Thanks to Ernie & Charlotte Wiens for sharing their peace tax letter with us, below. May it inspire many others to act on the leadings of their conscience.
There are many Canadians who simply believe it is wrong to kill another human being for any reason. During World War ll some 10,000 Canadians chose to be conscientious objectors and refused to take up arms in order to kill. Some would say one should be willing to defend one’s country. This may sound noble but in reality if you go to war you aim to kill before you are killed.The problem, as you know, is that if everyone operates from this premise you end up with what we have today- militaries in almost every country on the planet, including our own, spending precious human,environmental and financial resources preparing to kill. Particularly abhorrent is the fact that even our own country produces military vehicles and equipment which are sold around the world to help other nations kill in the name of their country. It is not unlikely that these weapons could be used to wreak havoc on the country from which they originate.
No one said it better than former President Dwight D. Eisenhower:
“Every gun that is fired, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in a final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hope of its children…This is not the way of life at all in any true sense…”
We long for a leader to speak and to act like this while in office. Mr. Trudeau, you yourself reportedly said that if you were not an MP you would consider participating in Non-Violent Peace Force. This is noble indeed. We write to request another option in keeping with your desire for peace. Maybe you are an MP and Prime Minister precisely for this option.
Use your conviction and influence and government to establish a Legal Peace Tax Fund so that Canadians like us can legally divert the military portion of our taxes to work for peace rather than preparing for war. If you would do so Canadians could choose this option and Canada would begin to show the rest of the world that we are serious about peace. Our children, our grandchildren and the children of the world will be in a better place.
Motivated by a vision for a peaceful Canada, motivated by our conscience and faith, and desiring a better world for all children we have diverted the military portion of our taxes to Conscience Canada’s Peace Tax Fund for the past ten years. We have annually informed your office, the CRA, our MP and other government leaders of our actions and our reasons for doing so. All to no avail. We continue to be pursued by the CRA for tax dollars we have already paid. Do you support this action in light of Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms?
Our country has allowed for conscientious objection for over 200 years. Is this no longer an option at a time where technological warfare requires dollars more than bodies to fill boots and carry guns?
We anticipate a reply. Please consider our request seriously. And please, not just another form letter.
As we continue to pray for our leaders and the healing of all nations,
Ernie and Charlotte Wiens