Annual weapons fair held in Ottawa: Militant picket opposes militarization and war

Canadians from all walks of life held a militant picket on the morning of May 31 against the annual CANSEC weapons fair sponsored by the Trudeau war government and the biggest U.S. arms monopolies. Warmongering Minister of National Defence Harjit Sajjan, who was scheduled to speak at a breakfast event shortly after 7:00 am was delayed in entering, along with representatives of General Dynamics, the producer of light armoured vehicles sold to Saudi Arabia, Raytheon, the world’s largest guided missile producer and many other arms monopolies. Protestors denounced Canada’s participation in escalating war preparations and the use of the CANSEC event to pay the rich weapons monopolies and secure arms for war criminals such as the U.S., Israel, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and others.

The private event featured thousands of participants from more than 60 countries, including more than 4,000 from the Canadian government and Department of National Defence. The annual event is organized by the Canadian Association of Defence and Security Industries (CADSI) and the main sponsors this year were the Canadian Commercial Corporation, a Crown corporation that arranges weapons deals between companies with facilities in Canada and foreign governments, and Lockheed Martin, the largest U.S. military contractor. Speaking on the stepped up war preparations and what this means for weapons producers, President of CADSI Christyn Cianfarani told media, “Defence spending in general is on an upswing. That is drawing companies.”

Keynote speaker Minister of Defence Harjit Sajjan praised the role of the armed forces, saying they “fight terrorism, protect civilians, contend with natural disasters and work to secure a more peaceful world.” Not a word was spoken to recognize the horrors that have come with imperialist war and aggressive military deployment in the past century or that deploying the armed forces whatever the pretext is a grave matter. Instead he emphasized that militaries “need to be flexible, agile and quick to respond in this global security environment.”

Sajjan focused on addressing the so-called “capability gaps” facing the Canadian Armed Forces. He said that these gaps or “underinvestment” concern fighter jets, “surface combatants” and other examples. The elephant in the room with regards to Sajjan’s complaints about capability gaps is capability for what? In the context of U.S. demands for NATO members to dramatically increase military spending and purchasing of heavy weapons, as well as threats against sovereign countries in Europe, the Middle East and Asia, the Trudeau government is concerned with Canada’s capability to participate in further U.S. wars of aggression.

In that regard, Sajjan announced that Canada’s “new defence policy,” to be unveiled on June 7, will increase military spending and provide “predictable, consistent funding.”

Speaking about the role of private arms manufacturers, including in the creation of the new defence policy, Sajjan stated, “We need to work together, as a nation, if we are to address the threats we face.” He further harped on the role of defence contractors in driving “innovation” that will “revolutionize military tactics” and that the Canadian Armed Forces will now “collaborate with [private interests] to the fullest extent possible” to “give businesses the experience and exposure they can use to pursue opportunities in global markets.” Sajjan concluded that Canada’s new defence policy will “further clarify our expectations, formalize our acquisition intentions, and better meet your needs as we meet ours.”[1]

Other presenters included Chief of Defence Staff Jonathan Vance; Acting Vice-Chief of Defence Staff Alain Parent; Steven MacKinnon, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Services and Procurement; and retired U.S. General Keith Alexander, CEO and President of “IronNet Cybersecurity” and former commander of U.S. Cyber Command.


1. See “Canada’s Defence Policy Review: Warmongers Should Not Be Permitted to Decide Matters of War and Peace!” TML Weekly, May 20, 2017.

Source: TML Weekly, June 3, 2017, No. 20

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One response to “Annual weapons fair held in Ottawa: Militant picket opposes militarization and war

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