For more military and political comment from Paul Maillet see:
For more military and political comment from Paul Maillet see:
“If you cannot do something, then say something; if you cannot say something, then feel something. The least you can do is feel something.” anon
In 2012, I attended a university session on violence against women and could not help but reflect on the tone of anger, confrontation, trauma and demands for justice as a response to the tragedies of murdered and missing indigenous women in Canada. Certainly the response was very understandable given the magnitude of this tragedy. Individual stories were heart rending.
I wondered if non-violent communication (NVC) and the ethic of care is possible as a larger part of the way forward. I even wondered about the readiness to think about such approaches given the high levels of emotion present. Perhaps there are other questions, dialogue or ideas to think about in quieter moments. For example:
What alternatives or additions are possible? Perhaps:
In addition, the living, who are survivors or continue to be victims of violence, deserve as much attention as those killed. For all of us, memories can continue to victimize, and never go away. The question of how to have a healthy response to the suffering attached to these memories when they arise, is important. The heart level conversation for awareness and understanding is as important as the mind level conversation to debate and decide on social activism and engagement.
In the cause of compassion and peace.
It is not understandable how the recent decision to expel Iranian consular staff from Canada and withdraw Canadian consular staffs from Iran, will contribute to peace in the Mideast, and may in fact make prospects worse. It is a shame how the current government has decided to approach foreign affairs with politics of confrontation, accusation, blame and militarization. The war drums are growing louder and Canada does not have to have a hand in this insanity.
Where is the objective and international leadership of Canada for peace in this region? What happened to the two Nobel peace prizes we shared for peacekeeping and that we were so proud of?
Now there is no doubt that serious issues of persecution, human rights, nuclear proliferation, participative democracy and fomenting violence and conflict, exist in Iran and many many other countries in the Mideast. This is tragic. However, what we can control is our response to this suffering.
Perhaps the challenge is not to be pro-anybody, nor to take sides, but to be simply pro-peace and act in a manner that will reduce the anger and hate and the terrible risk for war that the region is headed toward. A regional war will make the existing conflicts seem tame in comparison.
Let us be Canadians, and act according to our former cherished values and reputation for peace. Our response should be one of taking leadership in stopping the violence, caring for victims, being a neutral space for dialogue, negotiations and conflict resolution, being a source of aid and rebuilding, and providing assistance in reconciliation and justice. To do this means consular avenues of communication. It means being present in the crisis, exercising international leadership, being trusted for neutrality, being a place for dialogue, and above all, having a strong bias for human rights of all persons. Surely Canada can do much better than a policy of shouting and accusation and such punitive measures as shutting down communication. CIVILIZED PEOPLE TALK!
Former Military Officer Urges Stronger Canadian Stance at the 2102 Arms Trade Treaty Diplomatic Conference
Dear Mr Prime Minister;
In reading the opening “STATEMENT BY CANADA AT THE OPENING OF THE ARMS TRADE TREATY DIPLOMATIC CONFERENCE. JULY 2012”. I noted the Canadian delegation made the following statements:
Quote: it is also important that the All recognize the legitimacy of the legal and responsible international trade in conventional weapons and that it respects the lawful ownership of firearms by responsible private citizens for personal and recreational uses, such as sport shooting, hunting and collecting.
Quote: Canada stresses the importance of the principle of national discretion and that the ATT should recognize the legitimacy of lawful ownership of firearms by responsible citizens for their personal and recreational use, including sport shooting, hunting and collecting. We stress that this should in no way result in any new burdens being placed on lawful firearms owners.
As a former military professional with 33 years service, and the former Director of DND Ethics, I am extremely discouraged and disheartened that we are attempting to water down this treaty, to the point that we will be directly complicit in the deaths of many people. The people of Canada expect our government to exercise world leadership on conflict reduction and that such leadership be guided by an uncompromising stance on humanitarian values. We should be at this treaty negotiation with a view to making it as strong as possible.
Surely, the legitimate arms manufacturers, gun owners and the NRA would be willing to put up with some inconvenience when people, human beings, are suffering and dying every minute somewhere in the world from small arms. To imply that gunshot victims have less priority than “no new burdens on lawful firearm owners” is absolutely unbelievable. I am truly ashamed of what Canada has become as a global citizen, when we attempt to put the arms trade in any form before human lives.
As a military professional, I can tell you that the most lethal weapons in use today, which causes the most killing every day, are small arms. There should be no measures we should not be prepared take to reduce the human carnage every day caused by small arms.
I am sure you know that almost every weapons seizure from criminal, terrorist, insurgent, or drug trafficking elements contain non-military pattern weapons. They use whatever they can get, no exceptions. In the photo below, you can see that the entire back row of weapons of non-military pattern weapons would be exempt from this treaty. This is beyond irresponsible. I can assure you that criminals and terrorists simply want weapons, any weapons, that kill, and especially those that can be obtained legally or are unregulated to any extent. The Canadian proposal creates a huge loophole to do this. This is beyond belief. This will spawn a surge and unregulated traffic in non-military pattern weapons that we will not be able to control.
Mr Prime Minister, this is an issue of human lives and human values. I implore you to issue direction to your delegation to withdraw and strongly oppose any but the strongest restrictions on the global arms trade. This is for the sake of we are as Canadians and as responsible human beings in a global community.
In the cause of peace
Tel: 613.841.9216 Cell: 613.866.2503
on January 11, 2012
These remarks were made on the occasion of my being awarded a Peace Professional Accreditation from the Civilian Peace Services Canada at St Paul’s University 28 June 2012.
First I would like to thank you very much for your kind words of introduction. I sincerely hope I can live up to the expectations of this award. I would like also to thank the accreditation board of the Civilian Peace Services Canada (CPSC) for their time and patience and listening to me talk on and on. Also to Jennifer Weibe and Gordon Breedyk for organizing the many interviews, meetings and submissions
I would like to especially thank my references for their time, support, and kind words in helping me – France Larouche, Sylvie Lemieux, Iman Ibrahim and Qais Ghanem.
I would also like to express my admiration for a most innovative approach to accreditation by this organization. It is so seldom we see values as prominent in accreditation criteria or hiring criteria in this way. This is a leading edge approach that I hope serves as a good example of how we should value and select people in organizations and for positions of authority.
THERE IS A DESPERATE NEED HERE. If anyone is looking for an exciting and rewarding career that makes a real difference, I would suggest that peace making and conflict management is an emerging and growing field in this world.
INTERNATIONALLY: Since the end of the cold war, advances in technology, media, activism, the Arab Spring, human rights demands, ethnic tensions have conspired to create new power structures and an avalanche of conflict and violence. This needs a better, more human response, than more violence as a response. The utility and affordability of massive military intervention is coming to an end. Trillion dollar military adventures such as the Iraq and Afghan wars are fast becoming obsolete. No one can afford any more of those in the current global economic climate.
This begs for alternatives, creative alternatives, real alternatives that put the human rights of people first. Perhaps the time has come for true peace operations as a mandated precursor to the laws of armed conflict and military intervention. We need to invert the priorities of the laws of armed conflict which puts just cause and justice first, a defacto invocation of the death penalty, with a plea to minimize or avoid collateral damage and civilian casualties somewhere down the list. We need a robust codification of such as responsibility to protect (r2p) and peace operations that will serve to first prevent, stop or reduce conflict, with a first priority to stop the violence, and then care for victims, then peace talks and mediation, and finally reconciliation and justice. This will need a new skill set and experienced practitioners in peace making or peace operations.
DOMESTICALLY this is about the relief of suffering and conflict resolution is such as those first nations, inner cities and those communities who are suffering today or plagued by social problems. I recently attended a First Nations Chiefs of Ontario conference and noted the desperate needs and frustrations with the federal government, that are a cause of suffering today in our country. This included needs as basic as social assistance that impact children.
THE RESPONSE. There is no doubt that we must expand conflict management and peacemaking methodologies and approaches in response to these needs. We need to have responses and people prepared in advance to deal with pre conflict, during conflict and post conflict situations. We need people who can be sensitive to the ethic of care and PTSD (post traumatic stress disorders), and the social trauma of war.
We need a new and credible community of peace professionals, who have the capacity to be present in the conflict zones, crisis, or communities in need, who can be neutral parties, skilled in dialogue and mediation, and who have a strong bias for peace and human rights. People who can help rebuild communities.
So here we are, a new generation of peacemakers, hopefully a growing alternative to the warriors. The opportunity is huge. CPSC is a growing association of peace professionals and this is just a beginning. Hopefully, there many more will join and offer their skills, experience and compassion. The peace professional community is still desperately small. Hopefully, and at some point, we can supplement this with a large group of member level peace workers who shares a code of values that is oriented towards peace and non violence, and together with the peace professionals are willing to work towards peace.
CONCLUSION. Again my sincere thanks to you all and in the cause of peace, good luck to us all.
So now the government has decided to obey their own procurement rules. What does this exactly mean? To me this means questioning all assumptions that go into this procurement. Who are we as Canadians on the world stage, war fighters or peacemakers? What should we be doing in the world? What is affordable? Perhaps we need to start there.
In the world of war fighters there is denial, but no doubt, that we are seeing the last generations of the fighter pilot, and probably already past the military utility of horrendously expensive manned fighter aircraft. The mid east conflict has shown definitively the value of unmanned and remotely controlled aircraft in reconnaissance and ground attack roles. There is no doubt that soon the air to air combat mission will be unmanned. The same for the maritime patrol roles or to meet any airspace sovereignty requirements. So what missions should the Canadian people ask an air force to fulfill? Certainly sovereignty surveillance, aid to the civil power in disasters, UN peacekeeping assistance, and alliance contributions for mutual defence. Hopefully, some mix of strategic transport, helicopters, maybe certain classes of drones will suffice.
On the subject of the F35, I hope that DND is very embarrassed, as well they should be, in how this was handled. They know better. They have been managing major capital projects for over 40 years. The political interference, the air force “old boys” network among allies, and the self interest must have been unbelievable..
If this procurement is now to be fair, then we need to remember that we buy aircraft generally on a COST, PERFORMANCE, SCHEDULE, AND INDUSTRIAL OFFSET BASIS. A quick look would seem to indicate:
On the issue of cost, the F35 fails miserably against all competitors, which are cheaper by a huge margins. The F35 life cycle cost is 25 billion only if we are very very lucky.
On the issue of performance, the F35 fails again and is mediocre at best against competitors. Canada is huge and stealth compromises range, payload and manoeuvrability. Who pays for new air to air refuelling tankers? The F35 has limited range and capacity compared to competitors. Hanging fuel tanks and weapons on the F35 eliminates stealth. All others are better except possibly in the stealth mode. Stealth is not an overriding criteria for Canadian requirements Do we need it?
On the issue of schedule the F35 fails miserably against competitors. The delivery schedule is totally unknown with the F35. The F35 will be manufactured under a block concept. Block 1 basic aircraft that can fly with very limited mission capacity will be delivered first. Then further capability will be developed and tested and incorporated in succeeding block upgrades. Clients will have to retrofit every upgrade developed at great expense. 5 to-6 blocks are expected. This will be a configuration nightmare. Whereas current competitors are tested and largely developed before delivery. Development requirements are a NIGHTMARE to any aircraft procurement project as it is a license for massive cost overruns and delays.
On the issue of industrial offsets, if this is what this is about, this money could probably pay for 400,000 students through university, and many other programs, and more industrial development than this project will ever bring. We can extend the life of the CF-18 or begin to invest in unmanned aircraft which is the next generation.
We have a chance to do this right, so let us get it right this time. This must be a shining example of fairness, transparency, affordability and consistent with Canadian values of peace and security.
Colonel Retired (Former CF-18 Aerospace Engineering and Life Cycle Fleet Manager)
President Paul Maillet CENTER FOR ETHICS
11 November 2011
Dear Madame Lemay;
We attended your presentation at the National Archives on 8 Nov 2011 and certainly appreciated your leadership and personal interest in offering such an open invitation to participate in our future. What a great example of participatory democracy. You have our sincere thanks and best wishes. We believe that together we can make a difference.
As decisions and directions will have far reaching consequences in our lives, we consider it important to contribute our voice and support. In accepting your invitation, we suggest taking a page from our First Nations. Of all possibilities, we may wish to ask ourselves what are the four directions that have the most heart for us and might yield the most benefit. This may well involve directions towards becoming a vibrant international city, a city of community, a capital city, and a city of strong values. We want to be a city that sets an example for Canadians and the world.
We believe that becoming a community is more than roads, development, green spaces and festivals. We are more than tulips, the canal and Winterlude. We are more often people who relate to the NCC in terms of expectations and demands and who often insist that the NCC provide for their interests and needs. At the level of residents, we believe community should be about respect, harmony and caring for one another. It is about fostering the dignity of an amazing diversity of cultures and religions in Ottawa and about all residents being able to live well in the company of others. It is about a healthy partnership and relationship with government.
Perhaps our approach to dialogue, understanding, consultation, conflict resolution, consensus, or decision making needs to reflect a broader and more participative relationship. We suggest that leading edge community development would engage its residents around three questions:
At this presentation, needs were expressed from Victoria island, Lansdowne, Marsh Highlands and the cost to use cross country ski trails. The result seemed certainly a one way conversation to NCC who were pressed to respond to what are often no-win and multi jurisdictional issues, and in a future of declining funding resources.
For example, on the ski trails issue, what if the NCC had suggested that if resident groups could maintain the trails, it can be no cost or low-cost to them. NCC could provide the space and access at no cost, and save on maintenance costs. Now we have a partnership. On the Victoria Island issue, if the cost of a healing center on Victoria Island is prohibitive, what if we provide the First Nations the free use, or acknowledge their ownership, of Victoria Island? Could they fundraise and build whatever structures they need? I’m sure they could.
We believe that for people to be a real community that we need to be able to connect, meet and talk. The contributions of NCC may be to provide the public square, where open and responsible expression can occur, where elected officials can comfortably participate, and where all are taken seriously. We need to be a city where such occurrences as “Occupy Ottawa”, can be in the context of normal, peaceful, responsible and constructive dialogue.
Becoming an international city is an initiative in which we feel NCC has touched our cherished values and needs for making a difference in the world. We believe this is a tremendous opportunity and you have our complete support. This aspiration speaks to our deepest values. We noted the slide in your presentation of the monument that had inscribed “In the service of peace.” This we feel is what this city is uniquely positioned to represent and offer to the world. We can be a place where the global community can meet and talk in a safe and respectful community. The challenge will be more than assertions or aspirations; it will require engagement and involvement. We believe that this is worthy of what a capital city should mean.
We believe that activities relating to the reduction of conflict and the relief of suffering are cherished by Canadians. We are a city reflecting a Nobel peace prize for peacekeeping and peace building, a city with a tradition of voice and volunteerism in the cause of peace. We are a city where the international community and its embassies are already in Ottawa. We are a city of many peace groups, of many peace building NGOs and civil society groups, university conflict centers, the Canadian Department of Peace Initiative, an emerging Civilian Peace Service among many others. We are a city with First Nations contributing strong traditions of peace, land and spirituality. What if we engage the world by creating a Peace Centre, where dialogue, peace and conflict resolution conferences and events can be held? On Parliament Hill, we have a Peace Tower and we have an annual Mayoral proclamation of Ottawa being a City of Peace. This should mean something concrete to our city and the world.
To summarize, we believe that the current relationship with residents, municipal and regional government and the world would benefit from such a sense of identity and balance in our city.
We are prepared to put our time and skills to the great possibilities that are before us. We are prepared to offer our assistance to you in the cause of our shared future. If you wish to further discuss any issues raised, we would be most pleased to meet with you or your staff at your convenience.
Our sincere thanks and best wishes for our future;
Dr Peter Stockdale
Dr Qais Ghanem
Dr Jason Bailey
CC: Mayor Jim Watson Mayor of Ottawa
CC: Mayor Marc Bureau Mayor of Gatineau
CC: National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo Assembly of First Nations