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C.C.O.D.P. presents petition to Pepin

Jack Panozzo — July 1984

OTTAWA – Jean-Luc Pepin, Minister of State (External Relations) met with a delegation from the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace on May 7 at his offices on Parliament Hill. The seven-member delegation presented Mr. Pepin with over 26,000 Petitions and Letters of Support) endorsing Development and Peace’s three-year nation-wide campaign on militarization, especially as it affects and is an obstacle to development in the Third World.

Prior to meeting Mr. Pepin, the delegation spoke with Progressive Conservative Alberta MP Doug .Roche, Ms. Peggy Mason of Joe Clark’s Peace Commission; and with B.C. MP Pauline Jewett. of the NDP. The delegation urged the government to limit arms trade with the Third World, and discussed how militarization has become a primary obstacle to development.

Both Mr. Roche and Ms. Jewett praised Development and Peace’s efforts, saying that the national campaign was helping to make Canadians more aware of global militarization and its effects on both the Third W orId and the industrialized nations.

The meeting with Mr. Pepin, originally scheduled for only 30 minutes, went on for more than an hour. Mr. Pepin and his aides had carefully read and underlined the points in Development and Peace’s position paper on militarization. The Minister was accompanied by three government officials who are responsible for military exports and export permits.

Mr. Pepin said Development and Peace’s statistic which stated that 10070 of Canada’s world military exports went to Third World countries was “right on.” In 1982, Canada’s world military exports were $1.43 billion: $1 billion went to the U.S., and over $400 million to countries other than the United States. Of the $400 million, some $150 million reached the Third World.

Development and Peace. as the official Catholic overseas development and relief organization, has a volunteer base across Canada. Established by the Canadian Catholic Bishops in 1967, it is the largest non-governmental organization of its kind in the country.