Grandfather Fasts for Two Weeks to Protest Canada’s Purchase of 88 US Fighter Jets

May 4th, 2021 - by Brendan Martin / World BEYOND War Vancouver & Teodoro Alcuitas / Philippine Canadian News

Brendan Martin, WBW Vancouver

I Just Finished a 14-day Fast Against Fighter Jets

Brendan Martin / World BEYOND War Vancouver

VANCOUVER, BC (May 3, 2021) — My name is Brendan Martin, I’m a member of the World BEYOND War Vancouver chapter, a grandpa, and a family doctor, and I just finished a 14-day fast against fighter jets.

I consumed nothing but water for two weeks to raise awareness of my government’s intention to purchase 88 new fighter jets for a sticker price of $19 billion and a total cost of over $76 billion. These are not defensive weapons to protect Canada, and they are useless for dealing with a global pandemic, natural disasters, a 9/11-style attack, in peacekeeping or with international humanitarian relief. Their purpose is to rain bombs in more US and NATO wars. I’ve been working as a World BEYOND War member of the No Fighter Jets Coalition to do everything I can to get this purchase canceled before the contract is supposed to be signed this year.

Right now, as I take a few days to recover, I’m asking for your help.  Please give what you can to World BEYOND War so we can keep supporting ordinary people like me in taking the action we each can to demilitarize our countries and world.

On the first day of my fast, over a hundred people joined me from coast to coast — many fasted too, and even more joined public vigils, protests and online candlelight ceremonies to object to the defense procurement. Below are snapshots of just some of the many who joined in, and near the top of this email are just a few examples of the amazing media coverage we got.

During the last two weeks, as I fasted in the public square of my city, I realized that most people are unaware that this purchase, the second biggest in Canadian history, is even happening. Though they were unaware, most everyone I spoke with agreed that the federal government should not invest in fighter jets but instead invest in the real and urgent security needs we face, like tackling the climate emergency, ensuring a just pandemic recovery, ending homelessness, and providing safe drinking water for First Nations communities. If the Canadian government purchases the fighter jets, I will see it as a declaration of war on poorer countries around the world. 

Please help World BEYOND War to support the “No Fighter Jets” campaign and other actions for peace around the world. 

Brendan Martin is a nonviolent peace activist with World BEYOND WarVancouver

Grandfather Fasts for Two Weeks to Protest Fighter Jet Purchase

Teodoro Alcuitas / Philippine Canadian News

(April 16, 2021) — Dr. Brendan Martin will live on water alone. A 70-year-old Langley grandfather is living on water alone for two-weeks to protest the planned purchase of 88 fighter jets.

Dr. Brendan Martin is on his fifth day of a fast, which started on April 10, part of a coalition to stop the government from spending $76.8 billion over the life of the lifecycle of these jets.

“I’m not fatigued at all,” the family practitioner told via Zoom, dressed in shirtsleeves. “Hunger is not an issue but what bothers me are other issues — my patient’s health for example.”

“I have psyched myself for this,” he adds.

He stays out at nearby Douglas Park for at least an hour where he puts out placards announcing his cause and engaging with passersby. To fill out his time, he posts information in the alliance website or tweets as well as writing letters to MPs. Staying out in the park is getting more of a challenge though and he is thinking of cutting down a bit depending on his strength.

The No Fighter Jets Coalition in Canada is comprised of multiple peace organizations — Canadian Voice of Women for Peace, World Beyond Wars, Pax Christi and the Canadian Foreign Policy Institute.

The coalition is asking Canadians to get involved in this issue which will “determine war or peace for the next several decades.” Their website is

Dr. Martin says just two sentences will make the point to Members of Parliament: “Do Not Purchase Fighter Jets” “Speak up in Parliament against the purchase”

He says it is “a fraud perpetrated by our federal government to purchase these jets,” adding that jets do not provide security. “Real security is employment and housing, good healthcare and economic support and development. These are the things that provide real security to people.”

An active parishioner at St. Joseph’s Parish at Langley where he is Parish Rep for Development & Peace- Caritas Canada, Dr. Brendan heads the Vancouver chapter of World Beyond War. He has a brother who has been with the St. Columban Missionaries in the Philippines since the 70s.

Vancouver WBW Pursues Divestment and Nuclear Abolition

Brendan Martin addressing the Langley City Council in 2020

Brendan Martin and Marilyn Konstapel / World BEYOND War

(December 8, 2020) — The Vancouver, Canada, chapter of World BEYOND War is advocating for divestment from weapons and fossil fuels in Langley, British Columbia, (something World BEYOND War has had success with in other cities), as well as supporting a resolution on nuclear abolition in Langley, in light of the recent achievement of the 50th nation ratifying the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

Brendan Martin and Marilyn Konstapel presented at the council for the City of Langley on November 2 and the council for the Township of Langley on November 9th urging divestment from weapons and fossil fuels. The presentations used variations on this Powerpoint, also available as a PDF.

The chapter applauds Langley City Council for subsequently passing a resolution on Nov. 23 in support of the recently ratified UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

The following letter to the editor from the chapter was published in BC Local News this weekend:

On behalf of Langley residents, we applaud Langley City council for passing a resolution on Nov. 23 in support of the recently ratified UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

Council committed to support the Mayors for Peace Appeal and will write to the government of Canada calling on it “to break the unacceptable status quo regarding a tolerant nuclear weapons policy by taking decisive steps toward the global elimination of nuclear weapons of war.”

The resolution noted that: The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) is a landmark global agreement calling for national and local governments to abandon nuclear weapons of war;

The TPNW global agreement was adopted in 2017, and the Nobel Peace Prize Committee has acknowledged this initiative as providing the best pathway towards a world without nuclear weapons;

  • Nuclear weapons threaten every nation’s security and would cause catastrophic humanitarian and environmental harm;
  • Cities are the main targets of nuclear weapons, municipalities have a special responsibility to their constituents to speak out against any role for nuclear weapons in national security doctrines;
  • Municipal governments form a close and active link with their constituents and local social movements;
  • A national awareness is needed to advance the standard determined by the TPNW against nuclear weapon states and their military alliances with countries that have nuclear weapons;
  • The time has come to end decades of deadlock in disarmament and moving the world towards the elimination of nuclear weapons;
  • There is no winner in an exchange of nuclear weapons.

Langley City council is to be commended for its encompassing vision of responsibility which includes the pursuit of peace. We thank Mayor van den Broek and Councillors Storteboom and Wallace for meeting with Dr. Mary-Wynne Ashford during the summer to learn about the nuclear weapons treaty and for acting in the best interest of humanity.

We hope this action by Langley City council will inspire our community and other municipalities to speak for non-violence. Going forward now we should not allow the government of Canada to quietly purchase 15 warships at a cost of $70 billion dollars and 88 jet bombers at probably a similar lifecycle cost.

We must demand that government spend our money on public health and education, jobs that build rather than destroy and on other real needs of Canadians such as a just transition to renewable energy for those involved in the fossil fuel industries.

We want Canada to once again be known as a peacekeeper and to shift our tax dollars from the war economy to a green and just recovery for all.