Audrey Tobias clarification

Heartfelt thanks and clarification by Audrey Tobias

A war veteran who condemns Harper's war policies

The following statement was distributed by Audrey Tobias just prior to the session during which Ontario Court of Justice Judge Ramez Khawly made his statement finding Ms Tobias not guilty as charged for failing to fill out and returning the 2011 census form.

I am grateful for the many people who attended my trial and sentencing to support me. I am also thankful to my lawyer, Peter Rosenthal, who took this case pro-bono.

While many have called me a pacifist, I want to make clear that I am not a pacifist. I am a veteran of WW II and participated in training exercises to simulate naval battles for officers. I am however, opposed to the indiscriminate use of weapons that maim and kill civilians — and of course — profoundly convinced that all countries should agree together in the United Nations to abolish nuclear weapons. This is the goal of VANA (Veterans Against Nuclear Arms) of which I became a part at its inception in 1983. I have been committed to peaceful and just solutions of international crises, since the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

At 89 years old, I don't see why I should stop advocating and fighting for peaceful solutions as I have for many years. I am outraged by the actions and policies of the Harper government. I am calling on our government to lead the way for peaceful solutions. Harper has delayed troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, agreed to the invasion of Libya, urged military action against Syria, and offered contracts to a weapons manufacturer to gather people's private information.

Lockheed Martin, the company that we used in 2006 and again in 2011 to help process our census is one of the largest manufacturers of weapons. The company produces not only Trident missiles, F-35 fighter jets and drones, but also parts of cluster bombs. While Canada has not ratified the Convention on Cluster Munitions, it was one of the first countries to sign the treaty. However, the Harper government has again exchanged peaceful solutions for military solutions by trying to introduce a bill earlier this year that would  ratify the treaty only on condition that Canadian Forces could use cluster bombs when cooperating with troops from non-signatory countries.

I am urging people who are concerned with peace and who want to see Canada lead the world in peaceful solutions, to insist that Statistics Canada stop using weapons companies for information gathering. In fact, agencies at all government levels should do proper assessments of corporations before they enter into contract with them.

In hope,

Audrey

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