Statement from the Canadian Peace Alliance, March 28, 2012
The Federal budget 2012 still shows an increase in military spending to a total of more than $20 billion for the year 2012. Despite claims that the Harper government will be reducing military spending, the reality is that this reduction is simply a small haircut of $1.1 billion off of a massive structural budget increase as outlined by the Canada First Defence Strategy which calls for almost a half trillion dollars in spending by 2025.
The costs of the military spending in the social wage for Canadians is staggering and the Conservatives are purblind to those costs. They are still pushing ahead with a plan to buy 65 F‑35 fighter jets despite the fact that we still have no idea what these offensive and rather useless jest will cost. According to Parliamentary budget officer Kevin Page the total cost of the F35s may reach more than $30 billion.
To put that into perspective, the cost of one F35 could pay to hire 1,400 nurses in Canada for a year. A contribution of 1/6th of the cost of the F35s or 1/5th of the annual defence budget could provide free tuition to all post secondary students across the country for a year. $2 Billion alone would retrofit all homes in Alberta needing energy efficiency upgrades, lowering emissions, and creating up to 22,000 direct and indirect jobs.
The Harper government will use this budget to attack the people who deliver our public services and slash those federal programs that Canadian need most. Meanwhile the war industries of Canada line up at the trough of plenty to build more bombs and guns.
The Canadian Peace Alliance is calling for Peace and Prosperity, NOT War and Austerity. Stop the Cuts ‑ Redirect military spending.