What I Have Done
Congratulations to the winners of the High School Essay Contest!
First place: Rebecca MacNeil, Rankin School of the Narrows
$150 plus prize pack
Second place: Harrison Souchereau, Halifax West High School
$100 plus prize pack
Third place: Emma Purdy, Sir John A. MacDonald High School
$50 plus prize pack
These students had the best essays that answered this question: Instead of spending $25 billion to build new warships for the navy at the Irving shipyard in Halifax, how could the Canadian government invest our tax dollars to make our society and our economy greener, more equitable, and more peaceful?
Honourable mentions: Jayme Dooling (Northumberland Regional High School); Mariam Eldio (Maritime Muslim Academy); Alyssa MacNeil (Rankin School of the Narrows); Leandra Bouman (École du Carrefour); Alex Kirste (Rankin School of the Narrows); and Halie Atwater (Northumberland Regional High School).
Thank you to all the students who submitted an essay!
Today, June 8, is World Oceans Day. I'm delivering an open letter to MP Robert Chisholm, the NDP Critic for Fisheries & Oceans, to let him know that warships are not good for the oceans and marine life. Please read the letter and see how little the federal government spends on the Department of Fisheries & Oceans versus the Department of National Defence. I'm also unveiling a new sign "Sonar & explosives bad for marine life. Protect our oceans. No warships". The oceans are in extreme crisis and need our protection and restoration not more warships.
For Earth Day, April 22, I held a rally outside the Irving Shipyard to call for a green economy instead of a war economy. A green economy would tackle our two greatest human security challenges - climate change and poverty. I am also going to MP Megan Leslie's office to deliver an open letter asking her why she supports warships. She is the MP for Halifax and the NDP Environment Critic and Deputy Leader.
On April 15 in Halifax, we raised awareness about the cost of new warships and drones for the Global Day of Action on Military Spending.
The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute released their military expenditures report on April 15 and showed that Canada is ranked 14th highest in the world. In 2012, Canada spent $22.7 billion on the military and only $1.6 billion on Environment Canada, the lead agency for climate change in this country. You can read the SIPRI report.
On April 11, the Rideau Institute and the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives released their report Titanic Blunder: Arctic/Offshore Patrol Ships on course for disaster. They recommend that the Harper government abandon its current plan to build Arctic patrol ships for the navy at the Irving Shipyard in Halifax.
On Tuesday, March 26, I delivered an open letter to Premier Dexter and gave him a copy of the book "Prophets of War: Lockheed Martin and the Making of the Military-Industrial Complex" by William Hartung.
Read my open letter to Premier Darrell Dexter, Leader of the NS NDP.
My letter has been copied to the Nova Scotia Minister of Finance, the Minister for Service Nova Scotia, the Leader of the Liberal Party, the Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party, the Provincial Ombudsman, and the Auditor General of Nova Scotia.
Irving Shipyard and the Aerospace & Defence Industries Association of Nova Scotia / Lockheed Martin have received millions of dollars in public money from the provincial government, but these corporations have failed to register their lobbying activity. View the Nova Scotia Lobbyists Registry. Nova Scotians' tax dollars are at risk and there is a lack of transparency and accountability. I believe that these companies have violated the Lobbyists' Registration Act and should be fined.