July 29, 2008.

To:  Doug Moore,
A/Director, Real Property Asset Management (RPAM) Branch
City of Ottawa
( 613-580-2424 x41301
7 613-560-2718

Dear Mr. Moore,

Your letter to the office of my councillor, Diane Holmes, regarding the scheduling of "Secure Canada 2008" and CANSEC 2009, contains some very serious factual errors. These need to be publicly corrected so that we can proceed towards undoing City Staff''s mistake of allowing these military trade shows to schedule their private events at a publicly-funded  facility.  The City of Ottawa must uphold its almost 20-year-old promise?which has never yet been broken?to ban the lease of any municipal facility (including Lansdowne Park) for  events like ARMX, which was a trade show promoting the sale of military (and police) equipment.

A copy of your letter is now posted on the Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade (COAT) website:

The COAT website also now includes a preliminary response to your contention that these military trade shows are not "arms exhibitions."

I have also posted an annotated list of the 50 or so known "Exhibitors" that the 2008 show's organizers have so far released. I am now in the process of highlighting the most egregious of the weapons manufacturers that appear on this formidable list representing the military-industrial complex.

In determining the real nature of this event, it is also instructive to examine the list of "Sponsors" for "Secure Canada 2008."

In your letter to Councillor Holmes, you posited three arguments to justify your naive belief that the "Secure Canada 2008" arms exhibition is not really an actual arms exhibition. Your main points on this matter are:

(1) "We are advised by the show manager that weapons and firearms are not included in these exhibits."

(2) "It is the opinion of staff that given the range of products and services being marketed during this event, it does not meet the test of what one would reasonably expect to find in an 'arms exhibition.'?

(3) "Secure Canada 2008 focuses on technologies and products used for security, public safety and to a lesser degree, defence applications...."

I hope you will take the time to click on the above links and to read my initial refutations of your statements.

Perhaps back in 1989, City Councillors should have referred to "ARMX and other such arms exhibitions" by using another term. However, whatever we want to call them, it is abundantly clear and obvious that ARMX, "Secure Canada" and CANSEC all belong to the same category of trade show events:

Please note that the Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade (COAT) has begun to post to our website a "'Secure Canada 2008' Official Weapon System of the Week."  Each week for the remainder of the summer we will post a photo and links to information on a particular weapons system that is manufactured by a corporation listed as an "Exhibitor" at "Secure Canada 2008." Throughout September (if the show has not been cancelled by then) we will begin to post a "'Secure Canada 2008' Official Weapon System of the Day." This is simply one of many ways we will endeavor to expose the kinds of very real weapons manufacturers that are scheduled to promote their products on City property.

This week, we are highlighting the B-2 "Spirit," a NUCLEAR BOMBER, which is manufactured by Boeing, one of the many proud exhibitors planning to flog their wares at the "Secure Canada 2008." This weapons system is specifically designed to "deliver" the following quantities of armaments:

16 B61
16 B83
16 AGM-129 ACM
16 AGM-131 SRAM 2

80 MK82
16 MK84
36 CBU87
36 CBU89
36 CBU97

8 GBU 27
8 AGM-154 JSOW

Source: Federation of American Scientists http://www.fas.org/nuke/guide/usa/bomber/b-2.htm

Coincidentally, the average cost of each B-2 bomber is US$2.1 BILLION, which is the same as the City of Ottawa's entire budget for 2007! 
Source: US General Accounting Office report  http://www.fas.org/man/gao/nsiad97181.htm

One of the more (no doubt unintentionally) humourous comments in your letter to Councillor Holmes was that you had been "advised by the show manager that weapons and firearms are not included in these exhibits." Please be advised that a B-2 bomber (or any of the dozens of other major weapons systems manufactured by this particular "Secure Canada 2008" exhibitor), is somewhat too large to be be shoe-horned through Lansdowne Park's doorways, let alone into any one (or all) of the 8'x10' booths for lease at this arms exhibition. This however is only one of the reasons why arms exhibitions (like so many other varieties of trade shows) rely instead on a diverse variety of other means to showcase their products and services. This does not mean?as you assert?that they are not "arms exhibitions." Obviously they are.

I look forward to continuing this public discussion with you and others about why the City of Ottawa should uphold its highly-popular, near-unanimous Motion (of April 19, 1989) unequivocally denouncing the international arms trade and stating "that Lansdowne Park and other city facilities not be leased to ARMX or other such arms exhibitions.?

Yours sincerely for peace,

Richard Sanders
Coordinator, Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade (COAT)
Editor, Press for Conversion!

P.S. Please do not hesitate to call if you have any detailed questions about "Secure Canada 2008," or the international trade in weapons and other tools of war and repression which this event so ably facilitates and represents.  I have been studying these matters full-time for 25 years and would be happy to assist you or others in any way that I can.


Cc: Ottawa Councillors
Bcc: Ottawa media

Please sign online PETITION now to "Stop Ottawa's Arms Shows."

(Print version: Here is a printable version of the petition that you can use to get additional signatures.)

Email: Tell the Mayor, City Councillors and Staff what you think!

Related articles:
What do they actually mean by "Defence," "Security" and "Public Safety"?

"What is a Weapon, anyhow?"

This webpage was produced by the
Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade (COAT)

as part of the COAT campaign to oppose 
"Secure Canada 2008" (Sept.30-Oct.1, 2008)