Peace, Social Justice, Student and Environmental groups urge Stephen Harper to redirect military spending



    TORONTO, Oct. 8 /CNW/ - The Canadian Peace Alliance, Council of
Canadians, Housing Not War Campaign, Canadian Federation of Students and
Greenpeace Canada joined forces today to call on the Harper Government to
cancel plans for $490 billion in military spending over the next 20 years. In
the context of economic uncertainty, rising poverty and the climate change
crisis, Canadians worry that spending as much as $30 billion each year for the
military is a foolhardy use of Canadian taxpayers money.
    "Stephen Harper is portraying himself as the leader with the best
economic credentials, yet his plans for military spending could leave the
country in trouble," Said Bob Ages, Secretary Treasurer of the Canadian Peace
Alliance. "Harper is following the Bush administration into economic ruin by
spending huge sums on war."
    The cost of the war in Afghanistan alone is expected to reach
$22 billion. Economists predict that the crisis facing the US economy will
spill over into Canada, reducing revenues for the federal government. The
money earmarked for the military must be reallocated or we run the risk of
cuts to much needed social and environmental programs. That money should be
used in a massive national program to address the climate change crisis, aimed
at achieving the KYOTOplus targets for greenhouse gas reductions, as well as
to provide affordable housing, abolish tuition fees, create a pharmacare
program.
    "Homeless people are dying across Canada waiting for housing. We are the
only industrialized country with no national housing program." said Andrew
Mindszenthy of TDRC and the Housing Not War Campaign. "A small fraction - just
1/9th - of current military spending would be enough to establish a reasonable
housing program that would save and improve countless lives. We've been
waiting a decade for this modest investment. With the impacts of climate
change and the economic crisis, the numbers of people made homeless will
increase in Canada and around the world. The Canadian government must spend
our tax dollars very wisely now to prevent the situation from worsening. With
this war, we're throwing good money after bad."





For further information:

For further information: Sid Lacombe, Coordinator of the Canadian Peace
Alliance at (416) 588-5555 (office), (416) 333-7567 (Cell)


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