Drones update from Ottawa

Thank you for taking action and signing Ceasefire.ca’s “No Attack Drones” petition.

Thousands of emails and postcards are being sent to Prime Minister Stephen Harper and other party leaders, and we are more than halfway to our goal of delivering 10,000 messages to Parliament. Amazing!

But there is still a lot more work to be done. Harper’s plans to arm the military with attack drones have barely been noticed in Ottawa. That’s why your letters are so vital.

For instance, Green Party leader and MP Elizabeth May’s team understood Harper’s drones as being only for Arctic surveillance, and even replied to some Ceasefire.ca supporters that “there are no plans to purchase armed attack drones.”

Quickly, we briefed Ms. May about the dark side of Harper’s JUSTAS project – the complex plan to spend $1 billion on surveillance and armed drones for the military.

I think it is fair to say that she was incensed at the lack of information from the government about these “unjustifiable weapons,” as she called them.

“We now realize that within DND there are efforts to gain approval for the purchase of attack drones such as Predators and Reapers,” Elizabeth May wrote in a subsequent letter to Ceasefire.ca supporters. “In the now well-worn fashion of the Harper Conservatives, these plans have been cloaked in secrecy. As an MP I have tools available and will use them to press for solid information on these plans.”

That’s great news. We are also in contact with the other political parties about Harper’s plans for armed drones, and you may be hearing from them directly, soon.

We will keep you updated occasionally by email, and you can sign up to receive copies of our latest posts about peace issues and campaigns on Ceasefire.ca.

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Thanks you for everything you do for peace.

Steven Staples

Tags: Arms industry, Canada, Canadian defence policy, Canadian Forces, Canadian foreign policy, Canadian military spending, Ceasefire.ca, Defence policy, Defence spending, Drone warfare, Drones, Military procurement, Steven Staples