By the Canadian Peace Alliance, March 5, 2010
The Conservative’s 2010 Budget still represents an unprecedented increase in defence spending, says the Canadian Peace Alliance, Canada’s largest peace network. While there is a small decrease in the amount previously allocated to the military under the Canada First Defence Strategy, overall defence spending continues to go up.
“This is still a war budget,” said Christine Jones, co-chair of the Canadian Peace Alliance. “While the Harper government wants Canadians to tighten their belts, the military gets billions more each year.”
The Budget reduces annual defence spending by $525 million in 2012 and $1 billion annually after 2012, but this is an insignificant change to the Canada First Defence Strategy, which allocates $490 billion in military spending by 2025.
“The Conservatives are giving 20 billion annually to the arms dealers rather than to Canadians who are reeling from the economic crisis”, said Derrick O’Keefe, co-chair of the CPA. “Worse still, the Budget figures don’t include the costs of ‘incremental funding’ such as the war in Afghanistan, which has already cost Canadians more than $20 billion.”
The Canadian Peace Alliance calls on the Government of Canada to redirect money earmarked for the military to be used for much needed social and environmental programs.