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War Mongering

By Sean Condon

Friday May 20, 2005

.h3 Geriatrics Fund Pays For Guns

Canada is knee deep in the Iraq war. Even though it didn’t send any troops along with the coalition of the killing, the federal and provincial governments have invested billions of dollars in corporations that contribute weapons and services for the illegal invasion. As long as it continues to profit from the war, Canadian governments are complicit to the destruction.

Through the Canadian Pension Plan and the British Columbia Investment Management Fund, Canadian governments have over $5 billion invested in corporations that either make weapons or provide goods and services to the Pentagon. The BC Investment Management Fund, which controls $63 billion in pension funds, has $4.6 billion invested in 251 war-monger corporations. The list is a who’s who of evil bastards that includes seven of the largest Pentagon contractors: Lockheed, Boeing, Raytheon, Northrup Grumman, General Dynamics, United Technologies and General Electric.

“Whether we like it or not, whether we’re even aware of it or not, the BC provincial government is actively involved in underwriting the illegal US occupation of Iraq and the ensuing butchery being inflicted on Iraq’s civilian population,” wrote Will Offley, an independent candidate in the recent provincial election whose research brought light to the provincial investments.
The blood money shouldn’t come as a surprise as BC has a long history of dumping dollars into evil corporations. The previous NDP government had millions of dollars invested in such corporate angels as Enron, Walmart and Monsanto. Currently, BC has over $40 million invested in SNC-Lavalin, maker of the city’s RAV line, which supplies the US Armed Forces with 300 million to 500 million bullets a year. Its five-year contract with the American military was approved by Canada’s Foreign Affairs Department.

The federal pension investments are especially sneaky since Jean Chrétien the Liberal government made a special point of not supporting the war. Although Canada might have appeared to take the moral high road, it is very much involved in the war. Along with over $2 billion invested in military corporations, Canadian warships protect US aircraft in the Gulf, Canadian military planners have worked with the US Central Command and Canadian exchange troops have been allowed to fight in Iraq.

“There’s this myth that Canada is this great peace-monger and people don’t even know that there are military industries in Canada,” says Richard Sanders, coordinator with the Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade. “The government is a major promoter of this deception and it’s a nice cloak you can throw over to hide all the ways in which we are involved. We’re in the top ten per cent of military spenders in the world and we’re in the top ten military exporters in the world. We’re the largest supplier of military goods to the United States and of course that’s the biggest market in the world.”

Since WWII, Canada has promoted itself as the world’s peacekeeper. That is a pile of shit. From the Suez Canal crisis, to Cypress to Afghanistan, Canada has constantly been used as a pawn by the Americans to further their own interests. It is no different in Iraq. By not supporting the war publicly, but by quietly investing in it, Canada continues to be one of the most hypocritical nations in the world.

Getting governments to disinvest their war funds seems unlikely. The only provincial party to take a stand against them was the Green Party, which won zero seats in the election. The NDP expressed no interest in being ethical and the Liberals drink pig’s blood. The Canadian Pension Plan has a legislative mandate to maximize returns and war is big money. In order to make changes the government needs something crazy, like support from two-thirds of the participating provinces representing two-thirds of the population. Meanwhile, over 100,000 Iraqis have died in the war and the body count keeps growing. By helping keep the war machine turning, Canada has blood on its hands.