Open Letter to the Prime Minister on Military Expenditures
The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau
Prime Minister of Canada
Dear Mr Trudeau:
Re: Military Expenditures
Your government signed a contract with Lockheed Martin, prior to covid-19, to purchase 15 naval warships, tabbed as Type 26, at an estimated cost of about $60 billion dollars. These ships are not meant to simply patrol our northern waters; they are extremely robust and well equipped for fighting wars. It was claimed that existing frigates needed replacement to provide security of Canadian Arctic lands and ocean waters. But more recently, the Ottawa Citizen has asserted your Parliamentary Budget Officer suggests that the price tag could be $80 billion!
We also have learned that the Department of National Defence (DND) expects fighter jet purchases (F-35s) from Lockheed to cost on the order of $19 billion dollars. These planes are not meant to ward off attacks from an enemy. As the Washington Post notes, the new F-35 utilizes stealth technology so as to attack an adversary first — “By the time the enemy can hear you, it’s too late for them to react.”
Are we therefore to believe that such purchases are for defence purposes? Or is their military intent to enable first strike attacks on so-called adversaries? Surely this is the time when all nations need to rally behind one goal: to defeat covid-19 to save people’s lives, not to spend taxpayers’ money on killing fellow humans who live in another country! The mantra that we seemingly are following is the one created by the U.S. intelligence agencies, namely, “Full Spectrum Dominance 2020.” Is that what we as Canadians want our neighbours to the south to achieve?
Lastly, surely on reflection you must be taken aback by a price tag of $99 billion (and counting) when there are Canadians without jobs, who cannot pay their rent or even put food on the table. Please consider the consequences of your policies for so-called defence expenditures when the citizens you represent are in a crucial situation during the evolving COVID-19 pandemic – that is, all Canadians, who depend on you and your leadership on our behalf.
Richard Sandbrook DPhil, FRSC
President, Science for Peace Canada https://scienceforpeace.ca/