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Mar 25 2013

UAVs within Canada – my conversation with MP Colin Mayes – No Attack Drones [1903]

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From: Priscilla Judd
Sent: March 22, 2013
To: Prime Minister’s Office
Cc: Mulcair, Thomas – Député; Rae, Bob – M.P.; Bloc Québécois Leader Daniel Paillé; May, Elizabeth – M.P.; Ceasefire.ca; Mayes, Colin – M.P.; Priscilla Judd

Subject: No Attack Drones [1903]

Dear Prime Minister Harper,
I recently viewed online photos of children who were murdered by soldiers and some of those soldiers belong to armies that are allies of Canada. I was deeply disturbed by that.

Then, I learned that 175 children were murdered by drone assassination – again by forces closely tied to Canada. American Civil Liberty groups claim that drone assassinations are a violation of International Law. I don’t support drone warfare or any plan to purchase armed drones for the Canadian Forces because there is always a possibility that they may be used in that way.

I don’t want Canada to become a participant in active drone warfare. For many years, Canada has been a peacekeeping nation – let’s hope peacekeeping can be Canada’s military mission forever.

I urge you to cut military spending – to support social programs, protect the environment, improve the health of our nation and assist the world’s poorest people.

Thank you for reading this. I hope you will consider the points I have raised.

Sincerely
Priscilla Judd

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From Colin Mayes
To Priscilla Judd
Date Today 19:24

Ms. Judd,

Thank you for copying my office on your email to the Prime Minister regarding the purchase of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). The Government of Canada is looking into the possibility of purchasing UAVs, and as such we ran a “Request for Information” with potential manufacturers from July 24 to October 12, 2012. This process is part of a series of industry engagements to ensure the best procurement approach is selected and confirm the ability of industry to deliver the required capability on time and within budget.

As with any other surveillance asset operated by the Canadian Armed Forces, UAVs will be required to follow all applicable laws and regulations related to the conduct of surveillance operations and the collection, storage and distribution of all data and information. Further, the government does not intend to use armed UAVs within Canada. An armed capability would only be used, as required, in specific expeditionary operations under very specific rules of engagement.

I appreciate that you are opposed to this purchase, if it does indeed take place. However, it is incumbent on our government to ensure that Canada’s Armed Forces are given the best available tools to do their job. The other priorities you mention are also hugely important, which is why we give significant support to each of them.

Thank you once again for contacting me.

Colin Mayes, MP

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