Leslie Schentag (wy497@victoria.tc.ca)
Sat, 27 Mar 1999 16:17:34 -0800 (PST)

  Leslie Schentag
  Gremlin Research Consultants
  Web Site: http://firms.findlaw.com/gremlinz

  Myautomail: http://www.myautomail.com/auto2011.htm

  "When Freedom Is Outlawed, Only Outlaws Will Be Free"
					-F.T.W. Productions, 1992.

 "It is better to die on your feet than live a lifetime on your knees"
					-Emiliano Zapata

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 24 Mar 1999 13:00:11 -0800
From: Howard Breen <hbreen@island.net>
Reply-To: NanooseNet@mail.island.net
To: nanoosenet@island.net
Cc: jslakov@TartanNET.ns.ca
Subject: NN: Proposal : HOMES NOT BOMBS: A CAMPAIGN 

To: hbreen@island.net 
From: tasc@web.net (L. Smith/M. Behrens) 

Enclosed is an action proposal linking the issues of military spending and 
poverty in Canada. We hope you can take some time to review it, pass it 
along to like-minded folks, and get back to us with your thoughts. We're 
trying to guage the amount of interest and the possibility of getting 
affinity groups from most cities, or at least PIRGs, to go to Ottawa in 

Please let us know what you think

Matthew Behrens

Canada's Choice:
To Build Homes... 
"The Committee [United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural 
Rights] is gravely concerned that such a wealthy country as Canada has 
allowed the problem of homelessness and inadequate housing to grow to such 
proportions that the mayors of Canada's ten largest cities have now 
declared homelessness a national disaster...The Committee recommends that 
the federal, provincial and territorial governments address homelessness 
and inadequate housing as a national emergency by reinstating or 
increasing, as the case may be, social housing programmes for those in 
need...[and] to implement a national strategy for the reduction of 
homelessness and poverty." 

- United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, 
evaluating Canada's lack of progress, 1998.

...or to Blow Them Up 
"The Canadian Forces can hurl more raw firepower at a potential enemy today 
than they could during the Persian Gulf War...Since the gulf war, all three 
services have increased their 'combat capability' (the wherewithal to 
inflict heavy damage on the enemy), said Major-General Kenneth Pennie, 
director-general of strategic planning for the Canadian Forces. The 
equipment includes new frigates for the navy, armoured vehicles for the 
army and high-tech 'smart' bombs for the air force. Given the improved 
accuracy, Gen. Pennie said, 'we find that some conventional weapons can be 
more useful than nuclear weapons.'" 
- Globe and Mail, March 10, 1999
Canada currently spends over 400% more on its military than it does on

************************DRAFT PROPOSAL******************************

Converting Canada From a War Economy to a Peace Economy
Canada currently spends over 400% more on its military than it does on 
housing, and the federal government has made no commitment to a national 
housing strategy. Indeed, while Ottawa has, since 1984, taken steps to 
completely eliminate any funding for new social housing, it has spent, 
since 1980, over a quarter of a trillion dollars on war.
Like the U.S., which is now proposing the largest military spending 
increase since the election of Ronald Reagan, Canada continues to forge 
ahead in combat preparation mode. Indeed, as Project Ploughshares points 
out, "With major procurement programs emphasizing equipment of high 
intensity combat, Canada's defence establishment remains bound to Cold War 
categories...the Department of National Defence continues to prepare first 
and foremost for war."

As with the U.S., Canada's percentage of monies spent on social housing is 
dangerously low. About 5.5% of Canada's housing is non-market social 
housing (compared with 2% in the U.S., 15% in France and Germany, 22% in 
the U.K. and 40% in the Netherlands.)

While cities across the country, including Ottawa, Vancouver and Toronto, 
have declared the crisis of homelessness a national disaster, Ottawa 
continues to use its largest block of "discretionary funding"- about $10 
billion annually-to build fighter jets and participate in the U.S. Star 
Wars program.

The dictionary describes discretionary as "left to one's own judgment." Yet 
when scores of people are dying every year from homelessness in Canada, and 
over 200,000 people are estimated to be homeless in this country (with 
millions more in substandard housing), the federal government is obviously 
showing poor judgment by absolving itself of housing responsibilities but 
remaining committed to unnecessary and dangerous weapons programs?
By choosing to spend on weapons which kill abroad, the government is 
choosing not to fund desperately needed programs at home, thus threatening 
the lives of those unable to access affordable shelter, health care, and 
other vital social services. Either way, Ottawa has blood on its hands.
The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation estimates the cost of each new 
unit of affordable housing to be $40,000. One year of spending on housing 
what we currently spend on war would yield a quarter of a million new units 
of affordable housing.

Homes Not Bombs is a campaign based on a complete shift in Canada's 
national priorities, challenging the myths of militarism and the myths 
about where poverty comes from. Both are institutional creations, created 
and sustained by the Canadian corporate power structure and perpetuated by 
willing governments at all levels.

We believe a first step in changing our national priorities is converting 
the War Department to the Housing Department. Just as we wish to see the 
Canadian government end its military enforcement of sanctions against the 
Iraqi people, we want the federal government to end its sanctions against 
the 5 million-plus Canadians forced to live in poverty while Canada plays 
host to the highest rate of billionaires-per-capita in the world.

Indeed, in 1996, Statistics Canada estimated it would take only $18.6 
billion to bring every Canadian out of poverty, less than what the War 
Department spends in a two-year period. Yet given the choice of where to 
spend, Ottawa has made it clear-guns, not butter, bombs, not homes. For 
example, the federal government pays for the military enforcement of Iraqi 
starvation and the ongoing destructive war training over Innu lands off the 
backs of Canada's hungry and homeless.

Canada recently scored poorly in an assessment of economic, social and 
politics rights at the United Nations. It is unclear how Canada can claim 
any moral weight judging the actions of other nations when its own house is 
in such disarray.

It is everyone's human right to have access to decent food, shelter, and 
employment. Yet the government claims there is not enough money in the till 
for programs to guarantee these rights. The government's choice of ignoring 
these human rights in favour of an annual 10 billion outlay on the military 
merely entrenches this injustice.

Clearly, what is missing is not the financial capacity to meet these 
important goals, but the political will. As Martin Luther King and others 
pointed out time and again during the civil rights movement of the 1950s 
and 1960s, when governments refuse to meet the basic human needs of their 
people, it is up to all people of good conscience to engage in campaigns of 
nonviolent resistance that create a moral climate in which government 
policies of neglect and abandonment are no longer possible.

Such campaigns are also deigned to awaken the sleeping conscience of a 
nation, urging those who have been silent to speak up and, with united 
voices, support and work for real action to achieve social justice.
TAKING ACTION: A Pledge of Resistance to War and Poverty 
The goal of Homes Not Bombs is to link these two vital issues together 
through outreach and education, letter-writing, vigils, and non-violent 
civil disobedience. Included in our work is a demand for, at the very 
least, implementation of the widely-endorsed 1% solution to solving 
homelessness (whereby all levels of government increase by 1% that portion 
of their budgets currently spent on housing to eliminate homelessness 
within 5 years). We are also organizing a significant act of civil 
disobedience, a nonviolent blockade of the War Department this November 
with the symbolic aim of converting the building into the Housing 
Department, training those within to build-not blow up-homes.

We cannot tolerate another winter with scores of homeless people dying on 
the streets of our cities. Nor can we tolerate the use of almost $10 
billion in federal monies annually to prepare for war while millions suffer 
the scourge of poverty in one of the wealthiest nations on the planet.
I therefore pledge to become part of the Homes Not Bombs conversion 
program: to convert the War Dept. to the Housing Dept., to end Canada's 
shameful participation in the business of war and to use those much-needed 
resources for social programs to end poverty in this country and abroad.

1. I pledge to write to my MP and demand that immediate action be 
taken to embark on a national program of affordable housing construction 
and social assistance at livable levels. Further, I will call for an end to 
the outrageous military spending on programs ranging from "Star Wars" to 
the outfitting of fighter jets with "smart" bombs.
2. I will arrange a visit with my MP to discuss these issues and to 
urge immediate action.
3. I will organize a vigil at my MP's office.
4. I will go to Ottawa where I will join a demonstration in early 
November to convert the Department of War into the Department of Housing.
5. I commit myself to not only join the demonstration, but to take 
part in an act of civil disobedience to transform the War Department. By 
making this commitment, I pledge to have attended a training session in 
non-violence in preparation for this action.

The campaign will also focus on the cancellation of significantly dangerous 
wastes of money such as:
Canadian participation in Star Wars: $600,000,000+ 
Annual contribution to NORAD: $300 million 
Upgrade 114 Leopard C1 main battle tanks, purchase of additional 123 
Leopard tanks: $138.8 million 
Armoured Combat Vehicle Project: $600,000,000 (at least) 
Armoured Personnel Carrier Replacement Project: $2.04 billion 
Helping CF-18s remain "a viable and survivable fighter (upgrades include 
capacity to use Advanced Air-to-Air Weapons, air-to-surface "smart bombs" 
and missiles: $1.175 billion 
Maritime Helicopter Program (equipped with submarine detection and attack 
systems): $2.3 billion 
Frigate Equipment Life Extension (upgrade of combat systems) : $100 
million at least 
Very Short Range Air Defence System (to replace existing Javelin missile): 
$100 million at least 
Medium Indirect Fire System (upgrade to Army M109A4 self-propelled 
howitzer): $100 million at least 
Unmanned Airborne Surveillance and Target Acquisition System: $50 million 
Participation in US Joint Strike Fighter Program: Untold millions

Resources for more information on military spending and the crisis of 
homelessness (these organizations, though listed as good resources, have 
not necessarily endorsed this campaign): 
Project Ploughshares 
Address, website 
Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade 
National Disaster Relief Committee 
Cooperative Housing federation of Canada

We want your feedback! 
Please send comments, suggestions, additional facts which you think might 
be of interest to: Homes Not Bombs, P.O. Box 73620, 509 St. Clair Ave. W., 
Toronto, Ont., M6C 1C0, email: tasc@web.net, phone: (416) 651-5800. We hope 
to launch this campaign publicly in late May or early June of 1999.

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