Dear M. Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau,

M.Prime Minister, you will meet in a few days the US President Joe Biden to talk about North America’s air defense agreement and other important issues.

As a Canadian, and a single mother of a young high school student. I ask you and your government to reconsider the investment of $4,9 billion in North America’s air defense agreement. I ask your government to invest Canadian citizens’ money into the mental and physical well-being of future generations.

Canada has never been a militarized country. We are Canadian citizens and citizens of the world. Like millions of Canadians, I value conflict resolution through negotiation, persuasion, and dialogue not through war.

But Canada currently faces a much greater threat than the one depicted by US military strategists and military industries.

Indeed, have you seen the recent information and statistics on the mental and physical health of our young people?

On one hand, I am very pleased that your government declared mental health was one of four “shared priorities” and is funding deals with the provinces and territories to support more than 20 percent of young Canadians facing mental health issues. But your government must invest more money and resources in social services for young people.

I am concerned about the physical health and well-being of young Canadians. Today school programs offering students free daily meals are struggling to survive because the cost of food has increased dramatically. More than 21 percent of the country’s student population in Canada received support from these programs that serve a snack, breakfast, or lunch to millions of students each day. Moreover, since last year many parents are experiencing economic difficulties and simply cannot provide enough food for their children every day. (Globe and Mail)

For example in Quebec since last September, the number of meals served each day has jumped 16%, from 500,000 to 580,000. That is more than 668 schools lacking funds to serve proper meals to students. (Journal de Montréal)

We need to have a safety net across Canada that gives access to food to children so they can be in optimal conditions to learn.

Learning to read or to do mathematics is a challenge for a child who has not had enough to eat, experts say.

The reality of students who do not have enough to eat is rarely mentioned in the perspective of academic success. However, the list of problematic behaviors related to hunger is very long, note various professionals.

M. Prime minister, children’s brains need glucose. A child who has no food in his stomach affects his ability to learn. M. Prime minister, young Canadians are the future of Canada, they deserve to be treated with respect. Your government needs to invest in a universal system of meals with snacks in school. Your government needs to act now on this overwhelmed national threat. Your government needs to make sure to prevent damage to future generations’ health and brain development.

According to experts, it would cost more than $5G to implant a universal food program and safety net in all schools in Canada.

But the federal government has limited resources and needs to prioritize public expenses on national issues.

Last year, the federal government pledged $4,9 billion over six years to help upgrade North America’s air defense.  At the time, Ottawa did not say how exactly – or how quickly – those funds would roll out.” (Globe and Mail)

M. Prime Minister, in which future your government will invest in? The future depicted by the US military strategist and military industries or the well-being of new generations?

Your government can change the course of history and show the rest of the world that Canadians put the children’s success and human development first, before weapons and defense systems.

With this letter, I send my regards,

Anne Farrell