Ten Reasons to Oppose Warships

The federal government is spending $25 billion of Canadian tax dollars to build warships. Here are 10 reasons to oppose them:

  1. We do not need warships = we have no naval enemies

    • The Department of National Defence has no risk assessment or threat assessment that justifies the need for warships. We have no naval enemies.
    • Nowhere on the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy web site can you find the threat that justifies the building of these warships. Check it out here
    • Our real security challenges are global warming and poverty. That’s where the money should go.
    • Senator Colin Kenny was quoted as saying "Issues are going to be settled in the Arctic through diplomacy and with lawyers. We're not going to go to war up there." Read the article here Arctic patrol ships 'dumb'
    • Size of Other Navies:
      Country # Vessels in navy
      Netherlands 30
      Canada 33
      Australia 54
      Great Britain 98
      China 200
      Russia 205
      United States 286
  2. Warships are not a national priority

    • Polls show that the priorities of Canadians are healthcare, education, jobs and the environment.
    • Spending on warships should not come ahead of Canada having a national green jobs strategy; national early learning & childcare strategy; a national affordable housing strategy, and a municipal infrastructure strategy.
    • Latest public opinion poll is here: www.globalnews.ca
  3. We can create more jobs with a National Green Jobs Strategy

    • The University of Massachusetts has published an annual report entitled U.S. Employment Effects on Military and Domestic Spending Priorities and found that more jobs could be created with $1 billion in government expenditures in health care, education, and construction than in the military.
    • The BlueGreen Alliance Canada released a report entitled “More Bang for Your Buck: How Canada Can Create More Energy Jobs and Less Pollution” in November 2012 that showed that with $1.3 billion over 18,000 jobs could be created in the renewable energy sector in this country.
    • Read the report here
    • Note that the federal government relied on 2009 statistics by the Canadian Association of Defence and Security Industries (CADSI) for the number of jobs that will be created building new ships. The CADSI report is entitled Sovereignty, Security and Prosperity− Government Ships −Designed, Built and Supported by Canadian Industry and it claims that 10,000 jobs will be created. The federal government basically adopted this CADSI report for the NSPS. Look at pages 40-42 to see all the weapons manufacturers that were involved in shaping the new NSPS strategy. Canadians were NOT consulted and asked if we want $25 billion of our tax dollars spent on warships.
    • Not surprisingly, the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy came out a year after the CADSI report.
  4. The price is not right

  5. It will cost more for maintenance

    • John Pike, editor of Global Security, is reporting that maintenance of the navy’s new combat ships will be at least $14 billion on top of the initial cost of building the warships.
    • Read the article here
  6. Most of the money will leave the province

    • Dr. Ugurhan Berkok, a politics and economics professor at the Royal Military College in Kingston, Ontario, has said about $5 billion of the total $25-billion contract will be spent in Nova Scotia, where the Halifax shipyard will undergo a substantial upgrade. The rest of the money will be spent in Ontario, Quebec and the United States, where contractors will be hired to build the ships' combat systems, electronics and propulsion units. "The Maritimes don't have those industries," Berkok said in an interview, adding that U.S. defence contractor Lockheed Martin will likely join forces with Irving Shipbuilding as the project moves ahead.”
    • Read Dr. Berkok’s comments here: www.globalnews.ca
    • Did you see this? From the Chronicle Herald on February 13 Questions arise as next phase in shipbuilding deal nears
    • Irving cuts its engineering team. So now ship design and engineering jobs will go to Odense Maritime Technology in Denmark and General Dynamics Bath Iron Works in Maine. Just as bad, the electronics package is sole-sourced to Lockheed Martin. General Dynamics and Lockheed Martin are untrustworthy weapons manufacturers!
  7. No transparency of how money spent

    • Exactly how Canadian tax dollars are being spent for the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy is not known. Irving is trying to prevent public disclosure.
    • Read the article: Irving tries to keep contract details secret
    • Last November, the Parliamentary Budget Officer asked for the bid that was submitted by Irving to the National Shipbuilding Secretariat but his request was refused by Public Works. Please read the letter here. You can see all the correspondence on the PBO's web site listed under 2012-11-19
    • From the Chronicle Herald in January 2013: Feds could sink deal: Ship contract has loopholes
    • Did you see this article in the Chronicle Herald on July 24, 2013 Military guarding vessel info? It states that "The Defence Department is stonewalling the federal budget watchdog's investigation into the national shipbuilding program."
  8. Warships are not good for the oceans and marine life

  9. Enriching one of the richest Canadian families

    • The National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy is enriching one of the wealthiest Canadian families: The Irving family. They are the 1%. Irving Ltd. is a private family business, so there is no public access to their financial statements. The federal government and provincial government are giving Canadian tax payers’ hard earned money to an already rich family!
    • The federal government is giving the Irving Shipyard $25 billion to build warships.
    • The Nova Scotia provincial government is giving Irving Shipyard a forgivable loan of $260 million to upgrade the shipyard plus $44 million in a repayable loan for human resources. It is the single largest assistance to a private business.
    • Read more about it here
  10. Canada cannot afford them and bound to be a boondoggle

    • The federal government is running an annual deficit of approximately $26 billion and increasing the national debt. Our national debt is now over $600 billion.
    • See Canada’s national debt clock
    • Just like my prediction and my protest sign - I agree with MSVU Professor Michael Whalen that the Shipbuilding contract bound to be boondoggle, his opinion piece published in the Chronicle Herald in May 2013.