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No money for the war machine

July 12, 2017

The Federal Liberal government has announced a massive increase in military spending over the next decade. They are planning to increase spending by a total of $65 billion and increasing yearly spending from the current $20 billion to $36 billion.

It seems that whenever we need money for something human beings actually need the cupboard is bare, but when our government wants to go to war the money is always available.

There are currently 150 Indigenous communities without clean drinking water and millions more promised to support Indigenous children has not been released despite many court rulings demanding that of the Liberals. It is to Canada’s shame that they have decided to prioritize weapons of war rather than take care of the basic needs of First Nations.

And why do they want to spend so much on war? According to Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Harjit Sajjan, Minister of Defence, the Liberals want to project Canadian leadership on the world stage.

If they were serious about that leadership they would use this money to meet and exceed Canada emissions targets. According to Greenpeace it would cost $15,000 to retrofit an individual building to make it more energy efficient. For $1.5 billion we could retrofit 100,000 buildings a year. This plan would also create 30,000 jobs each year.

They tell us that the money will be used to defend the country in an increasingly hostile world. The world is hostile, not because of too little defence spending but because of the brutal wars stated by western countries. It’s like saying that the best way to put out this fire is to pour some more gas on it. The last thing the world needs its more weaponry in the hands of the imperial powers. In Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya the main reason for the ongoing chaos is that the US and its allies have obliterated the countries.

And what of health spending? The Liberals have decided to continue with the Harper government’s plan to decrease health transfer spending by $36 billion over the same duration as the military spending increases. And what of a planned pharmacare program or money for subsidized daycare? These programs would have an immediate and beneficial impact on the health and well being of the people but instead the Liberals want armed drones that can assassinate people on the other side of the world.

Austerity and war go hand in hand. As long as money goes to militarism it will not be used to benefit humanity. It’s time to tell the Liberals to cancel the money for war.

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