Poppies Expose Hypocrisy of Canadian Arms Sales to Despots

Poppies Expose Hypocrisy of Canadian Arms Sales to Despots

As published in:

Ottawa Citizen, St. Thomas Times Journal, Brantford Expositor, Kingston Whig Standard, Woodstock Sentinel Review, Chatham This Week, Napanee Guide, Stathroy Dispatch, Whitecourt Star, Spruce Cove Examiner, Brockville Recorder Times, Community Press, Gananoque Reporter, Wallaceburg Courier Press, Owen Sound Sun Times, North Bay Nugget, Timmins Daily Press, Fort McMurrary Today, Vulcan Advocates, Wetaskiwin Times, Hanover Post, Nanton News, County Weekly News, Shoreline Beacon Times, Today's Farmer

Nov. 10/11, 2020

We wear poppies to show respect for Canadians who have died or been injured in military service, especially those who have faced the horror of combat. This collective practice was originally meant to remind us about the terrible cost of war.

Since the end of World War One, the Canadian military has participated in the Russian Revolution, World War Two, the Korean Conflict, Afghanistan, Iraq and countless United Nations peacekeeping missions. While every soldier was in some way a hero, the same cannot be said for those who sent them to war and those who profited from the business of war.

This business of war has become a key part of the Canadian economy and unfortunately, our best customers include some of the world’s worst dictators. Canada exports weapons systems and so-called security technology to oppressive regimes in Saudi Arabia, the Philippines, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Turkey and elsewhere.

Perhaps our real enemies are those powerful interests who profit from fear and endless conflict. Since serving soldiers can't voice political opinions, we must speak for them and resist those politicians who would sacrifice our soldiers to enrich arms manufacturers and those who covet the assets of weaker nations.

Poppies remind me that wars are fought by working people who are often discarded when their courage is no longer required. Selling weapons to foreign dictators in 2020 insults the memory of those Canadians who died fighting similar despots in past wars.