Building warships in Halifax, and the campaign against it

The rabble podcast network offers an alternative take on politics, entertainment, society, stories, community and life in general. All opinions belong to the podcaster; however, podcasters are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new podcasters -- contact us for details.

Please chip in to support more articles like this. Support for as little as $5 per month!

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.

You can also learn more about ways to listen or go to the show's page on To learn more about suggesting grassroots groups and organizations for future shows, click here. For details on the show's theme music, click here.

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.

Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable. has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.


We welcome your comments! embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:


  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.


  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.