Who would be Canada’s Prime Minister for peace?

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Dear Ceasefire.ca supporter, 

Beginning today… we’ve decided to commit ourselves to using the coming election to put an end to Stephen Harper’s disastrous rule, and to put Canada back on the path to inclusive peace and justice at home and globally. 

In my last letter to you I called on Ceasefire.ca supporters to work together to make the next election about peace and hope. This is an extraordinary time, and I hope you’ll join us. 

Sign up to give $7 each month, right now?
  • We have to end Harper’s waste of billions of dollars on weapons we don’t need and wars we cannot win.
  • We have to end Harper’s bellicose, juvenile and dangerously short-sighted international posturing.
  • We have to end Harper’s relentless stifling of debate and dissent in Canada.

Instead of the fear-mongering, the bullying, the hypocrisy and the arrogance: 

  • We need a government committed to investing our public tax dollars on a progressive agenda for all Canadians.
  • We have to get back to the table at the United Nations, and craft real solutions to the deadly quagmires in Iraq, Syria and Libya.
  • Most important, let’s become known again around the world as advocates for constructive, innovative, durable solutions to today’s complex global problems.

Right now the momentum is building against Harper’s pro-war Conservatives. Their hubris, their alliance with the weapons industry, and their cynical manipulation of a narrow-minded Republican Tea Party–style base has alienated millions of Canadians. 

Your past support has had a tremendous impact in challenging Harper and his pro-war lobbyists. Because of you, Ceasefire.ca’s 25,000-member community has become one of the most powerful peace networks in Canada. 

We have worked with major human rights organizations and countless other grassroots groups to alert Canadians to the manifold dangers in Harper’s truly Orwellian “anti-terrorism” legislation. The result was an amazing change in Canadian attitudes – from majority support when the Bill was introduced, to a majority against by the time the Conservatives railroaded it through the House and Senate. 

Give Canadians the facts and they respond! 

We have relentlessly exposed the Harper government’s shamefully cosy relationship with Saudi Arabia, among the “worst of the worst” of the world’s human rights offenders. We have kept the spotlight on Canada’s unconscionable $15 billion dollar arms deal with that repressive regime. 

Other countries with vigorous arms export industries have chosen human rights over profits, with both Germany and Sweden cancelling large arms deals with Saudi Arabia. Not so Canada under Harper. 

Together, we have unmasked Harper’s terrible policies, his destructive international role, and his attacks on the democratic fabric of Canada. 

Harper’s Conservatives may now be in serious trouble… because of people like you who have spoken out against his extreme agenda. And because of the financial support you have given the Rideau Institute and Ceasefire.ca! 

The opportunity for real political change at the federal level has not looked more promising in the last nine years. There is a tight three-way race underway with the NDP leading for the last seven polls. Equally important, surveys show significant room for both the NDP and the Liberals to grow electorally, but virtually no such prospect for the Harper Conservatives. 

And how are the Conservatives reacting to this news? Well, it is hard not to conjure up the image of rats deserting a sinking ship when fully 46 of 166 Conservatives elected to the House of Commons in 201l have opted not to run again. These numbers include high-profile, pro-war ministers like John Baird, General (ret.) Gordon O’Connor, and Lieutenant Colonel (ret.) Laurie Hawn. 

Then there’s Peter MacKay, the pro-war, F-35 stealth fighter boondoggle-booster himself. He’s leaving politics too, leaving Harper isolated as never before. 

Over the next few weeks we’re reaching out to all of our supporters to be ready for the election in October. We’ll be asking you and tens of thousands of Canadians to get involved and take action. 

With your support, we will continue to push for a review of Canada’s defence and national security policies. Already, the NDP and the Greens have taken some of our key recommendations on board by pledging to prioritize UN peacekeeping and only participate in UN-mandated military operations. 

Right now we really need your help to reach our goal of $25,000 before the end of the summer. With supporters like you I know we can do it. 

Please join our Peacekeepers monthly donor club and give $7 each month. Or make a special gift of $25 to support our peace election campaign

With your gift we are launching our pre-election campaign and asking tens of thousands of Canadians to mobilize for peace and hope. 

Our first task will be to lock in the strongest possible commitments from the opposition parties for a progressive foreign and defence policy agenda. To do this: 

  • We will give you and thousands of others the tools you need to press for concrete peace-building commitments from the party leaders and your local candidates.
  • We will conduct and publicize regular “fact checks” on the campaign platforms.
  • We will provide progressive analysis, commentary and options to journalists, parliamentarians, our supporters and the general public. -We will work in partnership with other like-minded organizations to build broad public support for Canada’s re-engagement in building global peace and security.

With your support we will continue to work tirelessly to help ensure the defeat of the Harper Conservatives in what is shaping up to be a historic election in October 2015. 

This is no easy task, but it is an essential one. And we need your support now more than ever to carry it out effectively. Together I know we can do it! 

 Peggy Mason photo and signature

Thank you for everything you do for peace, 

Peggy Mason, Rideau Institute and Ceasefire.ca 

P.S. Please join our Peacekeepers monthly donor club and give $7 each month. New Peacekeepers may choose to receive a free copy of Spinning History by veteran Ottawa journalist Les Whittington. (Min $12/month, offer valid until Aug 31, 2015)

Tags: Gordon O'Connor, John Baird, Laurie Hawn, Les Whittington, Peggy Mason, Peter MacKay, Saudi Arabia, Stephen Harper