Does Canada need 88 new fighter jets for our security, at a cost of $100 million each, when so many citizens do not even have a safe place to live?
Do you know that all federal parties recently supported a 70% increase in military defense spending – to $32 billion per annum?
We need to ask how this military spending impacts funding on human needs, such as university funding, affordable housing, climate change, transit, child care, etc.
Our vision is to find ways for people of different faiths and backgrounds to ‘pull together’ for a more just society.
Questions We Are Asking
* What ‘principalities and powers’ are operating today in our society that lead us to spend billions on new fighter jets in the midst of a housing crisis and so many humanitarian needs?
* What would a ‘transformative consciousness’ look like?
* How can we each be a contemplative presence and a light for compassion that leads to peace?
* Priorities & Choices is a new initiative to awaken citizens to injustices that impact on the social and economic well being of vulnerable individuals and communities.
* We are beginning by focusing on the issue of the high increase in the Federal Budget for military spending because this huge increase in spending reduces funds available for many other much needed programs, such as affordable housing, child care, clean water projects, climate change initiatives, etc. It is our hope that citizens will raise this injustice with candidates of all political parties in the upcoming federal election.
A basic premise underlying our call for a shift in Priorities is that greatly increased funding is needed to provide rental housing for the most vulnerable in our communities. As an example, in the city of Edmonton, over 22,000 people pay more than 50% of their monthly income on rent. We have endless research on the need for affordable housing and on strategies for creating housing. We need more Federal dollars! Redirecting $100 billion from military spending over 20 years is a good comparison of the additional funding that is required to address the housing crisis being experienced by thousands of people on low incomes.
There is a Federal election on October 21st and we want to encourage citizens to speak with all candidates about what they feel should be priorities for public funding.
The Canadian Defense Report – ‘Strong, Secure, Engaged’ — outlines an increase of 70% in the defense budget over 10 years, and total defence spending of $553 billion over 20 years. The cost of 88 new fighter jets is estimated at $100 million each. We are proposing that the number of new fighter jets should be reduced by 50 (from 88 to 38 jets) and the 70% defense budget increase be reduced to 30%. These reductions will generate over 100 billion for funding additional low-rental housing and low-cost home ownership.
In the upcoming Federal election, we need to encourage citizens (and faith institutions) to question candidates about what our priorities should be i.e. military spending or affordable housing, childcare, etc.
“Courage for Peace, Not for War”
“A Garden on the Frontlines – Planting Peace in a War Zone”
“Blessed Are the Peacemakers”
“Thomas Merton – Poetry and Resistance”