The Militarization of Canada’s Universities: From simulation programs to unmanned drones, Canada’s schools have joined the fight
"The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and the Networks of Centres of Excellence both participate in “matching funds” projects, favouring research that has direct applications in private industry. It is within this context that the influence of the military has become so pervasive in universities across the country. This influence has myriad manifestations, as does the involvement of Canadian professors and students who are involved in military-related research. Social and political scientists contribute to the perpetuation of militarist ideology through academic publications, media interviews, and social events funded by the Department of National Defence (DND).
If we consider such factors as human rights violations and lives lost in battle, the impact of military technology developed in part by professors and students of Canadian universities is deeply disturbing. However, not one Canadian university is willing to consider the impacts of the application of military technology beyond the classroom before they approve research and funding contracts.The common rule of “do no harm” included in all university ethical research policy does not extend beyond the immediate ramifications of research. So long as no one is hurt during the design of a bomb, it does not matter what the bomb is designed for. It is against this logic that organizations like DeMilitarize McGill, Science for Peace, and Operation Objection rally.
The Canadian Association of University Teachers speaks to the time-honoured role of education toward the betterment of society, asserting
that “education’s most basic purpose is to enhance life and the dignity of the human person.” In marked contrast, the complicity and lack of concern demonstrated by Canada’s universities, its faculty, and students exemplify a growing emphasis on ethically questionable private-public military research
. The oversight of current research policy denies the deliberation of ethical implications and robs universities and the community at large of the opportunity for transparent and open dialogue. There is a great need to frankly address the shifts in raison d’être of Canadian universities if the influence of the military industrial complex is to be kept in check.”