A photo of Canada's Global Affairs minister Melanie Joly.
Canada's Global Affairs minister Melanie Joly. Credit: Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine / Wikimedia Commons

Their recent record proves Justin Trudeau’s Liberals are warmongers who care little about genuine security. As the climate crisis spirals further out of control, they are ramping up militarism. 

On Monday, March 20 the UN released “Climate Change 2023: Synthesis Report”. It details how humanity is busting past any chance of limiting global temperature increases to 1.5°C. As with many places across the globe, Canadians have already experienced what the future holds. After Lytton, BC, broke Canada’s all-time temperature record three days in a row it was then wiped off the map by a forest fire in 2021. 

Yet the Canadian government has failed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in a country that has one of the highest per capita historic carbon footprints in the world. This year oil and gas investment extraction is expected to reach $40 billion, an 11 per cent increase from 2022. Tens of billions of federal dollars are being spent on oil and natural gas pipelines. Recently, it came to light that one of Canada’s leading climate criminals – ExxonMobil subsidiary Imperial Oil – released 5.3 million litres of tailings (a mixture of water, sand, clay and residual bitumen) from an Alberta tar sands project, which should have long ago been shuttered. It poisoned the Mikisew Cree First Nation’s water. 

Amidst the profound security threat of the climate breakdown, the Liberals are focused on something else: Ramping up their warmongering. They just announced a plan to spend $1.4 billion on upgrading the Dwyer Hill special forces base near Ottawa. Since JTF2 was established in 1993, Canadian special forces have grown steadily with the Canadian Special Operations Forces Command now 2,500 strong. The appeal of special forces is that the elite unit can be deployed secretively. 

Canadian special forces have been deployed to Ukraine, Iraq, Yugoslavia, Colombia, Peru, Afghanistan and elsewhere. In Haiti they helped oust an elected government in 2004 while in Libya they were dispatched in direct contravention of UN resolution 1973. 

Alongside the Dwyer Hill upgrade, the government is spending one hundred billion dollars on new fighter jets and surface combatants (three times that sum over their lifecycle). The military is spending billions of dollars more on upgrading NORAD, helicopters and more. 

Five days before putting up $1.4 billion for the special forces upgrade Defence Minister Anita Anand made another in her near weekly announcements about delivering arms to Ukraine. In the latest installment, Canada will send 8,000 rounds of 155-millimeter ammunition, 12 air defence missiles and 1,800 rounds of 105-millimeter tank training ammunition. The weapons donations made to Ukraine during the past year are unprecedented in Canadian history, totaling over $2.26 billion according to Le Devoir

Simultaneously, the Trudeau government is ensuring the arms deliveries continue long term. On March 20, Canada’s foreign affairs minister Mélanie Joly criticized China’s attempts to broker peace declaring, “a ceasefire not predicated on Russia’s withdrawal of their troops from Ukrainian territory would only serve Putin’s agenda by freezing the conflict before his losses become even greater.” Rather than a truce and peace negotiations, Joly called on President Vladimir Putin to simply “lay down his weapons and get out of Ukraine.” 

Joly was echoing Washington’s position. A Saturday Wall Street Journal headline noted, “Washington Tries To Halt Beijing Push For Ukraine Truce”. 

Instead of pushing for a truce, Joly is calling for regime change in Moscow. Two weeks ago she noted, “the goal is definitely to do that [regime change].” Joly said, “we’re able to see how much we’re isolating the Russian regime right now — because we need to do so economically, politically and diplomatically — and what are the impacts also on society, and how much we’re seeing potential regime change in Russia.” 

Calling for regime change while opposing a truce is a recipe to prolong and escalate the conflict. Amidst the growing danger of climate catastrophe, the Liberals are ramping up militarism. A war with China seems next on the agenda of a US Empire the Liberals support. 

It is a bad time to be a peace activist and an environmentalist. Despite that we must keep up the battle to save life on our planet.

Yves Engler

Dubbed “Canada’s version of Noam Chomsky” (Georgia Straight), “one of the most important voices on the Canadian Left” (Briarpatch), “in the mould of I. F. Stone” (Globe and Mail), “part...