gray fighter jet flying over the mountain

No More ‘Red-Baiting’ — Letter to the Hamilton Spectator

This letter to the editor penned by comrade Tom Baker was published in the Hamilton Spectator (Jan. 18, 2023)

Regarding “Scrap fighter-jet purchase plan” (Jan. 6): I have serious reservations about the Trudeau government’s decision to procure F-35 fighter jets at a life-cycle cost of over $70 billion. Despite previous Liberal government statements that the F-35’s “stealth first-strike capability” was not needed to defend Canada, Minister Anita Anand now asserts that the F-35 is needed to protect Canada and fulfil its obligations. In truth, funding these costly carbon-intensive war machines will drastically undermine our capacity for Indigenous reconciliation, adequate housing, accessible health care, education and urgent climate action.

I object to the ad-hominem and red-baiting attacks in two response letters printed by The Spectator. Before and during every war that Canada has participated in officially or covertly, there has been a segment of the population in opposition. Pacifists and socialists often initiated what became popular antiwar movements including women’s right activists, labour organizations, churches and students. Political discourse including demonstrations against the F-35 boondoggle should be encouraged in a democratic society, not stifled.

Tom Baker, Hamilton