Government purchase of F 35 jets comes under fire

Government purchase of F-35 jets comes under fire The Canadian government's purchase of F-35 fighter jets will ultimately cost us around $18 billion. Peter McKay, in defending the expenditure, spoke about "defending our sovereignty,""living up to our NA

The Canadian government’s purchase of F-35 fighter jets will ultimately cost us around $18 billion.

Peter McKay, in defending the expenditure, spoke about “defending our sovereignty,”“living up to our NATO commitments and “ensuring that the Canadian Forces have the best.”

This is not what we need for the 21st century.

Instead of “defending our sovereignty” shouldn’t we be ensuring the survival of our planet? Rather than being concerned with living up to our NATO commitments, shouldn’t we be focusing on providing the necessities of life to the millions of people struggling to survive on less than a dollar a day?

And, should not we be making certain that all of our citizens have access to education, health care, water, sanitation, childcare, eldercare, housing, etc.?

Our world is now too small, and far too fragile to continue our obscene and archaic reliance on military strategies in devising the way forward.

The costs of perpetual war in human lives and suffering, in the destabilization of entire populations, in the drain on financial resources and in the assault on the environment are just not sustainable.

There is an urgent need for governments to develop a co-ordinated and coherent paradigm shift towards sustainable peace. Until there are fully funded ministries with specific focus on disarmament, nonviolent conflict resolution, human security and peacebuilding we will not attain these critical goals.

It’s apparent our political (so called) leaders are far too concerned with maintaining the status quo instead of leading us in a new direction. So change will have to come, as it always has, from ordinary citizens. One group gathering attention is the Canadian Department of Peace Initiative, which is part of a global movement calling on governments to organize around principles of nonviolent conflict resolution and peacebuilding.

We need to seriously look at what is being proposed. This initiative is gaining momentum around the world. Let Canada lead the way in forging a new way forward. This government is failing Canadians by preparing for permanent war instead of developing alternative solutions to conflict.

When will the madness end?

Kevin Rumsey

Whitehorse