Protesters on Parliament Hill urge a stop on jet fighter purchases

“Canada shouldn’t spend billions of dollars on climate-damaging jet fighter jets.”

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A protest outside Parliament Hill on Monday was one of many held across Canada this week to call on the federal government to cancel its purchase of 88 fighter jets at a cost of $ 19 billion.

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“Canada shouldn’t spend tens of billions of dollars on climate-damaging jet fighter jets to be used in NATO wars,” said Bianca Mugyenyi, director of the Canadian Foreign Policy Institute, in a press release. “The extreme weather in British Columbia shows that these resources should be used to contain the climate crisis.”

The three aerospace companies applying for the fighter jet program have been informed in writing by the federal government that a decision will be made this month on a “downselect” of companies that are allowed to advance into the final phase of the competition.

The award for the project is expected to be announced in March or April 2022.

However, Public Services and Procurement Canada has remained silent about whether this schedule will be met. In a response to that newspaper earlier this month, the department simply said, “Canada continues to work towards a 2022 contract award.”

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The protest in front of Parliament Hill on Monday called on the federal government to cancel their purchase of 88 fighter jets.
The protest in front of Parliament Hill on Monday called on the federal government to cancel their purchase of 88 fighter jets. Photo by Jean Levac /Mail media

The new fighter jets, which are to replace the existing CF-18 aircraft operated by the Royal Canadian Air Force, would have an estimated life cycle cost of $ 77 billion.

“We want the federal government to invest in health care, affordable housing, green jobs and just recreation,” said Tamara Lorincz, a member of the Canadian Voice of Women for Peace, in a press release on the rallies. “Fighter jets are for violence, we need global cooperation to cope with the pandemic and the climate emergency.”

The “Action Week” was organized by the No Fighter Jets Coalition. Rallies should be held in Toronto, Vancouver, Victoria, Kingston, Nanaimo, BC, Hamilton, Regina, Halifax, Edmundston, NB, Collingwood, Edmonton, Montréal, and Ottawa.

– With files by David Pugliese


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