Dear Ceasefire.ca supporter,
It’s almost impossible to imagine these two words together – Torture and Canada: one is so frightening and morally repugnant, and the other is our country . . . our home.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government has ordered his security forces to share information – even when torture is involved – with some of the most despicable and brutal regimes around the world. This was reported by The Canadian Press.
So why would Harper sink to such an all-time low? It seems Harper is willing to trade human dignity and the sanctity of life for his own mean-spirited politics and the profits of the big arms industry.
Recently, his government brokered the biggest arms deal in history with Saudi Arabia – a kingdom where human rights experts say torture is “common, widespread and generally committed with impunity.
Yet Harper approved a $10 billion deal to ship military vehicles to Saudi Arabia. This is one of the most repressive regimes in the world, a country where women are not even allowed to drive a car.
Harper refuses to let human rights get in his way; his priority is to turn Canada into a major global military supplier. He seems to seethe with contempt for human rights and peacekeeping.
That’s why we need a strong peace movement in Canada. We have a plan to put our nation on the right path, again. I want to tell you how, but I need you to join me.
Will you help make Canada a peace leader again, and join our Peacekeepers monthly donor club by making a small donation of $7 each month to Ceasefire.ca?
Visit our secure donation page here: www.ceasefire.ca/donate
Your donation will be used to support our Blueprint for Peace.
Our country’s name was once synonymous with peace. Harper’s government has instead maligned our character. So we have developed plans to restore Canada’s reputation, and to become a global peace leader, once again.
Your donations will be used to help take six steps that we are committed to in our Blueprint for Peace. But we won’t be able to accomplish anything without your support.
I know you and I both want Canada to be a force for good in the world. Do you think it is essential for us to restore our reputation in the world and take these Six Steps for Peace?
Step 1. Stop overspending on preparations for war – Reduce the budget of the Department of National Defence and use the savings to improve social programs and the environment.
Step 2. End the war economy – Shift military production to a sustainable and innovative economy that makes the things people need and provides good jobs.
Step 3. Support UN peacekeeping – Contribute more personnel and resources to end wars worldwide.
Step 4. Promote efforts to abolish nuclear weapons – Join other countries to support a global ban on “the bomb.”
Step 5. Help to prevent future conflicts – Support disarmament treaties, human rights, and efforts to curb the arms trade.
Step 6. Restore Canada’s global reputation . . . and influence – Make Canada a peace leader, once again.
The Ceasefire.ca team is ready to get to work. But we need you to be with us! Are these actions that you would support?
I hope you will help us to achieve these goals by joining our Peacekeepers monthly donor club, right away.
Our plan is based on our Peacekeepers monthly donor club reaching 1000 members before the end of the year. Right now more than 700 people provide us with a regular, predictable donation every month.
I am very proud that so many people have confidence in our peace work. I know that I can count on you, too.
The first step is reducing military spending and shifting public dollars back toward our social programs.
You’ll hear the government claim it has already made some small, temporary reductions to the military budget, but this is after a decade of massive increases and it’s being driven by the budget deficit and the anticipated 2015 federal election.
If the Conservatives win the election in 2015, I’m sure they will start boosting military spending once again, at the expense of a healthier economy and social needs.
Stephen Harper has never given up on his massive military spending plans described in his Canada First Defence Strategy – this is the plan he revealed back in 2008 with a price tag pushing close to a half-trillion dollars over 20 years.
Here’s what Harper wants:
- the U.S.-built F-35 stealth fighters,
- a fleet of warships armed with cruise missiles,
- more weapons and bases in the Arctic,
- more powerful battle tanks and other combat vehicles,
- and even armed drones that will empower him to launch his own targeted assassinations.
Annual documents released by the military recently show that the Harper government plans to spend $18.6 billion this year alone on the military.
But there is absolutely no need for this overspending on the Department of National Defence. The budget is now being driven by special interests and the pro-war lobby. It’s failed Reagan economics, failed Bush economics – pump billions into the war machine but cut social programs, education, health care, basic infrastructure.
These boys-with-toys don’t get it – our security concerns today are economic and environmental, not military.
Our plan is to push for a peacetime economy – to reduce military spending back to the level it was before September 11, 2001. If we succeed, $2.5 billion every year would be freed up for social programs!
We have done the calculations, and the impact of redirecting that money from the military is astounding.
If we reduced military spending by just $2.5 billion, we could triple the entire budget of Environment Canada, from $1 billion to more than $3 billion per year.
Or we could build a brand new hospital every year and maintain it for decades. Imagine that – a new hospital built every single year – instead of Harper’s plan to waste billions of dollars on stealth fighters.
That’s just the first step of our Blueprint for Peace. Take a look at the other five steps for peace we will be working on and I hope you’ll agree this is a project worth your financial support.
Over the last ten years Ceasefire.ca has grown to include more than 25,000 people. We’re part of the Rideau Institute, one of the most influential foreign and defence research and advocacy groups in Ottawa.
It’s your support that allows us to be at the forefront of these issues in Parliament, and in Canada’s leading media outlets, such as the CBC.
We do everything we can to help build the peace movement – training young people, working with other peace and research groups, and reaching out to Canadians.
That’s how we have become so successful!
Most recently, we challenged the Harper government’s plan to spend $2 billion on tanks that the army didn’t even want. We built the pressure that finally forced the government to scrap the “close combat vehicles.”
We’ve also been called the leading opponents of the F-35 stealth fighter in the media, and have been featured on flagship investigative news programs on all three major networks: Global, CTV, and the CBC.
After months of media, parliamentary, and public pressure, the Harper government appears to have shelved a decision on the F-35 stealth fighter until after the next election. We need to be ready to fight this waste of money and disregard for our international role when the issue emerges from the Harper regime again.
Right now we need to raise $17,000 before the end of the summer. It’s an incredibly ambitious goal for such a small organization. And we rely almost entirely on donations from peace supporters like you!
I want to thank you for all of your support in the past to Ceasefire.ca. It has really made a difference, and I hope you will consider my special invitation to you asking you to join our Peacekeepers monthly donor club by making a small, regular contribution for peace.
I know that we have a lot of work ahead of us – but we are making progress. Help us to keep up the pressure on the Harper government, and to make Canada a peace leader, once again.