Canada-Wide Peace & Justice Network Statement re: Weekend of Action February 23 – 26, 2023
Stop the war, Stop NATO!
Canada out of NATO!
The Canada-Wide Peace and Justice Network (CWPJN) urges people across Canada to join us in calling for an end to the war in Ukraine. We condemn the Trudeau government for flatly refusing to talk to its Russian counterpart and for continuously refuelling the rapidly escalating conflict in Ukraine, which has the potential to expand into a wider European war or even a nuclear confrontation. The CWPJN calls for immediate negotiations with all parties for a political solution to the conflict and a return to peace and neutrality in Ukraine. On the weekend of Feb 23th to 26th, our members will be holding actions across Canada, uniting with other pro-peace and anti-war actions occurring around the world at the same time.
Stop the war, Stop NATO!
For years, NATO has been provoking conflict with Russia. NATO’s expansion to Russia’s borders, its training and arming of Ukrainian military, and support for Ukraine’s war against its eastern Donbas region since 2014 have been the principal causes for the hostilities and the devastating war in Ukraine. The CWPJN is opposed to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) because it is an aggressive, US-led, military alliance of 30 Euro-Atlantic countries that has launched deadly and destructive military interventions in the former Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Libya. These NATO wars have caused profound misery and a massive refugee crisis.
We are opposed to NATO’s demand that allies increase military spending to meet the 2% GDP target. In 2021, NATO members spent $1.1 trillion on military spending, accounting for 60% of global military spending. Since 2014, Canadian military spending has increased by 70%. In 2021, Canada spent $33 billion on the military, which is 15 times more than on environment and climate change. In 2022, Defence Minister Anita Anand announced military spending will increase by another 70% over the next 5 years.
NATO’s demand that members buy new inter-operable weapons is leading to a costly arms race. Carbon-intensive weapons systems like fighter jets, tanks, and warships are exacerbating the climate crisis. In Canada, this includes the recently announced purchase of 16 F-35 fighter jets, part of the planned 88 F-35 fighter jets deal which will cost taxpayers at least $77 billion over the lifecycle of the jets. The government of Canada is also planning to purchase warships at a sticker price of $84 billion and $5 billion for armed drones. This explosion in military spending will prevent Canada from investing adequately in public healthcare, education, housing, jobs and climate solutions.
NATO’s reliance on a dangerous nuclear deterrence and first strike policy puts us all at risk. The deadly, expensive and environmentally harmful F-35 fighter jets purchased by Canada are designed for offensive strike first attacks and to carry B61-12 tactical nuclear weapons. Is this purchase the reason why Canada has refused to sign the United Nations Treaty to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons (TPNW)? The TPNW requires that signatories “never under any circumstances… develop, test, produce, manufacture, otherwise acquire, possess or stockpile nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices.” The CWPJN demands that the government of Canada sign the TPNW now!
Canada out of NATO!
NATO is not a defensive alliance. It undermines global peace and human security and exacerbates the climate crisis. Because of Canada’s NATO membership, we are dragged into every war of the US empire. It’s time to for Canada to withdraw from NATO and develop a non-nuclear, independent, foreign policy, free from arms exports to fuel wars and occupations, and without massive expenditures on weapons for future wars. With humanity facing global environmental and health crises, we need international cooperation, nonviolence and common security for all countries. Peace in Ukraine, and peace with Russia and China begins with negotiations, diplomacy, and an end to NATO.
Join us in sending a message to the Trudeau government from February 23rd to 26th!
On Saturday, February 25, 2023, from 1:00 to 2:00 PM, Peace Alliance Winnipeg will be holding an Information Picket at the corner of River Avenue and Osborne Street in Winnipeg, where we will be distributing literature to our fellow citizens, urging them to support the demands in this statement.