A small gathering of people in Nanaimo protested Canada’s fighter jet deal, saying they prefer peaceful resolution to conflict.
Members of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom’s participated in the local protest at Diana Krall Plaza on Nov. 25 as part of a national day of action against Canada’s purchase of fighter jets.
“They will not protect Canada but will be used to further destabilize the world,” noted the group in a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. “We urge you to change the direction of this government to focus, not on war, but on peace.”
The protesters criticized the fighter jets’ costs and carbon footprint as well as Canada’s military spending in general. The group also asked the PM to appoint an “ambassador of disarmament” to the United Nations, set up a federal Department of Peace, and ensure that any defence procurement has a “gender-based analysis.”
According to a press release from the No Fighter Jets Coalition, Nanaimo’s rally was one of 13 nationwide last week.
“We want the federal government to invest in health care, affordable housing, green jobs and a just recovery,” said organizer Tamara Lorincz, a member of the Canadian Voice of Women for Peace, in the release. “Fighter jets are for violence, we need global co-operation to deal with the pandemic and climate emergency.”
Public Services and Procurement Canada notes that the acquisition of 88 “advanced fighter jets” will cost $15-19 billion and will allow the country to meet NORAD and NATO obligations.