Dear Ceasefire.ca supporter,
Something really important happened on Friday – it was an incredible victory for our Ceasefire.ca community.
You might recall that a few weeks ago I told you about Stephen Harper’s terrible plan to waste more than $2 billion on a fleet of tanks called close combat vehicles.
Then, it was amazing! Thousands of supporters signed the Ceasefire.ca petition and sent emails to their MPs urging them to have the tank project shelved. Even more people signed postcards and mailed them right to Harper’s office in Ottawa (more).
The media started to pay more attention to the waste, too. The Rideau Institute (Ceasefire.ca’s parent organization) and the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives joined together to release a hard-hitting report by Professor Michael Byers and researcher Stewart Webb exposing the close combat vehicle program as a waste of scarce public dollars (more).
We also organized a press conference right inside the Parliament Buildings to bring more attention to the tank deal – with the Army and the weapons corporations trying to get inside to hear what we were saying (check out the whole story in my letter to you last month).
But after all that pressure, Stephen Harper didn’t seem to care, despite the fact that we knew that the Army privately told the government that it didn’t need the tanks and wanted to use the money for training and operations, instead. Even retired General Rick Hillier came out against the wasteful and unneeded tanks.
So imagine my reaction when this happened.
A reporter from CTV National News called me in the late afternoon last Thursday at our office, right here on Ottawa’s historic Sparks Street. He told me that he had heard that Harper was going to abandon the close combat vehicle project … I was stunned – this is huge!
Sure enough, the rumour was true.
The next morning the head of the Canadian Forces announced that the close combat vehicle project is no longer needed, and is cancelled (more).
Wow – all our work together paid off! This is the first major military project cancellation since Canada said “no” to Bush’s missile defence scheme.
So, we end the year with an amazing achievement – thanks to you! Together, our 25,000 Ceasefire.ca supporters have stopped a terrible arms deal and an awful waste of 2 billion public dollars. Well done!
Before I go, let me wish you and your family and friends a warm, happy holiday. Thank you for taking action for peace this year, and for all of your support for Ceasefire.ca.
Steven Staples, co-founder of Ceasefire.ca
P.S. In a huge win, we cancelled the terrible $2 billion close combat vehicle deal. Thanks for all of your support in 2013.