Proposed Mennonite Task Force to Investigate Tax Resistance
Publisher: Mennonite Central Committee, Winnipeg, Canada
Organization profile published 1981
Year Published: 1981
Resource Type: Organization
Cx Number: CX2148
A group of delegates from four Canadian Mennonite conferences have recommended that a task force be set up to investigate whether tax resistance would be an appropriate way for Canadian Mennonites and Brethren in Christ members to express their opposition to militarism. This group was convened at the request of the General Conference of the Mennonite Church and the Mennonite Central Committee; the Mennonite groups involved at this point include the Conference of Nominates in Canada, the Mennonite Conference of Ontario, the Western Ontario Mennonite conference and the Northwest Mennonite Conference.
The group feels that conscientious objection is no longer relevant in answering the problem; the advance of the military technology has been such that it now depends far more on the mobilisation of wealth than on the mobilisation of personnel. Because of the long lead-time needed for the manufacturing of military hardware, all the mobilisation has to take place during peace time. The group therefore feels that any military protest has to deal with that accumulation of wealth. This protest is being organised now because of the increase in Canadian military spending - $5.2 billion in the current fiscal year.
Ernie Regehr, a member of the group and also research director for Peace and Conflict Studies at the university of Waterloo Ontario, speculates that if 30,000 Mennonite wage earners each refused the government ten percent of their income tax, the amount which, according to Regehr currently goes to military spending, it could mean as much as $90 million the government would not have to spend on arms. Regehr claims that this kind of protest is necessary because Canada is part of the industrialised world's effort to maintain its economic advantage and its strategic interests through its military hardware.
If these delegates can convince their colleagues that a task force is necessary, it will be set up in 1981. The study completion date is 1982.
This organization no longer exists.
This abstract was published in the Connexions Digest in 1981.