Making Peace Vigil

Standing up for peace

SPREAD PEACE, NOT WEAPONS

Posted by strattof on August 21, 2014

The global arms trade is big business, and Canada is a major exporter of military hardware.

Currently, the worldwide trade in arms is estimated at between $60 billion and $85 billion annually.

  • In 2011, the Vancouver Sun reported that Canada had jumped from the 15th to the 12th largest military exporter in the world.
  • In 2013, CBC reported a surge in sales of Canadian guns and ammunition to countries where internal conflicts are raging, including Algeria and Iraq.

The trend of increasing military exports has only continued.

CANADA’S MILITARY EXPORTS INCREASE

  • In the latest fiscal year on record, the United States ordered over half a billion dollars’ worth of military hardware from Canada.
  • In June of this year, researchers at Project Ploughshares reported on a multi-year $15-billion deal to send armoured vehicles to Saudi Arabia.

The federal Crown Corporation charged with reporting this data on Canada’s trade in arms says it also placed contracts with Canadian companies for the following amounts and countries:

  • $36.2-million to Mexico
  • $18.8-million to Argentina
  • $10.9-million to Peru
  • $2.3-million to Norway.

“THE ALMIGHTY DOLLAR”

Why is the Canadian government working so hard to allow billions of dollars’ worth of military equipment to be sent around the world?

Walter Dorn, Professor of Defence Studies at the Canadian Forces College, has said, “The danger is that the almighty dollar may become the predominant motivator in trade deals and therefore weapons are more easily shipped.”

CANADA’S TRADE IN ARMS CONTRIBUTES TO CURRENT CONFLICTS

  • In May of this year, Project Ploughshares reported that a proposed $790 million US sale of 24 military aircraft to Iraq would include engines and electronic systems from companies in Quebec and Ontario.
  • Canada’s military trade with Israel rose to $1.8 million in 2013, according to Industry Canada, “including Bombs, Grenades, Torpedoes, Mines, Etc.”

Canada should stand for peace, not for selling weapons.

According to Oxfam, “Every day, millions of people suffer from the consequences of armed violence. This violence is fuelled by unregulated global trade in arms and ammunition‒enabling weapons to fall into the hands of dictators, criminals, drug traffickers and terrorists.”

STANDING FOR PEACE

One step Canadians can take to restrict the global trade in arms is to call on the government to sign the Arms Trade Treaty.

Nearly seventy countries signed the treaty in June of last year, but the Canadian government has resisted signing.

The treaty is aimed at restricting the global arms trade, and our MPs need to know that we want Canada to sign.

Canada should stand for peace, not for selling weapons.

E-mail your MP to say that you believe Canada should sign the Arms Trade Treaty and should start spreading peace and stop selling weapons around the world.

Ray Boughen: ray.boughen@parl.gc.ca

Ralph Goodale: ralph.goodale@parl.gc.ca

Tom Lukiwski: tom.lukiwski@parl.gc.ca

Andrew Scheer: andrew.scheer@parl.gc.ca

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