Jan 202023

The Communist Party of Canada denounces the government of Canada’s drive to war

The Canadian state continues their march to war with the purchase of eighty-eight F-35 fighter jets from Lockheed Martin for the Canadian Armed Forces with a price tag of at least $70 billion (some analyst are predicting the cost will be over $90 billion), as well as 200 armoured vehicles at a cost of $90 million from Roshel and an over $400 million surface to air missile system from Raytheon for their war in Ukraine.

For the seventh consecutive year global military expenditure and worldwide arms sales increased. Global military expenditure exceeded 2.1 trillion US dollars in 2021, surpassing 2 trillion USD for the first time ever. Worldwide sales of arms and military services by the 100 largest companies in the industry reached 592 billion USD in 2021.

The purchase of unnecessary weapons is especially egregious amidst the staggering inflation and stagnant wages for working class people. Workers are being forced to choose between groceries or gas bills, while provincial governments understaff hospital emergency rooms and close schools to try to drive education workers’ wages down. Two hours of operating one F-35 is equivalent to the annual salary of a nurse, teacher or paramedic. The purchase of new weapons is not to keep people in Canada safe, the armoured vehicles and missile system are being sent to forces in Ukraine and the F-35 is a ‘first strike’ weapon with limited range designed for bombing missions. The purchase of these weapons is only to fuel the wars of the ruling class. 

The conflict in Belarus, Ukraine, and the Russian Federation has impacted the global supply of wheat, fertiliser, pork, oil and gas, all of which are major exports from Canada. 95 food and energy corporations more than doubled their profits in 2022. These corporations made 306 billion USD in profits, and paid out $257 billion USD (84 per cent) of that to rich shareholders. 

Billionaires in Canada, numbering around 50 people, have seen their assets rise 51 percent since the start of the pandemic, with billionaire assets reaching $249 billion versus $248 billion belonging to the bottom 40% of people in Canada. The devastation of the war and resulting global food and energy shortages are enriching the wealthy while hurting the workers and oppressed here and around the world. 

The global arms race is being driven by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and their demand that all member states spend an arbitrary 2% of gross domestic product on military expenditures. NATO is an illegal alliance under international law. NATO membership carries profound military, political and economic consequences for individual states and their peoples. By compelling its members to adopt, support and enact its mutual clause, NATO draws them into wars of aggression in the pursuit of imperialist expansion. Through the alliance’s nuclear weapons sharing policy, NATO countries become de facto nuclear weapons states, active participants in the development, testing, proliferation and use of weapons of mass destruction. Through NATO, officially nuclear-free countries such as Canada become components in imperialism’s multilateral nuclear strike force, usually without the consent or even knowledge of their people. 

With the purchase of F-35s Canada is once again capable of deploying nuclear weapons, bringing the world closer to the brink. The F-35s purchased by the Canadian government can hold two B-61 nuclear bombs per plane, with each bomb being over three times stronger than the weapons used on the people of Nagasaki and Hiroshima. The B-61 is the primary weapon in the NATO nuclear weapon sharing program with stockpiles around the world. Polling has shown the majority of working people in Canada have opposed the purchase of F-35s for over a decade and yet not a single elected party or parliamentarian has taken a stand against the announcement of the purchase. In 2015, Justin Trudeau promised to cancel the planned purchase of F-35s if elected. The Liberal party policy book in 2015 included a plank on cancelling the F-35s because they opposed a ‘first strike’ weapon. The Canadian military is being handed nuclear weapons unbeknownst to the working people in Canada, at a time when the Finance Minister and Chief of Defence Staff are making public proclamations of war with the Russian Federation. 

The Communist Party of Canada reiterates its longstanding demand to beat swords into ploughshares. In this time of economic uncertainty working people are looking for serious investments into healthcare, education, housing, and compensation nearing the dignity and worth of the human person. We will continue to mobilise and campaign against the purchase of these weapons and call for the funds to be instead invested in public social services. 

The Communist Party of Canada continues the fight for an independent Canadian foreign policy based on peace, international cooperation and solidarity. As a necessary first step in developing such a policy, we call for Canada’s immediate and unilateral withdrawal from NATO. 

Furthermore, the Communist Party encourages all labour, peace and progressive organisations to take a stand and join the struggle against the acquisition of these dangerous weapons and add their voice to the call for Canada’s immediate and unilateral withdrawal from NATO.

Central Executive Committee, Communist Party of Canada