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Kamloops chapter peace walk draws 200 people as Trudeau pledges bigger military spending

Photo by Mike McDonald/ Kamloops This Week.

The Council of Canadians Kamloops chapter organized the 42nd annual walk for peace that was held in their community on Saturday May 6.

This was the 18th year the chapter had organized the walk. Chapter activist Anita Strong says, “What we’re asking the world to do is to speak up for peace, social justice and the environment.”

Kamloops This Week reports, “Around 200 people were on hand for this years Peace Walk, which made its way through Downtown Kamloops on Saturday afternoon.”

Prior to the walk, the newspaper had reported, “Saturday’s event kicks off at about 10:30 a.m. in the former Stuart Wood elementary playground, next to the farmers’ market. It starts with music and speakers, with the walk following at 12:30 p.m. A children’s table, facepainting and youth speakers and artists will be featured to engage a younger audience.”

Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow commented at the start of this year, “We remember in all our foreign policy that peace can only come if accompanied by justice. May we serve that goal always.”

On May 7, the day after the peace walk, CTV reported, “Transport Minister Marc Garneau says Canadians can expect ‘significant expenditures’ to come out of the government’s defence policy review.”

Garneau claims that the Canadian military is “chronically under-funded” and that the policy review will be unveiled before Prime Minister Justin Trudeau attends the NATO summit in Brussels on May 25.

U.S. President Donald Trump will also attend that summit. He has proposed a budget that would cut billions of dollars to social spending while at the same time increasing that country’s current $600 billion military budget by $54 billion.

When Trudeau and Trump met at the White House on February 13 they pledged to “work to modernize and broaden our NORAD partnership in these key domains [aerospace warning, aerospace control, and maritime warning], as well as in cyber and space.” The defence policy review is examining the possibility of Canada joining the U.S. ballistic missile defence ‘Star Wars’ program.