On this week's episode of Talking Radical Radio, Tamara Lorincz of Halifax talks about the campaign she has been spearheading in opposition to the $25 billion contract awarded to a shipyard in her city to build warships for the Canadian navy.
In 2008, the federal Conservatives announced a new defense strategy for the country that involves massive, long-term new expenditures, a tighter integration with the United States, and a shift towards a more aggressive, interventionist posture. In 2010, they followed up with an announcement of the largest procurement program in the nation's history, to build ships -- primarily combat vessels the Canadain navy. The single largest purchase package within that program -- a staggering $25 billion for warships -- was awarded in 2011 to Irving Shipbuilding in Halifax. Tamara Lorincz, a long-time environmental, peace, and feminist activist, decided she needed to speak out in favour of using that money instead to create green jobs and to foster social justice.
Lorincz found surprisingly few allies even among progressives in Halifax, particularly at first, and even today no political party -- including the NDP -- has spoken out critically on the massive investment of resources into weapons of war rather than meeting pressing social and enviornmental needs. However, through Lorincz's determined, vocal efforts, including weekly protests outside of the shipyards where the vessels are being built, she has helped to create some space for dissent and has high hopes that an increasing number of people will speak up to oppose the warships and to oppose the growing militarization of Canadian society. She reflects on her campaign, on militarism in Canada, and on what she hopes can happen to counter it.
To find out more about Lorincz's campaign, click here.
Talking Radical Radio brings you grassroots voices from across Canada through in-depth interviews that concentrate not on current events or the crisis of the moment, but on giving people involved in a broad range of social change work a chance to take a longer view as they talk about what they do, how they do it, and why they do it. To learn more about the show in general, click here.
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Talking Radical Radio is brought to you by Scott Neigh, a writer, media producer, and activist based in Sudbury, Ontario, and the author of two books examining Canadian history through the stories of activists.