PeaceQuest supporters worried Canada too closely aligned with U.S.
PeaceQuest supporters are becoming increasingly concerned that Canada is heading in the wrong direction. That’s the finding of our informal Peace Poll conducted between December 31, 2020 and January 5, 2021.
This month’s poll had the highest number of PeaceQuest supporters participate since the Peace Poll was launched in October, 2020, with 114 people answering the question; “Overall, do you think Canada is on the right track, or the wrong track?”
Alarmingly, 75% of respondents answered, “wrong track.” This is a dramatic 16-point increase from last month, when 59% of respondents said the same. Only 10% said Canada was on the “right track,” and 15% were “unsure.”
Respondents were also given the opportunity to write a comment, and four out of five people did so (96 comments).
For those who said that Canada was on the wrong track, the top issues mentioned in their comments were as follows.
- Failing to take positions independent of the United States and the Trump Administration
- Arms sales, especially to Saudi Arabia
- Canada’s foreign policy, generally
- Military spending, especially on fighter jets and warships
The Canadian government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic was the top issue for people who felt that, overall, Canada is on the right track.
It’s heartening to see a steady increase in the number of participants, and the percentage of respondents who take the time to leave thoughtful comments. A sampling of those comments is below.
I’d like to thank everyone who participated. PeaceQuest’s next Peace Poll will be taken at the end of January.
Overall, do you think Canada is on the right track, or the wrong track?
Unsure – We are still hooked on money with e.g. the pipelines, selling arms and making nice with the likes of dictators and dictators in making like Trump.
Right – We must subdue the virus, tackle the climate crisis and correct the extreme wealth and income inequality of our time …
Wrong – As long as Canada keeps sending arms to Arabia, we cannot claim to be on the way to peace.
Wrong – Aspiring to be the #1 supporter of the US empire is not a good policy.
Wrong – At the international stage Canada is on the wrong track, eg Venezuela, Iran, nuclear weapons banning, China, etc. We seem to be following blindly the U.S policies and objectives.
Wrong – Canada continues arms sales to dictatorships engaged in crimes of war. Canada continues to be a part of the NATO military pact.
Right – I generally agree that Canada (a collective noun that stands in for a fictional people) is more oriented to peaceful resolution of conflicts than some other fictional groups. But on an individual level there are still too many among us who are not.
Wrong – Canada does not dare to have her own politics. She follows the US. She is not dedicated to disarmament (nuclear and other ).She does not dare to have her own opinions and lead toward peace. She is just a little dog following the US…
Wrong – Canada has continued on the path of undermining governments not to the liking of certain corporations and the US. The sanctions Canada has on 19 countries should be ended. Canada should put more stress on diplomacy.
Wrong – Canada is about to spend vast sums of money on new frigates and planes instead of investing in alternate energy, pharmacare, daycare and elder care and increasing our commitment to indigenous communities.
Wrong – Canada is blindly following the US into confrontation with China.
Wrong – Canada needs to get out of fossil fuels and into sustainable energy. Canada needs to get out of the war trade business and into building Peace initiatives.
Wrong – Canada needs to re-examine it’s policies regarding Venezuela and Palestine.
Unsure – I think it’s mixed. Lousy record on arms sales, mediocre on climate issues, not bad but too slow on Indigenous issues, etc. Too much emphasis on looking good and not enough on real action. Too much evasive talk and meaningless responses.
Wrong – Canada played a leading role in the “Lima” group and supports the US in strangulating nations with sanctions.
Wrong – “Canada should not be investing in war machinery, i.e. military aircraft.
Canada should strive to form international trade with all countries, including China and Russia. War rhetoric no more. Talks of peace and trade to replace the rhetoric.
Wrong – Canada should not support US regime change policies. Canadian economic sanctions on Syria, Venezuela and other countries are pernicious and harmful to their people. Their governments are none of Canada’s business.
Wrong – Canada should stop making war and start working for peace.
Wrong – Canada’s main security threat comes from the foreign corporate control of our economy. Most new wealth created goes to are billionaires. Our government talks about sustainability while they continue to subsidize the expansion of our fossil fuel industry. They continue to build new weapons of mass destruction and vote against a nuclear weapons ban. We increase subsidies to animal agriculture despite its role in global warming and the mass extinction we are facing. We need to limit animal agriculture for personal and planetary health. Say no to austerity and yes to peace and social justice.
Wrong – Canada’s foreign policy simply copies the US, even with a fascist like Trump in charge. We must have independent foreign policies. Our positions specifically regarding our hostility towards democratic states such as Venezuela and Bolivia is unconscionable. Our following whatever the US does regarding Iran is cowardly. And our continued propping up of Saudi Arabia, UAE, etc. betrays our stated commitment to human rights and fuels war.
Wrong – Canada’s tendency to follow US foreign policy does not serve a desire for a more peaceful world. We need to decouple our foreign affairs from theirs.
Unsure – I’m concerned that Canada has not joined other countries in calling for a ban on nuclear weapons. Also the government is very slow on living up to the UNDRIP and many First Nations are still without decent housing and clean drinking water. There is lots of talk but not a lot of action on these and other issues, e.g. climate change and sustainable alternate energy development. Instead, the federal government is still subsidizing the rich fossil-fuel corporations and going ahead with the Trans Mountain pipeline even though research shows it’s a waste of taxpayers’ money and will make it impossible for Canada to reach its targets of bringing down greenhouse gases. I could go on.
Unsure – The interview with Vanessa Lanteigne touched on an issue we have been waiting to hear and is so relevant – the connection/intersection between disarmament and the environment/climate change. The Canadian media and public generally do not make this connection and yet it is so important and so obvious. Congrats to Voices for Peace. The intersections go further. Unnecessary resources spent on militarism keep resources away from international development, domestic poverty, fighting hunger and the list goes on.
Wrong – I would like to see strong support from Canada for a ban of nuclear weapons and the arms trade more generally. I would also like to see stronger support for international institutions (largely UN agencies) that promote peace and development. Canada should greatly increase its funding of international development (and make sure that it is not tied to Canadian corporations benefitting from the funding). In particular, Canada should try to push for sharing of Covid vaccines to poorer countries and for greater acceptance of refugees. Canada should also take measures to prevent its barbaric mining corporations from raping and pillaging around the world. Finally, and on a more fanciful note, I would advocate getting out of NATO.
Right – Government is coping with pandemic relief and control reasonably well. In such a major crisis this is the most we can ask.