Critiques of Canada's Military Budget

Index

1] End the Arms Race
    Corporations and NATO Dictate Canadian Military Spending

2] Canadian Peace Alliance
 Global security is the real casualty of this budget

3] Steven Staples c/o Council of Canadians
Seven Talking Points on Canada's military budget
on the release of the Federal Budget


=========================================
Critiques of Canada's Military Budget
Articles

1]
From: End the Arms Race          
Date:  February 29, 2000
http://www.peacewire.org

Corporations and NATO Dictate Canadian Military Spending

Vancouver: Representatives of End the Arms Race, one of Canada's
largest and most active peace groups, say that Canada's $1.9 billion
military budget increase is determined by NATO and the global military
corporate lobby.


"This budget clearly demonstrates that democracy means nothing," says
Peter Coombes National Organizer for End the Arms Race. "The demand
for increased military spending is coming from the United States, NATO
and the corporate military lobby. It's blatantly obvious that Chretien
and Martin have abandoned the needs of Canadians in favour of the
pro-militarist lobby."

Coombes was referring to an Angus Reid poll that shows Canadians rank
military spending as the lowest priority and prefer increased funding
for social programs, including health care and education. 

This year's increase of $350 million puts Canada's military budget
back up to mid-1980 Cold War levels. Over the next four years Canada's
military will get an extra $1.9 billion dollars ($350 million 2000,
$400 for 2001, $550 for 2002 and $600 for 2003).

During the 1980s Canada more than doubled its military spending in
just ten years from $5.3 billon in 1980 to $11.9 in 1989, in real
dollar amounts. Even when accounting for inflation Canada's military
budget could be more than 10% greater than 1980. Procurement costs
nearly tripled during this period while the number of personnel fell
from 80,000 to 60,000. "Over the past decade Canadian tax payers and
soldiers paid for the mechanization of war including new frigates,
'smart bombs', and other toys for the generals," said Coombes

Canada's military spending ranks average or higher when compared in
real dollar terms to our allies and global military spending. Prime
Minister Chretien acknowledged to reporters recently that Canada is
the sixth largest military spender within NATO when ranked by real
dollars. This was a response to NATO's Secretary General who was
pressuring Canada to increase military spending. From 1980 to 1995
Canada's share of world military spending nearly doubled and with
dramatic increases last year and this year the trend will continue.

"The drive for new equipment for the military has been a tag-team
effort by Canadian weapons corporations and the military. Powerful
industry organizations such as the Aerospace Industries Association of
Canada and the Canadian Defence Industries Association have lobbied
intensely for more government contracts to replace Canada's
'crumbling' military equipment," says Steve Staples, peace researcher
and an End the Arms Race executive member.

The beneficiaries of the $1.2 billion needed to upgrade cockpit
electronics of CF-18s so that they can use the latest in 'smart bombs'
include corporate giants Bombardier Aerospace, CAE Electronics, Litton
Systems Canada, and Hughes Aircraft.

Canada's newly acquired Upholder submarines, which were purchased from
Britain will also require expensive upgrades. The costs of installing
new torpedo systems, sonar and communication equipment will costs
hundreds of millions of dollars. Corporate beneficiaries of the
program include Ballard Power Systems, which could be contracted to
install fuel cell technology to give the subs a 'near-nuclear'
capability. The largest contract expected to be announced this year is
the $2 to $3 billion Maritime Helicopter Program to buy up to 32 new
submarine-attack helicopters for the Navy's patrol frigates.

"Increasing Canada's military spending now, ten years after the Cold
War, simply makes no sense. Military spending is being used as a
corporate subsidy at the expense of the public good," added Staples.

End the Arms Race
Suite 405 - 825 Granville Street
Vancouver BC V6Z 1K9
Canada
604/ 687-3223
fax 604/ 687-3277
info@peacewire.org
http://www.peacewire.org

<><><><><><><><>

2] Canadian Peace Alliance
News Release
For immediate release - February 29, 2000

Global security is the real casualty of this budget

"Contrary to how it looks, this is not a security budget", says Tryna
Booth, Coordinator of the Canadian Peace Alliance (CPA). "While our
war-fighting capacity has been maintained by boosting funding to the
military, we do little to address the root causes of conflict."

The Department of National Defence has the largest budget of any
federal government department
. Last year, additional funding was
provided to increase the wages of military personnel. A one-time cash
infusion paid Canada's bills for its role in bombing Yugoslavia.
Together, yesterday's budget announcement and the 1999 increases will
mean that DND will have received an additional $2.3 billion in funding
by 2002-2003.

On the other hand, the International Assistance Envelope (IAE), which
includes Official Development Assistance (ODA) and assistance to
countries in transition in Central and Eastern Europe, will receive a
mere $435 million over the next three years.

"Security cannot be equated with military might. Canada can most
effectively contribute to global security through increased overseas
development aid, preventative diplomacy, and humanitarian relief
efforts. These are the areas to which our security money should be
targeted," comments Booth.

With the so-called end of the Cold War, Canadians expected to see a
corresponding decrease in military spending. And even though Canadian
military spending is higher that it was just prior to the last
military build-up of 1980, the United States and NATO would have us
believe that more money is essential. However, this is contrary to the
trend of decreased military spending worldwide.

Canadians take pride in the highly publicized, people-helping-people
roles the Forces undertake, like disaster relief and humanitarian
support. However, it is not clear that they support continued high
military spending for what NATO's calls "humanitarian interventions",
taking on an increasingly offensive role as the world's police force
and even violating international law.

"In a democracy, the military should undertake only those roles
determined for it by civil society. The mandate of Canada's military
hasn't been examined in over 5 years, and it's high time for a public
review," says Judith Berlyn, CPA Co-Chair.

The military could sustain significant reductions in its budget and
still ensure that personnel are adequately compensated and that
peacekeepers are properly trained and equipped. The main change would
be to abandon the doctrine of multi-purpose, combat-capable forces in
all three military branches and to focus on certain core competencies,
such as traditional peacekeeping.

"Before allocating more money there should be a public review of the
role of the Armed Forces. Only after it has been determined what role
the military should play, in accordance with our foreign policy
objectives, can the necessary resources be directed to those ends,"
Berlyn notes. "But the Government has chosen war over peace in this
budget. Our contribution to global security should have been to
provide for the real security needs of all people, and address the
root causes of conflict," she continues.

For more information contact:
Tryna Booth (902) 422-6628 Judith Berlyn (514) 933-8134
Tryna Booth
Coordinator, Canadian Peace Alliance
5-555 rue Bloor St. W/ouest
Toronto, ON  M5S 1Y6  Canada
Tel: (416) 588-5555  Fax: (416) 588-5556
E-mail: cpa@web.net

<><><><><><><><>

3] From: "Steven D. Staples" <sstaples@canadians.org> (by way of
Rycroft & Pringle <emerald@saltspring.com>)

Seven Talking Points on Canada's military budget
on the release of the Federal Budget

February 27th, 2000

When Paul Martin brings his budget down on Monday, February 28th,
Canadian aerospace and defence corporations will likely have lots to
celebrate. If news reports are correct, the military will walk away
with $350 million in hand, most of which will be handed over to
Canadian corporations to pay for new equipment and weapons for the
military.

This increase in military spending will be the second consecutive year
of budget increases for the military. Last year, about an extra $325
million was given to the military, mostly to cover pay increases for
soldiers. A further one-time increase of $500 million was found for
the military in 1999 to pay for Canada's role in the 78-day war
against Yugoslavia.

The Liberals' claw-back of the peace dividend has gone virtually
unopposed. The lack of attention paid by progressives to rising
military spending has allowed weapons corporations to lobby
effectively for greater military subsidies and defence
industry-friendly policies.

These talking points are being provided to you for use in media
interviews during budget week to counter this corporate grab of public
funds for weapons development and militarism. I hope that you will
find them useful.

Steven Staples


1. Canada's military spending is in line with our NATO allies.
Despite media reports that create a perception of underfunding, Canada
is the sixth largest military spender in NATO when ranked by real
dollars (rather than relative to GDP). In fact, Canadian military
spending is still higher that it was in 1980, just prior to the last
military build-up. Spending has failed to decline at the same rate as
world military spending.

   "Of course the military people around the world want their
government to put more money into the military, like any other
department within the government," [Chretien] said. He was responding
to questions . by the new Secretary General of NATO, that Canadian
defence spending is near the bottom within the alliance.
   Mr. Chretien says he prefers to look at dollar totals instead of
percentages of GDP. By that measure, "we are sixth in terms of dollars
we are spending."
 Sallot, Jeff "Canada doing what it can, PM says of military
 spending."
The Globe and Mail 3 November 1999: A6.

2. The military wants to spend more money on "toys for the boys," even
at the expense of soldiers if necessary. While the public may be
sympathetic to the plight of underpaid soldiers, wage increases for
military personnel were made in last year's budget. This year's
increase will go toward new equipment, which has been given the
highest priority by the military brass.

   "Less than 20% of the present [military] budget goes for capital
projects, General Maurice Baril, chief of the defence staff, said
yesterday. He wants to raise that to 23 percent, but he acknowledges
that will mean cutting other areas.   General Baril said he might have
to trim training costs, reduce personnel or even cut some equipment in
the effort to boost capital spending."
   Ward, John "Military to raise spending on new equipment." The Globe
and Mail 25 November 1999: A9.

   " 'There are now 73 generals. And that makes the forces far too
   heavy
at a time when it is coping with shrinking budgets and Eggleton is
floating the idea of cutting troops,' [said Scott Taylor editor of
Esprit de Corps magazine]."
   Blanchfield, Mike "Arms and the (scandal-less) man." The Vancouver
Sun 15 January 2000: A21.

3. Investments in military production is an inefficient way to
stimulate the economy. Proponents of military spending suggest that it
results in net benefits to the economy. But an equal or greater
economic benefit to the economy can be made through civilian
investment in research, infrastructure, etc.

   "A 1982 study that found that the effects of defense spending on
   the
US economy were similar to those of nondefense spending. For these
reasons, one could stimulate employment and the economy with any type
of government expenditure. . Defense spending to support economic
rather than security objectives is generally an inefficient way to
accomplish national fiscal objectives or to generate "spin off"
civilian products."

   Weida, William J. "The Economic Implications of Nuclear Weapons and
Nuclear Deterrence." Atomic Audit (Brookings 1998): 528.

4. Canadian corporations are using the old-boys network to promote
military spending and win military contracts. The revolving door
between Industry Canada, the Canadian Forces, and corporate Canada
gives the defence industry extraordinary lobbying power - unmatched by
any other industry.

   "CAE Inc., one of Canada's most sophisticated high-tech companies,
has taken the unusual step of hiring a veteran civil servant as its
chief executive officer.    But Derek Burney, former chief of staff to
former prime minister Brian Mulroney, former Canadian ambassador to
the United States and foreign service officer for 30 years, says that
is a perfectly natural thing to do.
   'I'm good at motivating people to produce. I have a very good idea
   of
how government works . . . My network of contacts will be very helpful
in going after government military contracts.'"
   Bertin, Oliver "Ex-mandarin gets down to business at CAE." The
   Globe
and Mail, 7 February 2000: B10.

   "Top 10 Canadian Military Contractors 1998 (with est. total
   military
sales for 1998).
1. General Motors of Canada Ltd. Diesel Division, London. $366
million. 2. CAE Inc., Montreal. $364 million. 3. Computing Devices
Canada Ltd., Nepean. $350 million. 4. Bombardier Inc. Montreal. $345
million. 5. SNC-Lavalin Group, Montreal. $226 million. 6. Magellan
Aerospace Corp. Mississauga. $155 million. 7. Canadian Marconi
Company, Montreal. $124 million. 8. Bell Helicopter Textron Canada
Ltd., Mirabel. $80 million. 9. Spar Aerospace Ltd., Mississauga $80
million. 10. Pratt and Whitney Canada Inc, Montreal. $60 million+" "GM
Canada again largest military contractor." Ploughshares Monitor
December 1999.

5. The military wastes and mismanages its money through a top-heavy
and secretive bureaucracy. Hundreds of millions of dollars are wasted
on outdated or poorly planned programs. The misuse of funds, and even
outright corruption, is exacerbated by DND's notorious secrecy and
resistance to public accountability.

   "The contract to replace the Sea Kings will be worth from $2.5
billion to $3 billion, for between 24 and 35 new choppers. The problem
with the entire process is that many major policy questions have not
been answered or even asked. With the end of the Cold War, what is the
mission of a naval anti-submarine platform? . The Cold War has been
over for almost a decade, yet the thinking at DND continues to fight
the last great enemy.
   To justify the major expense of the new maritime helicopters, its
mission is being defined as a platform for fishery patrol, environment
patrol and drug interdiction.. But the Liberal government is pushing
ahead with the new expensive program at the same time that it is
studying mothballing from four to six of the new patrol frigates."
   Trautman, Jim "Questions about Ottawa's plans for new helicopters."
The Toronto Star, 1 January 1999.

   "The Auditor General has uncovered a widespread pattern of illegal
kickbacks paid to drivers of military vehicles by service station
operators in two provinces who sold their diesel fuel to the
Department of National Defence at inflated prices.
   The auditors did not provide an estimate of how much the kickback
scheme might be costing taxpayers, [but] the limited number of spot
checks uncovered cash kickbacks totalling $15,600 on fuel purchases
worth $216,700 for the military. DND bought more than $3.6 million
worth of diesel fuel during the past two years."
   Sallot, Jeff "DND workers taking kickbacks, probe reveals" The
   Globe
and Mail, 1 December 1999: A3.

  "Businesses operating in the arms of the defence industry, as well
  as
those in energy sectors, were apt to bribe senior civil servants and
politicians, Transparency International, a Berlin-based watchdog
organization, has found in its ground-breaking survey titled Bribery
in Business Sectors.
  Most likely sectors where senior public officials would be very
  likely
to accept or extort bribes:
   1. Public works contracts and construction
   2. Arms and defence industry
   3. Power (incl. petroleum and energy)"
  Walton, Dawn "Builders most likely to bribe, report finds." The
  Globe
and Mail, 21 January 2000: B5.

6. Canadians consistently place the military at the bottom of the list
of issues requiring the greatest attention from Canada's leaders.
While generally supportive of the military, the Canadian public places
far greater importance on the funding of social programs and improving
the economy than military spending.

   "Thinking of the issues presently confronting Canada, which do you
feel should receive the greatest attention from Canada's leaders?

Unemployment/Jobs:     27% (Nov. 1998), 49% (July 1997), 44% (July
1996). Health Care/Medicare:   40% (Nov. 1998), 15% (July 1997), 13%
(July 1996) Defence/Military:             1% (Nov. 1998),   2% (July
1997),   1% (July 1996)
   "Canadians' Public Policy Issues Agenda," Angus Reid Group, Inc.

7. Trade agreements are promoting the use of military spending to
subsidize high tech corporations. Free trade regimes such as the WTO
are limiting government's ability to provide financial assistance or
other export subsidies to corporations. However, all trade agreements
provide national security exceptions for military purposes, thus
promoting the use of greater military spending to continue subsidies
while avoiding trade challenges.

   "Despite General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) rules that
eliminated tariff barriers between signatories on civil aircraft
products (including civil avionics and flight simulators) and that
restricted the use of government procurement, many countries use
national security exceptions to provide direct financial assistance to
their domestic industry and to impose domestic content requirements on
government procurement."
   Government of Canada, Industry Canada. Aerospace and Defence
Electronics Overview and Prospects. Ottawa, Ontario: Government of
Canada, 1999.

For more information, contact Steven Staples.
(604) 688-8846    f. (604) 688-5756
info@indg.org

<><><><><><><><>


BACK TO PROBLEM IDENTIFICATION TOPICS