Stop Canada’s $65 billion Purchase of New Warplanes and Warships

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What right does anyone in Canada have to look into the eyes of children and families like these (fleeing Canadian-made bullets and bombs) and claim we have a right to drop bombs on their homes, schools, community centres, hospitals, farms, and grocery stores?

But that is exactly the right being claimed by the Trudeau government, which is planning a multi-billion dollar war spending spree to create more such scenes of terror, destruction, and misery around the globe.

In addition to committing over $60 billion to new warships through its Canadian Surface Combatant project, the Trudeau government is planning to spend billions of dollars on a set of "Super Hornet" warplanes at an average cost of $335 million each, in violation of international treaties forbidding the planning and preparation for acts of war, as well as those covenants that compel Canada to spend such monies instead on much needed social programs. Even worse, this purchase, likely to occur during the summer when Parliament is not sitting, is an "interim" step towards buying an even more expensive set of fighter jets within the next decade.

The idea that Canada "needs" warplanes and warships is absurd. The only ones who "need" Canada to have them are those corporations who profit from such massive purchases. The "Super Hornets" are used to drop bombs on people around the globe.

The recent Global Peace Index indicates the world is increasingly a less peaceful place thanks to plans like those of the Trudeau government, with the gap between those countries insulated from war versus those suffering through violent conflict continuing to widen:  “The world continues to spend enormous amounts on creating and containing violence and little on building peace. The economic impact of violence on the global economy in  2015 was $13.6 trillion in purchasing power parity (PPP) terms... or $1,876 for every person in the world.”

What could we use with each $335 million spent on Super Hornet bombers (which will cost even more the moment you start pouring fossil fuels into them)?

  • For the price of ONE warplane, some 13,400 students could attend university for four years for free.
  • For the price of ONE warplane, over 21,990 free, year-round child care spaces would open up.
  • For the price of ONE warplane, we could create at least 1,456 affordable housing units.
  • The price of one warplane is more than DOUBLE the amount of the funding gap that Cindy Blackstock identified as missing for Indigenous children in Budget 2016.

  • The price of  ONE Super Hornet warplane is TEN TIMES what the Trudeau government has committed annually to meeting the mental health needs of Indigenous youth

Warplanes and warships of any type and variety are offensive by nature. Their use is in violation of the Nuremberg Principles (which prohibits "Planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression") as well as the  Kellogg-Briand Pact (aka the Treaty Providing for the Renunciation of War as an Instrument of National Policy, signed by Canada in 1929), in which "the high contracting parties solemnly declare in the names of their respective peoples that they condemn recourse to war for the solution of international controversies, and renounce it as an instrument of national policy in their relations with one another....The High Contracting Parties agree that the settlement or solution of all disputes or conflicts of whatever nature or of whatever origin they may be, which may arise among them, shall never be sought except by pacific means."

Purchase of warplanes, in addition to the countless tens of billions spent annually on warfare (and the planned $60 billion in warships) stand Canada in contravention to International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which guarantees all people an adequate standard of living, "including adequate food, clothing and housing, and to the continuous improvement of living conditions.... the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health."

Canada cannot meet the huge need for mental health services, environmental cleanup, and income equality measures while it continues to make war spending its highest use of federal discretionary funds. It cannot fulfill its legal obligation under the Convention on the Rights of the Child to reaffirm “that children's rights require special protection and call for continuous improvement of the situation of children all over the world, as well as for their development and education in conditions of peace and security.” The Convention notes that “States Parties shall undertake such measures to the maximum extent of their available resources and, where needed, within the framework of international co-operation.”

Nor does massive war spending allow Canada to fulfill its legal obligations under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which guarantees all people an adequate standard of living, including adequate food, clothing and housing, and the "continuous improvement of living conditions.

Homes not Bombs is calling on the Trudeau regime to immediately halt plans to spend $60 billion on new warships and untold billions on new Super Hornet warplanes, and to instead spend those monies on desperately needed, socially useful programs. It calls on the Trudeau government to end any and all support for the Canadian weapons trade, and to outlaw the production, sale, and export of weapons for war.

We also call on the NDP to finally take a position on ending Canada's war economy and to publicly and firmly oppose the purchase of new warplanes and warships.