In lead-up to the CANSEC arms show in Ottawa, Canadian General calls on weapons industry to adopt “wartime footing”

Published by Brent Patterson on

The CBC reports Canada’s top soldier says defence industry needs to ramp up production to ‘wartime footing’.

General Wayne Eyre, Canada’s Chief of Defence Staff, says: “Given the deteriorating world situation, we need the defence industry to go onto a wartime footing and increase their production lines to be able to support the requirements that are out there, whether its ammunition, artillery, rockets, you name it.”

CANSEC arms show

It’s likely that Lieutenant-General Frances Allen, the Vice-Chief of the Defence Staff, will bring this message as a keynote speaker at the CANSEC arms show.

CANSEC, taking place on Wednesday June 1 and Thursday June 2, is organized by the Canadian Association of Defence and Security Industries (CADSI).

CADSI “is the national industry voice of more than 900 Canadian defence and security companies that produce world-class goods … sought the world over [and that] generate $10 billion in annual revenues, roughly 60 per cent of which come from exports.”

The exhibitors list this year includes Bell Textron Canada Limited (that has manufactured helicopters used by the Colombian and Mexican armed forces); L3Harris Technologies (now bidding to sell armed drones to Canada); and Lockheed Martin Canada (now in final negotiations with Canada to sell 88 of their F-35 warplanes).

Lockheed Martin, one of the sponsors of CANSEC, had $67.0 billion in sales in 2021 (up $1.6 billion from 2020), and reported a profit (net earnings) of $1.7 billion for just the first three months of this year.

Mobilization against CANSEC

A protest against CANSEC is now being organized. The Facebook event page for that is at Against All Wars: Protest the CANSEC arms show in Ottawa.

That page highlights: “ALL OUT for a rotating picket on Wednesday June 1 starting at 7:00am at the EY Centre (4899 Uplands Drive by the airport) in Ottawa.”

There will also be a march against Canadian imperialism and militarism on Thursday June 2 starting at 4:00 pm starting at City Hall followed by a teach-in at McNabb Park.

Webinar, May 31

The day prior to the start of CANSEC, PBI-Canada will also be organizing a webinar on Arms exports and the militarization of territory.

Confirmed speakers include Quetzalli Villanueva Vergara (Tlachinollan Human Rights Centre, Mexico), Rachel Small (World Beyond War, Canada) and Ni Dene Uldai (Denesuline land defender, Tluo Chok Tue). A speaker from Colombia will be confirmed soon.

The webinar will be moderated by Seb Bonet, a PBI-Canada Board member.

Peace Brigades International has highlighted: “The dominant security discourse associated with the militarization of societies is a setback. Billions more spent on weapons will not make the world safer.”

To register for this webinar, please click here.

PBI-Canada first raised concerns about this arms show in 1993 just after it had been rebranded from ARMX to Peacekeeping ’93. The arms show became CANSEC in 1998.

Murray Thomson, who helped to found Peace Brigades International in 1981, was a regular presence at protests against CANSEC, including the one in this May 2018 photo. Murray passed away in May 2019 at 96 years of age.

Related reading: PBI-Switzerland supports Ostermarsch (Easter March) that opposes Swiss arms exports.

Categories: News Updates

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