PBI-Canada supports the call for a fundamental reassessment of Canadian foreign policy

Published by Brent Patterson on

Peace Brigades International-Canada supports the Canadian Foreign Policy Institute’s call to “fundamentally reassess Canadian foreign policy.”

Some of the questions that would help frame that review include:

1-Should Canada continue to offer financial and diplomatic support to arms exporters or refocus on demilitarization?

In 2019, the value of Canadian exports of controlled military goods and technology amounted to a record high of approximately $3.757 billion. That’s a dramatic increase over the reported amount of $2.069 billion in 2018 and $1.031 billion in 2017.

2-Should Canadian foreign policy continue to be enmeshed with mining interests abroad?

Over 60% of mining companies worldwide are headquartered in Canada. The Canadian government provides support to the industry in various ways including lobbying for investor-friendly free trade agreements and mining codes.

3-How can we ensure Canada abides by all International treaties protecting Indigenous rights?

In September 2007, Canada was one of four states that voted against the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. In May 2016, it removed its objector status to the Declaration, but has not fully implemented it in practice.

4-How can we ensure Canada radically reduces its greenhouse gas emissions?

Canada’s carbon emissions are projected to be 592 megatonnes in 2030. The UN has said global emissions need to be cut by 45% by 2030 to stop warming rising above 1.5 Celsius, which should mean a target of 381 megatonnes for Canada.

5-How can we ensure Canada’s foreign policy has a focus on peace, human rights and overcoming global inequities?

The Canadian government has committed to increase spending on the military from $18.9 billion in 2016-17 to $32.7 billion a year in 2026-27. While the UN has called for countries to spend 0.7% of their gross national income on aid, Canada spends 0.28%.

The call for a review is also supported by: Stephen Lewis, Former UN ambassador; Naomi Klein, Author and activist; Paul Manly, Member of Parliament; Richard Parry, Musician (Arcade Fire); Joel Harden, MPP Ottawa Centre; Ellen Gabriel, Artist and activist; Sandy Hudson, Founder Black Lives Matter-Toronto; Dave Bleakney, Canadian Union of Postal Workers; Clayton Thomas-Muller, Director, Author, Senior Campaign Specialist – 350.org; Matt Legge, Peace worker; Lyn Adamson – Co-Chair, Canadian Voice of Women for Peace; and numerous others.

To add your name to theirs in support of a review of Canadian foreign policy, please sign the Canadian Foreign Policy Institute petition here.

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