We Need Anti War MPs - No Harbour for War!

Tony Seed, (Halifax) & Charles Spurr, (Dartmouth--Cole Harbour)

We are running in this election to call on voters to elect Anti-War MPs in Halifax and Dartmouth.

Our vision for Halifax and Dartmouth is embodied in the program No Harbour for War! Halifax is the most heavily militarized city in Canada and its port is being used as a staging area -- the blockade of Cuba, Dominican Republic, First Gulf War, Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and the invasion of Iraq. People of Halifax have the greatest first hand experience of the disasters caused by imperialist war. The foreign and defence policy of Canada and its moral standing in the world is a serious issue in this election. Canada is an integral part of the world which faces grave dangers of fascism and war.

Why did George W. Bush visit Halifax - his only Canadian stop outside of Ottawa?
Why did George W. Bush visit Halifax, his only Canadian stop outside of Ottawa? His visit is part of the continuing pressure to escalate Canada's military integration with Fortress America's global ambitions. On March 23, 2005 the United States, Canada and Mexico signed the Security and Partnership for North America agreement -- for a North American security perimeter under Northern Command and possible customs union. This treaty enables the biggest monopolies to integrate North America as a base to wage economic and military aggression against other nations and peoples. They also demand any barriers to transoceanic oil and naval shipping be erased. The White House deems shipping and ports to be "critical infrastructure" and has placed them under Homeland Security which controls NorthCom.

The role of Halifax harbour in shipping and trade between Europe, North America and Asia is paramount. It has the largest natural ice-free harbour on the Atlantic coast. The well-being of thousands of longshoremen, railway workers, seamen, shipbuilding, refinery and service workers depend on this modern port. It is the headquarters of Maritime Command with its large naval and air bases and dockyards, all situated besides densely populated residential neighbourhoods, comprising one third of the population of Nova Scotia.

Washington considers Halifax an important strategic asset. The Pentagon has used the harbour of Halifax to prepare U.S. forces for intervention in other countries on many occasions. Those U.S. special forces which carried out the mining of the harbours of Nicaragua in 1984, condemned by the International Court of Justice as a violation of international law, carried out dress rehearsals in St Margarets Bay and the Bedford Basin.

In 1985 the Pentagon revealed secret plans for installing nuclear depth charges within Canadian waters and ports along with anti-cruise missiles; it continuously uses berthing facilities at CFB Shearwater in the community of Eastern Passage for its nuclear-armed submarine fleet. It gives no information whatsoever to Canada regarding these menacing deployments. These threats all emanate from the lack of control by the people over their harbour and nation.

As a result, programs are being put in place in our ports by the Canadian cabinet working with Homeland Security under the pretext of "security," "interdicting the drug trade" and "stopping asylum seekers."

The American "homeland" now extends into Canada, and its borders right into Canadian harbours. On March 25, 2002 the U.S. deployed "unarmed" American customs agents in the Canadian ports of Halifax, Montreal and Vancouver. The programs of the U.S. failed state, which callously abandoned the people of the port of New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina, can hardly be a model for Halifax. U.S. forces and personnel must not be allowed to operate in Halifax or any other Canadian port.

Unprecedented arrangements are being put into place to restrict the democratic rights of Canadian citizens and to criminalize dissent as part of this trend to enhance the use of Halifax as a staging ground for war.

One such measure is the designation by the Canadian government by Order-in-Council on October 31, 2002 of the harbour of Halifax and the B.C. naval bases at Nanoose and Esquimalt "military security zones." These zones give extraordinary powers to the Defence Minister over the port, and can be declared by just four cabinet ministers. The zones can be used to suppress public protest against "visiting forces" and to ensure the "security" of the U.S. and its "vessel(s), aircraft or other property." All the laws of the country and provisions of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms are suspended in these zones. The Marxist-Leninist Party of Canada opposes such measures as a serious violation of the rights of Canadians.

The same attack is launched against the rights of ports workers by invoking the spectre of organized crime rings: criminalize longshoremen as a "law and order" problem, and instal a new security regime whereby these workers are directly controlled by the state. In March 2003 longshoremen in Saint John declared war material to be shipped to Iraq "hot cargo." Port workers throughout the world have historically played an important role in frustrating wars of aggression.

The drive for annexation includes the offshore, the continental shelf and the sealanes. It poses new threats of environmental degradation of our harbour and coast. Through such aspects as Smart Regulations, the Smart Borders Initiative and regulations governing oil and chemical bulk carriers, the standards established in Canada, the U.S. and the International Maritime Authority are reduced to the lowest common denominator to maximize profits.

This project will damage such ports as Halifax, Saint John and Montreal, the ecosystem of the Great Lakes Basin, and marginalize the economies in such hinterlands as the Maritimes, Quebec, Maine, etc
In May 2002 Canada and the U.S. agreed on a $2 billion U.S. Army Corps of Engineers study to broaden and deepen the St. Lawrence Seaway and build mega ports on the Great Lakes to bring ocean-going ships right into the industrial heartland of North America. This route will be linked with the Illinois and Upper Mississippi down to New Orleans and the Gulf of Mexico, the NAFTA Corridor. The Army Corps is the force that helped flatten the Mississippi and decimate the wetlands of the river's delta. This project will damage such ports as Halifax, Saint John and Montreal, the ecosystem of the Great Lakes Basin, and marginalize the economies in such hinterlands as the Maritimes, Quebec, Maine, etc.

The sea is a strategic part of the violent struggle for world domination by the international financial oligarchy and their client states. The U.S. demands the integration of all naval forces, including Maritime Command.

Through NATO the U.S. is creating a new global fleet to traverse the world's oceans
Through NATO the U.S. is creating a new global fleet to traverse the world's oceans, with the aim of being operational within five days of a crisis. From time to time tactical commanders may be Canadian but the Canadian fleet will operate under U.S. strategic command, Norfolk.

The ruling elite of Canada are vying for a "seat at the table" in the inter-imperialist fight for trade routes, resources and windfall profits on the world scale.

The three "major parties" vying for federal political power are of one mind: deploy naval and air power thousands of miles from the coastlines of Canada to "vital oil shipping routes" and against those whom they now call "failed" and "rogue states" -- while allowing Canada's own resources and territory to be annexed and integrated into the United States.

The Conference of Defence Associations frankly describes the broad thrust of the recent Defence Paper as deceptive: "in words it tell(s) us that domestic and North American defence have priority. On the other hand, the bulk of the objectives (approximately 50 in number) indicated (by a margin of 30 to 20) that the emphasis is on overseas operations."

To this end, a Rapid Response Force is to be based at CFB Shearwater. DND is to build a new $20 million runway, half the length of the existing 8,000-ft runway (to be sold to real estate developers). The Liberal-NDP budget provides for "heavy lift" transport planes ($5.2 billion) connected with this Force. It provides for three supply warships ($2 billion) to serve as sea-based command centres for sea-to-shore intervention. Canadian Forces now exercise in the Panama Canal zone, train the Israeli Air Force, and deploy to the NW Passage to prepare a "Panama Canal North" through the Arctic in contention with Denmark and the European Union.

The three parties and the media refuse to lead people in an open and aboveboard discussion on their defence/foreign policy and their program for Halifax.

There should be a public discussion of these measures
There should be a public discussion of these measures so that we can decide whether they enhance our security or merely make us vulnerable to U.S. infiltration, annexation and violations of our civil rights.

If the facilities of Maritime Command pose such a danger to the residents of the HRM, then they should be relocated to an isolated coastal harbour. The harbour of Halifax should only be used for peaceful purposes -- economic trade, shipbuilding and tourism -- not war.

There is not a single time when Parliament voted on Canada's participation in war -- before the troops were deployed. The opinion of Canadians is disregarded.

Yet the aloofness of the three privileged parties in the HRM is such that they will discuss pay and housing needs of the rank and file of Maritime Command while they are ready to sacrifice their lives in the name of "protecting Canadian values." Two thousand more troops are to be sent to far-off Afghanistan in 2006 without any discussion.

The deaths of young soldiers from the poor areas of Canada are exploited to demand more arms and equipment
The level of discussion by the three parties and the media is so backward that the kind of society where youth must join the military to learn a trade or livelihood is beyond question. The deaths of young soldiers from the poor areas of Canada are exploited to demand more arms and equipment. The three parties see the military rank and file as a mere vote bank, without rights to participate in the decisions which affect them.

The MLPC says: Bring home our Canadian troops to serve only as a national defence force, protecting Canadian territory and sovereignty.

We call on all residents of the HRM to actively oppose the three parties and their agenda of annexation. Reject the advocates of militarism and war! Let us contribute to the cause of peace based on justice, a world where the rights of all nations and peoples are guaranteed.

On January 23, Vote Marxist-Leninist! Elect an Anti-War MP! No Harbour for War! Vote Tony Seed and Charles Spurr! Authorized by the official agent of Tony Seed & Charles Spurr


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