Five reasons to say no to spending $19 billion on warplanes
The Canadian government intends to sign a $19 billion contract in 2022 with one of three transnational corporations bidding to manufacture 88 fighter jets for the Royal Canadian Air Force. Here are five reasons to say no to that planned purchase:
1- We can’t afford the fighter jets. On July 8, Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced that he expects a $343.2 billion deficit for the 2020-21 fiscal year due to the spending related to the pandemic. This is a dramatic increase from the $19 billion deficit in 2016 when the Trudeau government announced the bidding process for new fighter jets.
2- We need work, not war planes. Research by the Costs of War Project based at Brown’s University in Providence, Rhode Island found that $1 million spent on “defence” creates 6.9 direct and indirect jobs, while the same amount invested in solar power creates 9.5 jobs, in health care 14.3 jobs, and in education 19.2 jobs.
3- Bombing doesn’t bring peace. Canada’s current fleet of fighter jets has conducted 1,598 bombing missions. That bombing of Iraq, Libya, Syria and Yugoslavia did not bring the world closer to peace. Canada flew 10% of the NATO strike missions in Libya. The NATO bombing of water infrastructure in Libya has been described as a war crime.
4- Water, not war planes. In ‘Canada does not need fighter jets, period’, Charles Nixon, Canada’s Deputy Minister of National Defence (1975 to 1983) wrote: “New Canadian fighters … are not required to protect Canada’s populace or sovereignty.” In contrast, $4.7 billion would provide clean drinking water and sanitation services to all First Nations.
5- War planes are heavy polluters. The F-35 releases more carbon into the atmosphere in one long-range flight than a typical automobile does in a year. Canada’s six-month bombing campaign of Libya consumed 8.5 million litres of fuel. In contrast, $19 billion for a Green New Deal would help the needed transition to a green economy.
Spending $216 million on a fighter jet that costs CAD $40,000 an hour to fly is a bad investment that doesn’t help to save lives, create jobs, sustain the environment, or bring peace. To help make space for peace, please call on your Member of Parliament to publicly state their opposition to the purchase of new fighter jets.
#NoNewFighterJets #ClimatePeace #DefundTheMilitary