#NoIsraeliArms4Canada: Write letter to Canadian Ministers of Transport and Procurement
Take one minute to write a letter to the Minister of Transport, Omar Alghabra, and the Minister responsible for Procurement, Filomena Tassi.
Let them know that you call on them to:
- Cancel the procurement process for an estimated $5 B contract for armed surveillance drones;
- Cancel the contract with Elbit Systems for Arctic surveillance drones;
- Prohibit ZIM ships from accessing Canadian ports; and
- End all trade in weapons with Israel through a two-way arms embargo and ending military-security cooperation with Israel.
Over 1000 letters were sent pre-election. Now that the new Cabinet is in place, it is the time to send this message clearly to the Ministers responsible.
The Canadian government is moving nearer to obtaining armed drones, worth $5 billion of Canadian taxpayer dollars.
Canadian government officials briefed industry partners on systems requirements which includes long-range surveillance and the ability to engage targets remotely, both considered important features to protect Canada as well as for participating in foreign missions.
According to Justin Ling of Vice News in 2020, this contract for up to $5B, would see the armed drones in the air by 2025.
Let the Ministers responsible for procurement and transport know we are calling on them to cancel the procurement process underway for an estimated $5B contract for unmanned surveillance.
It is essential that civil-society groups are engaged in carefully scrutinizing the policies that would guide Canada’s military use of any drones for domestic surveillance and in foreign missions. This is even more essential when these unmanned devices may carry arms.
Armed drones threaten people’s lives around the world. Rather than making the world safer, they are used in extrajudicial executions, surveillance of targeted populations and other violations of human rights. Palestinians in Gaza live under a constant threat of armed drones, filling the skies nightly with their distinctive hum. Now, the Canadian government wants to spend taxpayer dollars to purchase armed drones – and one of the leading contenders was “battle tested” on Palestinian and Syrian civilians by the Israeli military.
The Canadian BDS Coalition, Just Peace Advocates and over 50 other civil society groups have come together in this call. A call to urge immediate action by the Canadian government to stop the armed drone procurement process, and to demand Canada impose a two-way military embargo with Israel.
One of these teams is ‘Team Artemis’, a partnership between MAS, a subsidiary of L3Harris Technologies, and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI). Team Artemis is proposing the Artemis UAV for RPAS, which is a Canadianized version of IAI’s Heron TP drone. The other bidder is Team SkyGuardian, which is comprised of General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI), CAE, and MDA.”
Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) is the development and manufacturing arm of the Israeli military. The Israeli military, using IAI products developed explicitly for its use, routinely commits war crimes against the people of Palestine and exports war machines that have been ‘tested’ on Palestinians and Arabs, especially in Gaza, Lebanon and Syria.
“Israel has used its arms industry to systematically control the Palestinian people and repress all Palestinian challenges to its military occupation and apartheid regime. Israel uses unnecessary, disproportionate, and excessive force while suppressing peaceful protests, at search-and-arrest operations, and at checkpoints, in complete disregard for Palestinian life. Israel’s excessive use of force is further evidenced now, as Israeli forces continue to attack Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, Palestinian protesters throughout the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem and Palestinian citizens of Israel.”
We further join the call to exclude ZIM, Israel’s largest cargo shipping company, which routinely transports Israeli arms to their final destination, from Canadian ports.
As noted by the Canada Palestine Association earlier this year:
"Port Authorities in Canada fall under the Ministry of Transport. As such, Minister Alghabra, allowing and enabling such Israeli apartheid profiteering makes both the ports and the Canadian government further complicit in the ongoing dispossession of the Palestinians... Your ministry is already mired in controversy for refusing to cancel a contract with Elbit Systems to purchase one of their drones. Who would have imagined that the Canadian Ministry of Transport would be so entangled with Israeli apartheid?”
Current situation with ZIM ship on fire & toxic containers is alarming:
The Canadian Coast Guard has indicated more than 100 shipping containers, of which at least two are carrying hazardous chemicals, fell from a ZIM-operated cargo ship that later caught fire. Marine experts are concerned fish and perhaps whales will suffer from chemical burning as a result of the accident.
#NoIsraeliArms4Canada #TimeForSanctions #BDS #MilitaryEmbargo #StopArmingIsrael
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