Dear Friends of Ceasefire.ca,
Once again, Canadians are facing the horrific possibility that the Conservative party might win the next federal election, not through majority support of course, but due to vote splits under our antiquated, anti-democratic “first past the post” election system.
The Neo-Con threat is all too real.
The Andrew Scheer Conservatives oppose virtually everything we at Ceasefire.ca stand for – a strong UN, strengthening international law, curbing Canada’s growing role in the deadly global arms trade, Canadian leadership on arms control and disarmament, especially in relation to nuclear weapons, and above all – giving the utmost priority to diplomacy and peacebuilding rather than hopelessly counterproductive and costly military approaches.
The Justin Trudeau Liberals need to close the rhetoric-versus-reality gap.
It is not the stated policy of the Justin Trudeau Liberals that causes us grief. It’s the yawning gap that we too often find between their welcome rhetoric in support of the global rule of law, multilateralism and diplomatic peacemaking and their actual deeds. – RI President Peggy Mason
This contradiction is most clearly playing out in our ongoing arms exports to Saudi Arabia, even as that country decimates Yemen at an almost unimaginable human cost. But it can also be seen in our government’s reluctance to champion the landmark Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, in its failure to re-engage constructively with Russia or Iran (despite election promises to do so) and, most worrying of all, in its support for manifestly illegal American economic sanctions against Venezuela, rather than pursuing an impartial diplomatic role.
The Justin Trudeau government continues to express its support for a Palestinian state in accordance with international law and UN Security Council resolutions. But in practice it has been shockingly reluctant to condemn Israel for clear and grievous violations of the most basic rights of Palestinians in the Occupied Territories.
Where do other federal parties stand?
Both the NDP and the Green Party have consistently called for Canada to “walk the talk” by ending arms sales to Saudi Arabia, exercising leadership toward nuclear disarmament and giving a much higher priority to UN-led peacebuilding efforts.
Only the Scheer Conservatives stand in opposition to Canada as a global peace leader, preferring instead to pursue a politics of fear and division in both foreign and domestic policy. They oppose UN peacekeeping in favour of “preserving” Canadian forces for use only in alliance with NATO or the United States. Scheer is even aping some of Donald Trump’s worst policies, treating the media like an enemy and vowing to flout the UN by recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Conservatives continue to justify Stephen Harper’s unconscionable Saudi arms deal, despite the world’s worst humanitarian crisis in Yemen and the Saudi-government-directed assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. And they still oppose the Trudeau government’s decision for Canada to finally join all its Western allies in becoming a party to the global Arms Trade Treaty.
As for domestic gun regulation, Conservatives in the Senate have just gutted the gun control provisions of Bill C-71, thus stymying a very modest effort by the Liberals to close some of the many pro-gun lobby loopholes enacted by the Harper government.
We cannot let this kind of backward, militaristic and pro-Trump thinking triumph.
We need your help to realize the vision of Canada as an energetic, innovative and principled global problem solver.
Will you help us in the urgent task before us – of energizing and mobilizing progressives in all the federal parties – to develop strong, innovative election platforms that unmistakably bridge the gap between rhetoric and reality, between what is promised and what will be delivered, between what Canada urgently needs and what Canada actually gets.
We’ve had a big influence on key policies before and, with your help, we can do it again.
To give just two examples, in the legislation to enable Canada to join the Arms Trade Treaty, we and other civil society groups were instrumental in securing hard legal limits on the Foreign Minister’s ability to approve military exports in questionable circumstances. Then we were successful in convincing the government, for the first time ever, to impose a requirement for export permits for full weapons systems being exported to the United States.
In plain English, this means that, once the law takes effect, there will be no more sordid, secret, destabilizing transfers of Canadian-made weapons to Saudi Arabia or the United Arab Emirates or Egypt or any other country committing serious human rights abuses or undermining regional or international peace and security.
None of this would have been possible without your support.
With your help going forward we will:
- Intensify our work with likeminded groups and parliamentarians to refine and promote our comprehensive peacebuilding plan for Canada;
- Relentlessly ramp up our public advocacy on tv and radio, in print and through social media, in support of our progressive vision; and
- Redouble our efforts to equip you with the facts and analysis you need to make our vision for global solidarity a campaign issue that cannot be ignored.
To help us continue this vital work, could you please make a donation?
Progressives have always outnumbered the right in Canada . It’s time we make that really count! – Peggy Mason
Consider joining our Peacekeepers Monthly Donor Club, through a monthly donation of $9.
If you join with a minimum monthly donation of $12, you will be eligible to receive a free copy of Homes: A Refugee Story, by Abu Bakr al Rabeeah and Winnie Yeung – an $18.95 value. (Min. $12/month. Available until June 30th , 2019).
Photo credit: Ceasefire.ca