What the Justin Trudeau Election Win Means for Peace

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Dear Ceasefire.ca supporter,

One day…that’s all it took.

Just one day after the Harper Conservatives’ crushing election defeat…and the remarkable comeback of the Liberals under leader Justin Trudeau…Canada took a major turn away from war.

“President Obama understands the commitments I have made around ending the combat mission,” Justin Trudeau told journalists following his first phone call with the Oval Office.

Trudeau had just informed the U.S. President that Canada was withdrawing from the bombing campaign over Iraq and Syria, in order that Canada might play a more “effective” role in other ways. These include refocused training of local forces, and logistical, housing and other assistance by Canada’s military to help bring 25,000 Syrian refugees to Canada for resettlement before the year’s end.

Ceasefire.ca supporter, this is such an important moment for you, for me, for the entire Ceasefire.ca community.

That’s why I want to thank you personally for everything you have done for peace. And I hope that you can do a little more, and make a special post-election gift of $45 right away, before the end of 2015.

Or better still, consider joining our Peacekeepers monthly donor club by giving $12 each month for peace, and then you can claim your free copy of Naomi Klein’s prescient bestseller, This Changes Everything.

Donate $45 or $12 each month right now

In fact, according to a recent poll, fully 68 per cent of Canadians say that restoring Canada’s reputation on the world stage will be a major outcome of the election.

Together, we have worked so hard to shift away from war, and to make Canada a peace leader once again.

We have sent literally thousands of cards, letters, petitions, and emails to party leaders and MPs, published ground-breaking reports, authored newspaper articles, appeared on countless radio and television programs, spoken to every type of gathering from conferences to workshops to rallies, met with MPs and worked tirelessly with other like-minded NGOs….and now, finally, we are making real progress toward peace.

That’s why I want to thank you for everything you are doing to support our work. Your donations and participation in our campaigns have gotten us to this historic moment.

Let’s celebrate this momentous achievement while we get right back to our essential work for peace.

You see, not everyone is as happy as we are with this dramatic and positive shift in Canadian foreign and defence policy.

We can already hear the pro-war lobby shamelessly bellowing for an immediate return to Harper’s strident, aggressive posturing on the world stage.

The Globe and Mail reported that high-tech military firms in Canada, and their bevy of retired generals lobbying on their behalf, are complaining about Trudeau’s pledge to scrap the plan to buy F-35s and are urging him to stick with the grossly over-priced and under-performing U.S.-built stealth fighters.

But it doesn’t stop there. A recent report, authored by retired Canadian civilian and military officials with NATO connections, calls on Justin Trudeau to sign Canada up to one of the biggest military boondoggles of them all – the U.S. “Star Wars” missile shield – an issue that the hawks refuse to let go away.

This all means that the Trudeau government will be under tremendous and constant pressure to renege on key peacebuilding commitments they made during the election.

In the coming weeks, you and I and peace supporters across Canada will need to keep the government’s resolve strong – and push back against the defence lobby and its echo throughout much of the established media.

Just imagine what we can accomplish! According to the Liberals’ election platform, now incorporated into “mandate letters” of the Trudeau Cabinet Ministers, they are committed to all of these actions:

  • Scrapping Harper’s F-35 stealth fighter jets
  • Signing the UN Arms Trade Treaty
  • Conducting an open review process for a new Defence Strategy
  • Overhauling Bill C-51 and improving oversight of intelligence agencies
  • Re-engaging in UN peacekeeping and UN peacekeepers’ training
  • Increasing funding to UN conflict-prevention
  • Meeting Canada’s obligations to reduce climate change
  • Substantially increasing our overseas development assistance

These are significant changes and they are within our grasp. But, after nearly a decade of darkness under the Harper Conservatives, there is much, much more to be done. It is more important than ever for us to advocate strongly to make Canada a positive force in the world.

The Trudeau government must address the shipments of armoured vehicles flowing from Canada to the appalling regime in Saudi Arabia.

The Harper government shamelessly negotiated the record-breaking $15 billion, 10-year arms deal with the Saudi Royal Family. While Prime Minister Justin Trudeau cannot recall the shipments already sent, he can and must deny future shipments in accordance with our long-standing export control rules, which are expressly designed to prevent Canadian-made arms from being used to perpetrate human rights abuses abroad.

We must ensure that Bill C-51 is not just overhauled, but consigned to the legislative dustbin, as countless experts, five former prime ministers, and many thousands of ordinary Canadians alike have demanded.

And most important of all, we need to encourage our new government to make Canada’s voice for peace clearly heard in vitally important diplomatic negotiations, like those now going on in Vienna to end the horrific civil war in Syria.

There is a new Cabinet and 200 new Members of Parliament coming to Ottawa for the opening of Parliament on December 3. We must reach out to them and inform them about our amazing peace movement.

This is what we will do with your generous support.

Ceasefire.ca is the largest peace network in Canada, and we can make a difference…but only with your help!

Thank you for everything you do for peace,

Peggy Mason photo and signature

Peggy Mason
Rideau Institute and Ceasefire.ca

P.S. Please make your special donation of $45, before the end of the year. Or consider signing up to give $12 each month, and then claim your free copy of Naomi Klein’s bestseller, This Changes Everything.

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