Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Canada First Defence Strategy (CFDS) is in fact the foreign policy doctrine of the minority Conservative Government. CFDS is the manifesto of the most aggressive, chauvinistic and reactionary circles of Canadian finance capital seeking with a bigger military budget to strengthen its influence at the imperialist round tables in Washington and Brussels.

Prime Minister Harper flaunts military power as the sine qua non of Canadian diplomacy in international affairs. CFDS promotes the growth, modernization and combat readiness of the Canadian military and its interoperability with US military forces for one main reason, to commit Canada to current and future US-NATO wars, interventions and occupations as the first principle of Canadian government foreign policy. CFDS boasts of the experience gained by Canadian forces in Afghanistan as a “military that can operate far from home on a sustained basis”. According to Prime Minister Harper the ability to wage war is the path that will return Canada to the international stage as a “credible and influential country.”

CFDS elevates commitments to NATO, NORAD, NORTHCOM, the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) and the Civil Assistance Plan, the latter permitting US troops on Canadian soil in the event of a “civil emergency”, above all other Canadian international obligations and treaties. As such CFDS actually weakens Canadian sovereignty by subordinating Canadian defense policy to the global military strategy of the US imperialism and its principal NATO allies.

Fear mongering about alleged threats to Canadian security is the method used by the Harper Conservatives to justify massive transfers of public finances, without Parliamentary approval, to foreign and domestic defense contractors to stimulate a speculative expansion of the economy. This is what is meant by the “military partnership with Canadian industry”.

CFDS is profoundly undemocratic and has been implemented without seeking Parliamentary approval and commits $492 billion over 20 years on top of the $5.3 billion allocated in budget 2006 approaching 2.2% of GDP all to guarantee the profits of defense contractors and investors. The Harper policy of the rapid militarization of the economy is the only job creation project the Government has to offer the youth, the unemployed and the underemployed. CFDS cannot be implemented without sacrificing the needs of public health care, pensions, child care, senior’s needs, low cost housing and the peaceful development of the country.

CFDS is devoid of any pretense to even consider the deep desire of the majority of Canadian people for foreign policy free of the domination of US imperialism. In spite of years of right-wing indoctrination, Canadians continue to reject the tenets of the Bush “war on terrorism” and uphold the belief in the potential of Canada for promoting an independent Canadian foreign policy of peace and disarmament.

Prime Minister Harper, brought to power to serve a powerful cabal of energy investors, militarists and speculative financiers scorns the belief of ordinary Canadians in the capacity of our country to contribute to the reduction of international tensions through negotiations based on the principles of non-interference and respect for the sovereignty of nations, the United Nations Charter, international disarmament treaties, or international law. 

CFDS is an invitation to the Canadian people to abandon the struggle for all alternatives to war and the militarization of the economy and to voluntarily cede our vast natural resources, our social wealth, democracy our independence and sovereignty and peace itself to militarism. The appropriate response of Canadians to the declarations of CFDS is the resounding defeat of the Harper Conservatives in the next federal election.