War of the Words: Boosting the military budget does not help our country

Photo via espritdecorps.ca
Photo via espritdecorps.ca

Continuous spending will not lead to benefits

By Cazzy Lewchuk, Opinions Editor


Canada currently spends $18.9 billion on the military. Over the next 10 years, it is set to increase that budget to $32.7 billion, nearly doubling in scale.

I am not anti-military, and I understand the country needs troops to exercise peace and conflict resolution around the world. However, I feel that many missions, particularly in conjunction with our allies, are immoral and unnecessary. How many civilians are killed in air strikes by Canadian bombers? How many Canadian missions have ended up unsuccessful in causing any sort of permanent damage to the enemy? How many missions do we participate in simply because all of our friends around the globe are also bombing that particular country?

Many Canadians join the military for personal benefit. A lot of military spending goes towards recruitment and benefits of those in active service, particularly in the field of higher education. If some of the increased spending went towards benefitting all Canadians, the military wouldn’t need such a high budget. If education in Canada was free to begin with, the military wouldn’t need to spend so much on soldier tuition.

A portion of Canadian military spending goes to the arms industry, an area fraught in immoral trade. Justin Trudeau was heavily criticized for selling weapons to Saudi Arabia, and these arms were used on video against civilians. A lot of military spending, in a world of a global military-industrial complex, goes towards funding this sort of horrible thing. Ally-ship is complicated, but we should all be able to agree that killing innocent civilians is never justifiable.

In this War of the Words, my opponent argues Canada insists on sending soldiers out to keep the peace. Perhaps it’s time Canada determined whether its priorities really lie on bombing people overseas or keeping our own country secure. Canada can have an effective and strong soldier population while being selective and rational about the conflict they choose to engage in. Soldiers have many duties aside from overseas missions, and it is there where the costs are greatest to the country. We can have a strong military without having an unnecessary and often immoral war presence, or an inflated budget.

My political beliefs do play a strong role in this opinion. I believe that Canada needs to spend much more on everything, particularly in taking care of its citizens. I believe the entire tax system needs an overhaul where super-high earners (multi-millionaires) and large corporations are taxed higher. I think more money should be spent on funding Canada’s poorest areas and people, and less on aircrafts designed to bomb poor people and areas in other countries.

Military spending is a complicated affair, but I believe there is enough room in the budget for everyone. However, other areas deserve the same kind of budget that the military gets.