The Canada Pension Plan is growing -- by profiting from war
By Richard Sanders

The Liberal government, through the Canada Pension Plan (CPP), is forcing millions of Canadians to invest in businesses that profit from war. At least $2.5 billion in CPP funds are now invested in domestic and foreign military corporations. Among these are 15 of the world's top 20 war contractors.

CPP investments include corporations that manufacture anti-personnel landmines, fragmentation and cluster bombs, incendiary/fire bombs, several types of cruise missiles, as well as dozens of major weapons delivery systems such as warplanes, tanks and warships used in the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

These disturbing facts are revealed in great detail in a new research report released by the Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade (COAT) in issue #52 of its publication, Press for Conversion. This in-depth, 52-page report took more than four months to research and prepare. Links to some of the articles and tables can be found online at http://www.members. rogers.com/overcoat/TOC52.html . Look for the heading: "Operation Embedded Complicity: Canada, Playing our Part in the Business of War."

This issue should be useful for peace, justice, human rights and development education efforts during the coming federal election.

This report contains original COAT research that reveals the following.

Mandatory CPP investments include the manufacturers of dozens of the world's most advanced weapons delivery systems, including many warplanes, tanks and ships used during current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The CPP obliges Canadians to invest in the corporations that produce dozens of different kinds of "dumb" bombs and "smart" missiles, including weapons like anti-personnel landmines, fragmentation cluster bombs, incendiary/fire bombs and even several types of cruise missiles.

Over the past four decades, many of these war machines, and the weapons they "deliver", have been used to wage dozens of wars, invasions, attacks and covert U.S. military operations that have killed literally millions of people.

Is this how we want our pension funds invested?

Please join us in letting Canadians know that their hard-earned pension money is being invested in corporations that build the world's most deadly machines of war. Let's work together to encourage Canadians to pressure the Liberal government to stop the CPP from forcing us to be complicit in this war profiteering.

The security of our retirement should not be based on the insecurity of others.

Press for Conversion also includes other detailed, original research that cannot be found elsewhere, as follows.

Made in Canada

At least 100 of Canada's military industries have supplied essential parts and services for dozens of major weapons systems used in the current war in Iraq. Many of these weapons systems have also been used in Afghanistan, as well as in dozens of previous U.S.-led wars, invasions and military operations. Also revealed are the names of these companies and how they contributed to weapons systems used in Iraq.

Donations to Political Parties

Between 1996 and 2002, Canadian military corporations (many of them U.S.-owned) donated at least $7.93 million to Canada's three major political parties, with most to the Liberal Party. The actual total of these political donations is likely to be much higher because there are so many legal loopholes that allow political parties to receive secret donations that do not have to be publicly disclosed.

Handouts to Military Contractors

Over the past few decades, two Industry Canada programs alone donated more than $3 billion to about 84 of Canada's military-related "corporate welfare bums." Almost $2.5 billion of those handouts went to 10 of Canada's largest and most profitable military contractors. The top recipient, Pratt & Whitney Canada Corp., received $1.2 billion of these handouts.

The Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade is a network of individuals and NGOs across Canada and around the world. E-mail them at overcoat@rogers.ca To order Press for Conversion ($5 per copy, $20 per year), visit http://coat.ncf.ca or mail cheque (made out to COAT) to COAT, 541 McLeod Street, Ottawa, ON K1R 5R2. Donations to support the cause of peace are also welcome.