Local pacifists are adding their voices to a petition calling for the cancellation of a $19 billion competition for new Canadian fighter jets.
Helen Peacock, the founding member of Pivot2Peace, is hoping a rally outside of the MP’s office in Collingwood on Friday will draw a small, physically-distanced crowd.
“Now is not the time to put taxpayer dollars into spending $19 billion on fighter jets,” she said. “It’s not going to help with COVID or with the climate change crisis.”
PIvot2Peace started last year with a party at the Collingwood Legion to celebrate International Peace Day on Sept. 21. Since then, the group has been meeting regularly and following the work of other peace organizations such as World Beyond War.
On Friday, Peacock and other Pivot2Peace members will visit MP Terry Dowdall’s office in Collingwood to hand in a petition asking Trudeau and the Canadian government to cancel the contract for 88 fighter jets.
Peacock said it’s a non-partissan request, and groups will be visiting MPs from all parties across Canada.
She compared the federal government to a big ship that needs tugboats to take it into port.
“I think people everywhere in Canada should be interested in this,” said Peacock. “This pandemic has been a bit of a time out … I don’t think Canadians want the same old, same old.”
Pivot2Peace is calling their Friday event an “inspirational rally.” They will have hand sanitizer and are encouraging attendees to practice physical distancing. You may also bring a face covering and they will have some available.
There will be some music and a short speech as well as a “demand for action” handed over to MP Terry Dowdall and forwarded to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. You will be able to sign the petition on site, or you can see and sign it online.
“I think we want to be looking at the true global issues of our day: the climate crisis, the potential for a future pandemic, racism,” said Peacock. “We don’t need to be taking our taxpayer dollars for war.”
Pivot2Peace is planning two more inspirational rallies over the next two months with details to follow. You can learn more about the group on their website.
The rally on Friday, July 24, takes place at noon in front of MP Terry Dowdall’s office at 503 Hume Street in Collingwood.