The warship program is but the latest mega-expenditure in a militarization program that began with previous Liberal Party governments and continues under the Conservatives of Prime Minister Stephen Harper – Published on Socialist Project / The Bullet /e-bulletin no #562, by Roger Annis, October 26, 2011.
According to a March, 2011 study published by the Canadian Center for Policy Alternatives, Canada will spend at least $23-billion on its military forces in fiscal year 2010-11. That’s 26 per cent higher than in fiscal 1989, the year the Berlin Wall came down, and 61 per cent – or $8.4-billion per year – higher than in fiscal 1998, the year Canadian spending reached its post-Cold War minimum (all figures have been adjusted to 2010 dollars to account for inflation).
The amount of annual military expenditure will continue to rise as spending on an untendered F35 fighter jet program and countless new equipping of the Canadian army picks up steam … //
… Support to Armaments, Cuts to Health Care:
While supporting federal militarization programs with generous financial grants, the Nova Scotia government is following in the footsteps of other provincial governments, including British Columbia’s, in privatizing and sharply cutting health care services. (In Canada, an important part of health care financing is provided by federal dollars but administered by the provinces.) As reported in the October 1 Halifax Chronicle Herald, the government has asked a research firm that profits from health care privatization, Ernst and Young, to prepare recommendations for the future of the province’s health care system.
“I believe that health care is under attack in this province and in this country. And Canadians have to stand up,” Janet Hazleton, president of the Nova Scotia Nurses’ Union, told a news conference in Halifax on October 1, called to protest the research being commissioned by the government.
The areas being looked at are health records, registration and booking, laundry, payroll, central sterilization, food service, human resources, information technology and telecommunications, library services, general administration, finance and supply chain and material.
Hazleton claims the province has already decided to privatize some healthcare services. “There’s not many of us who hire consultants and then don’t know what they are going to say,” she told the Herald.
Ernst and Young is a member of the Canadian Council for Public-Private Partnership, a pro-privatization advocacy agency. Earlier this year, the provincial government announced a health care spending freeze.
Tamara Lorincz of the Halifax Peace Coalition argued against the warships in a column in the September 10 edition of the Halifax daily Chronicle Herald, “The federal government should sink the ship strategy,” she wrote.
“Do we really want our next generation workforce building warships and naval combat systems?” she wrote. “Imagine, instead, our young people proudly employed retrofitting homes, installing clean energy technologies, expanding public transportation, upgrading wastewater treatment systems, running organic farms, and restoring polluted rivers.”
Lorincz was a candidate for the NDP in the 2008 federal election. She resigned from the party in November 2009 in protest over its failure to protest the armaments programs of the federal government. She noted in her letter of resignation that the party was blocking her from another run as a federal NDP candidate.
The Canadian Peace Alliance launched a “Peace and Prosperity, Not War and Austerity” education and lobbying campaign at its national convention held in Toronto October 14 to 16. It asks Canadians to send a written message to elected representatives that concludes,
“We, the undersigned, believe that money earmarked for military spending must be reallocated to social and environmental programs: to protect jobs and pensions, preserve public health care and education, and create a green economy. Furthermore, we oppose any attempts by the government to expand Canadian militarism abroad or to entrench it in Canadian society.” (full text and 3 Endnotes).
(Roger Annis is active in the Stopwar coalition in Vancouver. He can be reached at rogerannis(at)hotmail.com).
China wants clarity on EU bailout fund, listen the video, 2.01 minutes, on Al Jazeera, October 28, 2011;
Barbara Ehrenreich: The homeless are thrown out with the trash, on Al Jazeera, October 28, 2011:
She is a American feminist and political activist and the author of 21 books.
Interview with Bolivian President Evo Morales on: Climate Debt, Capitalism, Why He Wants a Tribunal for Climate Justice and Much More, on Democracy Now, December 17, 2009;
Bolivia re-invents democratic socialism with Indigenous people in the lead, by Judy Rebick, November 14, 2009;
Tamara Lorincz, November 2009;
Beyond Vietnam, by Dr.Martin Luther King Jr., April 4, 1967.