July 24, 2020: Please cancel the $19 billion fighter jet procurement

Friday morning Wilpfers and others gathered outside the constituency office of Defense Minister Harjit Sajjan to present the following letter:

Dear Honourable Harjit Sajjan,

We are writing to you on the National Day of Action “Strike for Climate Peace: No New Fighter Jets“ to let you know that we strongly oppose the Canadian government spending $19 billion on 88 new fighter jets. Today demonstrations are taking place outside the offices of Members of Parliament of all the political parties across the country. Canadians do not want the federal government to spend precious public tax dollars on a new weapon system, but want investment in crucially needed domestic programmes.

We have heard only last week how the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed the women’s participation in the labour force down to its lowest level in three decades. We call on the federal government to address this situation as well as long-standing gender economic inequality by fully funding a National child care programme as well as other measures to assist women, such as actions against gender based violence. Surely this is a sounder investment for Canada than fighter jets that are unnecessary; intend to destroy life, and exacerbate the climate crisis.

We plead with you and the government to work together with all Canadians for genuine common security through peace, disarmament, gender equality, justice and environmental protection .We want a just recovery that prioritizes the health and well-being of all Canadians and strengthens the social safety net for everyone. Thank you very much for your attention to our concerns. We look forward to your reply.

Sincerely, Ellen Woodsworth,

On behalf of Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Vancouver Branch.