Apr 122024

The Communist Party of Canada condemns the federal government’s decision to increase military spending to $58 billion annually by 2029, in the process raising NATO funding from 1.29% to 1.76% of GDP, with a promise to continue the increases until military spending reaches 2% of GDP. According to the government these funds will be used to buy and build offensive weapons to be staged in the Arctic under NORAD,  to produce and export weapons, munitions and vehicles for use in foreign wars, including some that could be used by police and military at protests and picket lines in Canada. These funds could also include nuclear submarines if Canada joins the AUKUS group which is building a nuclear powered submarine base in Australia. 

This decision to divert billions of dollars from civilian to military spending has nothing to do with defence and everything to do with Canada’s involvement in NATO, and its wars and aggression around the world, including the immediate threat of broader wars in Europe and Asia, and nuclear war which would destroy the whole world. 

The diversion of billions of dollars from civilian to military spending will result in deep cuts to Canada’s universal social programs and the privatization of many, including universal Medicare and public and post-secondary education which are already in crisis due to under-funding and privatization. Others will follow.

This policy is a declaration of war against the people of Canada who fought long and hard for these vital programs, and others including Employment Insurance, the Canada Pension Plan and Old Age Security, the Canada Child Tax Benefit, social assistance, and public services including public parks and recreation, social housing, public transit and more.

This policy is a declaration of war against the sovereign states and peoples of the world that do not bend to the demands of imperialism, the transnational corporations and the wealthy elites whose profits and interests it advances. NATO is no longer limited to the ‘North Atlantic’, it has transformed into imperialism’s global army.  

Further, this escalating militarization will vastly increase Canada’s carbon footprint at home and abroad.  The Canadian military is already the government’s single biggest producer of carbon. This is a huge attack on the environment and a complete negation of the government’s professed concern and efforts to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

An independent Canadian foreign policy of peace and disarmament would increase Canadians’ security, and global collective security while simultaneously reducing carbon emissions and making the planet livable.

The Communist Party condemns the position of all parties in Parliament, none of whom have opposed this massive militarization. We call on all progressive and peace-loving peoples, and on the labour and democratic movements to oppose this escalation of military spending, and to defeat this policy of war and reaction, and subservience to NATO and US diktat.

Canada needs an independent Canadian foreign policy of peace and disarmament, of withdrawal from aggressive military blocs like NATO, and NORAD, and to stay out of AUKUS, and to strengthen and democratize the UN and build up the global forces for peace and political solutions to global political problems.

Canada needs to convert military to civilian spending to protect and expand Medicare and the many other universal social programs and public services fought for and won by working people in Canada, including a universally accessible, quality, and free public childcare system. The government needs to build affordable housing for sale and for rent to urgently address the housing crisis, to adequately fund municipal governments, to urgently transition to publicly owned renewable energy, to create good jobs and raise wages, pensions, EI, and living standards including a universal livable minimum income. 

We demand Parliament act now to

  • Reverse the new military expenditures and cut current military spending by 75%
  • Adopt an independent Canadian foreign policy of peace and disarmament
  • Withdraw from NATO and NORAD and stay out of AUKUS
  • End arms production and exports, including to Israel
  • Reverse the purchase of fighter jets, warships and nuclear submarines
  • Convert military to civilian spending
    • fund public services and expand universal social programs
    • expand Medicare to include dental and vision care, mental health care, long-term care, pharmacare;  hire nurses and fund public hospitals; enforce the Canada Health Act
    • build public and social housing; roll-back prices, rents, and interest rates
    • build and fund municipal public transit and inter-urban rail
    • fund free public and post-secondary education
    • fund municipalities or give them wealth-taxing powers
    • transition to publicly owned renewable energy , and secure net zero carbon emissions
    • create good jobs, raise wages, pensions and living standards 
  • Strengthen labour, civil and democratic rights

Central Executive Committee, Communist Party of Canada