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End the Navy War Games in the Pacific Ocean

End the Navy War Games in the Pacific Ocean

They dirty our waters, threaten health and have harmed women and girls. Cancel RIMPAC.

Two Canadian warships, the HMCS Regina and the HMCS Winnipeg, recently left to participate in the Exercise Rim of the Pacific. It’s the largest naval war game in the world and takes place across the Pacific Ocean near Hawaii.

In September, people all over BC are meeting to talk about what’s on their minds. You should join them.

RIMPAC is a biennial military exercise led by the United States navy to enhance war readiness and interoperability among allied countries. The navies of 25 nations participate and deploy surface ships, aircraft, submarines and personnel. Canada has participated since RIMPAC’s inception in 1971.

This year, the Royal Canadian Navy has sent two missile-laden frigates with 500 sailors and torpedo-carrying Cyclone helicopters from its Esquimalt base in B.C. to Hawaii.

During RIMPAC, the navies jointly conduct live-fire testing, ship-sinking, submarine warfare and amphibious assault. They also engage in air force training, precision bombing and urban warfare practice. The exercise is a massive show of force by western navies in the Pacific region and provocative to China, which has been prohibited from participating.

The multinational exercise is typically held for six weeks from June to August. However, the pandemic means this year’s RIMPAC was scaled down to a two-week period from Aug. 17 to 31 and will be modified to mostly at-sea training.

But with our oceans in grave peril and the pandemic still raging, RIMPAC should be permanently cancelled. For over five decades, Hawaiians have protested this large-scale naval exercise citing the adverse environmental and social impacts. Canadians must join their protest and pressure our government to not participate.

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