Thursday, January 17, 2008

Courage of our Convictions

What could be a better symbol of Canadian technological know-how than the Canadarm? It was a joint US/Canadian initiative built in this country. We have watched proudly through the years as the robotic arm was deployed on various American spacecraft.

The division of the Canadian company which makes the arm was sold to a US company recently. A company that is a major weapons manufacturer. This outfit makes cluster bombs and anti-personnel devices -- essentially landmines. Nasty stuff. Former federal minister, Lloyd Axworthy is wondering why the Canadian government is allowing this sale given the amount of government funding which went into the Canadarm. We have signed an international agreement to ban the manufacture and sale of landmines.

An engineer with the Canadarm division has resigned saying he can't in good conscience work for a company that makes such destructive devices. He figures others will follow.

I admire his conviction and wonder how many of us would be as courageous. We aren't told whether this is a matter of religious conviction but there have been many Christians employees of companies in the US who have chosen other employment rather than continue doing work in the arms industry which contradicted their fundamental values.

How far would we go to live faithfully?

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