VOW Voices Our Concerns in Ottawa.
In September, VOW members visited many Members of Parliament to voice our opinions and to share information. Here is a list of the key points discussed.
Our concern that Canada has refused to sign the United Nations’ new Treaty to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons and has not shown leadership for nuclear disarmament
- Canada boycotted the negotiations for the new UN nuclear weapons ban treaty and is not showing international leadership for nuclear disarmament. 122 countries negotiated the new treaty.
- Unfortunately, the federal government has signalled that it will not sign the new UN Treaty to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons. 54 countries have already signed it.
- Canada’s current step-by-step approach is inadequate, and its Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty initiative has not had a program of work for over two decades. The humanitarian impacts of WMD demand abolition.
Source: “Six deceptive arguments against a nuclear weapons ban,” by Cesar Jamarillo, Project Ploughshares article, 2017: https://www.opencanada.org/features/six-deceptive-arguments-against-nuclear-weapons-ban/
Our concern about Canada’s new defence policy, Global Affairs’ “hard power” posture and military spending
- This June, Global Affairs Minister Freeland announced that Canada “must project hard power to protect the global order” and called for more military spending echoing US President Trump’s statement in March.
- Canada’s new defence policy released in June increases our military spending, weapons procurement and combat-fighting capacity. Our government plans to buy 88 new fighter jets, build 15 surface combatants (warships) and procure more light-armed vehicles, attack helicopters and armed drones.
- According to the Public Accounts of Canada, last year the federal government allocated a consolidated $28 billion to the Department of National Defence but only $1.5 billion to Environment Canada.
- Canada’s new defence policy increases our military spending to over $550 billion over the next 20 years maintaining “high-end war fighting” and not investing adequately in social and environmental needs.
Source: “Freeland says Canada needs hard power to support global order,” Mike Blanchfield, June 2017, http://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/freeland-says-canada-needs-hard-power-to-support-global-order-1.3445788
Source: “Strong Secure Engaged: Canada Defence Policy” 2017 http://dgpaapp.forces.gc.ca/en/canada-defence-policy/docs/canada-defence-policy-report.pdf
Our concern that military emissions are exempted from national greenhouse gas accounting and reporting
- The federal government is not accounting for the climate impacts of the military and excludes overseas military emissions from its national greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory and national climate action plan.
- Under the Department of National Defence’s current Operation Impact, Canada has completed 3,198 sorties and supplied over 50 million pounds of fuel to the US-led bombing of Syria and Iraq under US Operation Inherent Resolve. DND is the largest federal agency consumer of fossil fuels.
Source: National Defence, “Operation Impact”: http://www.forces.gc.ca/en/operations-abroad-current/op-impact.page; and “Strong Secure Engaged: Canada Defence Policy” 2017, p. 102: http://dgpaapp.forces.gc.ca/en/canada-defence-policy/docs/canada-defence-policy-report.pdf
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