On January 6-8, Canada Peace and Justice Network comprised of Global Peace Alliance and forty five other organizations Rallied Across Canada Against the Purchase of Fighter Jets.
Letter to MP Findlay
On behalf of Global Peace Alliance BC Society including constituents from your riding
Global Peace Alliance, BC Society (hereinafter referred as GPA),
PMB#235 800-15355 24th Avenue Surrey, BC. V4A2H9, CANADA
January 6, 2023
Hon. Kerry-Lynne D. Findlay
1959 152 St #135, Surrey, BC V4A 9E3
Re: We are in a climate emergency & poverty crisis – we oppose the $7 billion F-35 Deal
Dear MP Findlay,
We, Along with No Fighter Jets Coalition and the Canada Peace and Justice Network (over 40 organizations), have planned actions across the country this weekend to call on the federal government to cancel its procurement of 16 Lockheed Martin F-35 joint strike fighters for $7 billion. This Pan-Canadian Weekend of Action “Drop the F-35 Deal” is organized by the No Fighter Jets Coalition, which is comprised of 25 peace and justice groups across Canada. There are almost 20 rallies taking place across the country from Victoria, British Columbia to Halifax, Nova Scotia. In Ottawa, there will be a big banner drop in front of Parliament.
Before Christmas, the Canadian Press reported that the Treasury Board had given its approval to the Department of National Defence to place the first order of F-35s and that a formal announcement would be made by the federal government early in the new year. As you know, the federal government intends to buy 88 fossil fuel fighter jets over the next few years at a price tag of $19 billion but a life-cycle cost of over $77 billion. This is the second most expensive procurement in Canadian history. Each fighter jet is $430 million and costs approximately $48,000 CAD per hour to operate. Last year, the U.S. Government Accountability Office released two reports showing the F-35 is plagued with hundreds of deficiencies, delays, cost-overruns and engine problems. These costly, technically flawed fighter jets are for bombing other countries and are useless against the real security challenges facing Canadians namely climate change and poverty.
An F-35 consumes excessive fossil fuel and emits more greenhouse gas emissions in one flight than a car does in whole year. It costs tens of billions more than the federal government is spending on climate and biodiversity action and financing. Canada cannot decarbonize and meet its Paris Agreement target if we buy costly, carbon-intensive combat aircraft that will lock our country into carbon-intensive militarism for decades. The federal government shouldn’t be subsidizing jobs producing components for F-35s in Canada; we need green jobs and a care economy. We need to stop burning fossil fuel, massively upscale renewable energy, drastically reduce emissions and create climate-resilient communities – F-35s prevent us from doing that.
Further, despite repeated formal requests, the House of Commons and the Senate have failed to conduct an environmental assessment that includes the climate impacts, a gender-based analysis, and a full cost analysis. They have also failed to conduct a public health study of a new fleet of fighter jets on Indigenous communities and children near the air force bases and the air weapons training areas. Our report Soaring: The Harms and Risks of Fighter Jets, Why Canada Must Not Buy a New Fleet details the severe noise and adverse environmental and social impacts of F-35s (available on nofighterjets.ca). As well, there has not been any study about the security risk of Canada buying the F-35s that are designed to carry B61-12 tactical nuclear bombs that will put Canada in violation of its commitments under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. The F-35s are much louder, more polluting and are a serious crash risk. These are some of the many reasons why there is growing mass opposition to this procurement.
Over the past three years, we have had several national days of actions to oppose the fighter jet procurement. In the past year, we have submitted two petitions with the signatures of thousands of Canadians to Parliament. During the summer of 2021, over 100 high-profile Canadians such as Neil Young, David Suzuki, Naomi Klein, Sarah Harmer, Dr. Gabor Mate, businessmen, medical professionals, academics and union leaders signed an open letter calling on the federal government to cancel the procurement.
Please put the well-being of Canadians and the planet first. We are asking you to let the government know we want the F-35 deal cancelled. We want the federal government to invest in Indigenous services, health care, affordable housing, public transportation, education and climate action. We want Canada to conduct foreign policy with diplomacy and development assistance not with fighter jets and armed force. We have enclosed a copy of our statement #DropThe F35Deal.
Thank you for your time and attention. We look forward to your reply.
President of Global Peace Alliance BC