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People’s Voice Editorial
There’s no liar like a corrupt Tory. That’s one lesson from the F-35 fighter-bomber fiasco unfolding in Ottawa. The Auditor General has confirmed what we all knew – these jets come with a price tag at least $10 billion higher than claimed by PM Harper and Defence Minister Peter MacKay.
The Harper government and the top military brass have told Canadians utter rubbish about the F-35s. The calls for MacKay’s resignation are welcome. In fact, the entire Harper government should resign for its electoral fraud, and call a new election.
But the F-35 scandal is not about improving the procurement process, or finding the “most suitable” jet, or “defending” Canada. The real problem is the concept that Canada needs to purchase new fleets of aircraft and warships.
There is no reason to spend tens of billions of dollars on the military, especially at a time of high unemployment, shredded social programs, environmental crises, and many other critical problems. 21st century fighter jets like the F-35 are not “patrol planes” with search-and-rescue capabilities – they are killing machines with massive arsenals of bombs, rockets, and bullets. They are a key part of the imperialist strategy for global corporate control of raw materials such as hydrocarbon resources, and for NATO’s tactics of “regime change” disguised as “humanitarian intervention.”
Tragically, no party in the current Parliament has taken a principled stand against the Harper government’s “Canada First” strategy to spend some $500 billion on military expansion over the next two decades. It’s time to press all parties – including the NDP, which claims to be a party of peace – to reject the drive to make Canada an integral part of the U.S. war machine. No to the F-35s, no to the warships, and yes to peaceful priorities for Canada!