#NoIsraeliArms4Canada: Write letter to Canadian Ministers of Transport and Procurement

Now with the election underway we encourage you to bring this issue to the attention of your local canadiates. Check out more details HERE.

Thanks to the 1000+ who took time to write to the Minister of Public Services and Procurement Anita Anand and Minister of Transport Omar Alghabra.You

During election, let all candiates know you insist the Canadian Government cancel the procurement process for the purchase of remotely piloted aircraft systems for surveillance.

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.

We may be going into an election, but before that we want to let these current Ministers of 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 30 civil society groups have come together to urge immediate action by the Canadian government to stop the armed drone procurement process, and call on Canada to impose a two-way military embargo with Israel.

One of the companies on the government of Canada short-list for the Remotely Piloted Aircraft System for the National Aerial Surveillance Program, T8493-150035/D contract is the research, development and manufacturing arm of the Israeli military, Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI). 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.

In recent months, people of conscience in Canada watched in horror as the Israeli regime ruthlessly targeted Palestinians from all regions of historic Palestine. What started as a popular movement to #SaveSheikhJarrah residents from further ethnic cleansing expanded into a broad unity of Palestinians from Jerusalem to Gaza to Haifa to Toronto and Vancouver all sending the same message. Palestinians will no longer accept the status quo of Israeli apartheid.

As the Palestinian human rights organization Al-Haq has reported:

“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:

"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."Thousands of people have already called upon you, Ministers Alghabra and Anand, to cancel the $36M Canadian government contract with Elbit Systems, another Israeli arms company selling weapons “battle-tested” on Palestinian and Arab civilians, for a remotely piloted aircraft system (RPAS) or drone.

We therefore insist that Ministers Alghabra and Anand, show leadership by:
• Cancelling the procurement process for the estimated $5 B contract for armed surveillance drones;
• Cancelling the contract with Elbit Systems for Arctic surveillance drones;
• Prohibiting ZIM ships from accessing Canadian ports; and
• Ending all trade in weapons with Israel through a two-way arms embargo and ending military-security cooperation with Israel.

We would also ask that all candidates of conscience running in the federal election take this stance.

#NoIsraeliArms4Canada #TimeForSanctions #BDS #MilitaryEmbargo #StopArmingIsrael

Organizations endorsing this campaign to date include:

Niagara Movement for Justice in Palestine-Israel (NMJPI)
Peace Alliance Winnipeg
Palestinian and Jewish Unity
Justice For Palestinians, Calgary
MidIslanders for Justice and Peace in the Middle East
Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network
Oakville Palestinian Rights Association
Regina Peace Council
Al-Haadi Musalla
Al-Quds Committee Toronto
Labor for Palestine
Socialist Action / Ligue pour l'Action socialiste
Palestinian Youth Movement-Vancouver
Jews for Palestinian Right of Return
Canada Palestine Association
Barmard-Boecker Centre Fdtnn
Arab Palestine Association of Ontario
Canadian Arab Federation
Canada Palestine Support Network -- CanPalNet
Fire This Time Movement for Social Justice
HR4A ( Human Rights for All) Saskatchewan
Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East
Mobilization Against War and Occupation (MAWO)
Palestine Solidarity - St Johns
Academics for Palestine-Concordia
Palestine Solidarity Network - Edmonton
Hamilton Coalition To Stop The War
Palestine House
Coalition Aganist Israeli Apartheid
Independent Jewish Voices Canada
Canadian Foreign Policy Institute
World BEYOND War
Collectif Judéo Arabe et Citoyen pour la Palestine

Greater Toronto For BDS (GT4BDS)

Peacehome Campaign, Peace, Justice, Sustainability NOW and the Coalition to Divest Philadelphia from the War Machine

Environmentalists Against War
Veterans for Peace ch 27
Justice For All Canada
Canadian Council of Muslim Women Montreal
International Solidarity Movement
Nonviolence International Canada
HR4A ( Human Rights for All) Saskatchewan
Fondation canado-palestinienne du Québec (CPFQ)
Friends of Sabeel North America

Letter campaign sent by

Just Peace Advocates

Campaign organized by

Canadian BDS Coalition

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