has, the Kyoto accord. We must reverse the Harper decision to withdraw from the accord by December, 2012. Of course the accord is not perfect, but killing it is about as dumb as bombing some nation because it too, is not perfect.

Please join the Canadian Voice of Women for Peace is saying no to F-35s and yes to Kyoto!

Sincerely, Jan Slakov, 135 Deer Park Rd. Salt Spring Island, BC V8K 1P5 (250) 537-5251

Spending billions of dollars on F-35 military planes is a spectacularly egregious example of the misplaced priorities of our current government, says the Canadian Voice of Women for Peace, VOW. The group feels it is important to speak out in coordination with the Rideau Institute’s “Be heard on March third” day of action.

“Those billions of dollars could provide real security, by supporting programs for affordable housing and daycare, home care, renewable energy, foreign aid and much more. Instead, the Harper government wants to sign us into a contract with Lockheed Martin for planes that are not even well-suited to our military’s particular needs” says co-chair, Lyn Adamson. “The F-35s are a “poster child” for so-called “security” spending that actually makes us less secure. Solely from a financial perspective, this deal should be shelved because we know now that previous cost overruns are just a shadow of things to come. And thanks, in part, to Wikileaks and the work of one of our board members, we learn that the projected cost for the planes does not even include engines!”

We need to rethink what true security means. We could start by checking out how things work in Norway, the country selected by the UN as the best place to live on earth. This is what award-winning journalist Ann Jones decided to do thanks to a Fulbright scholarship. She points out that gender equality and human welfare go hand in hand; where women’s rights are respected you can expect improved living conditions for everyone. Indeed, in the Scandinavian countries where people have access to excellent day care, government-funded health and home care  and pay equity,  citizens enjoy a “good life” in many areas, from pedestrian and cyclist safety to crime rates.

Let’s look beyond what we can learn from statistics. Last summer the worst act of terrorism in Norway’s history took place. Among the dead was a Kurdish refugee student from Iraq, Bano Rashid. At her Muslim-Christian funeral one of her friends, Ayesha, spoke these words: “This will make us more tolerant, bring us together, make Norway a safer place for people to come too,”

This is the foundation of true security – caring for each other and not indulging in vengeance. This is what we want for our country too.

We want our government to restore its respect for fundamental human rights. We must not condone torture in any way and stop the human rights violations associated with security certificate detentions. And we must respect international law (such as laws regarding child soldiers and refugees).

“As a peace organization, VOW looks for ways to prevent war and promote justice. It has been said that all war represents a failure of diplomacy. So we were shocked that the Harper government would purposefully sabotage diplomacy in last December’s climate negotiations in Durban, South Africa”, explains Adamson. While the Kyoto accord is not perfect, it is the only international binding climate action treaty we have. If our government follows through on its stated intention to withdraw from the treaty, we will be the first country in the world to do so. Given the threat to our security now but especially for future generations, undermining the Kyoto protocol in this way is truly abhorrent. That is why we are saying: ‘NO F-35s and YES to Kyoto’.”

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For more information, please contact: Lyn Adamson, (416) 731-6605   <>
or Jan Slakov, Salt Spring Island, (250) 537-5251 <>