Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Oh, Canada

After hearing of the shoe-throwing incident in Iraq on the Sunday radio news, the very next news story announced that 3 Canadian soldiers were killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan. Six Canadian soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan over the last 10 days. A total of 103 Canadians have died there over 7 years.

The very night before, Christine Jones, the co-chair of the Canadian Peace Alliance (CPA), had addressed the American peace community in Chicago at the United for Peace and Justice (UFPJ) General Assembly. Jones came with the news that the Prime Minister from Canada's current minority government is advocating that Canada spend $490 billion -- nearly a half of TRILLION dollars -- on defense spending over the next 20 years.

This proposal, Jones said, comes from the same government "mouthpieces" that say housing, education, and universal health care are unaffordable. Jones told the audience that "The reality is that (social spending) is utterly affordable. In fact, it is more than affordable. The problem is that our government -- all of our governments -- are being undemocratic with how they are choosing to spending our money."

I guess we do speak the same language -- and suffer similar injustices.

Our neighbor to the north talked passionately about the common peace issues shared by both Canadian and American communities. Furthermore, Jones explained that in 2010 Canada will host two major economic conferences, including the G-8, and the Olympics. She was very gracious in inviting UFPJ activists to come visit Canada in 2010.

Oh, Canada, look out.

-- Rico Thomas Rico

Christine Jones,
Co-Chair of the Canadian Peace Alliance,
Addresses the UFPJ General Assembly

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