B.C. senior holds 14-day fast to protest federal government's planned purchase of 88 fighter jets
VANCOUVER -- A Langley, B.C., senior will have his first meal in two weeks on Saturday after fasting in an act of protest.
Dr. Brendan Martin is a family physician who decided to make a stand against Canada’s plan to purchase 88 new fighter jets for the military.
The 69-year-old sat down for an interview with CTV News on Friday in the final hours of his 14-day fast, saying he was feeling very weak after having nothing but water, and was excited for his first meal at 12:01 a.m. Saturday morning.
“I’m going to have potato and leek soup and some french beans,” Martin said. “Yeah, I’m looking forward to that.”
Martin said he became more passionate about the fighter jets cause, and Canada’s military activity in general, last year. He was inspired by members of Canadian Voice of Women for Peace and decided he wanted to act.
“I’m a Canadian of ordinary abilities and I want to convey that point – that Canadians of ordinary abilities are needed in this campaign to stop the purchase of fighter jets,” he said.
The plan to purchase the new aircraft has been in the works for more than 10 years. Three suppliers have submitted proposals to build the fighter jets and the federal government plans to award the contract in 2022.
“We can stop that and we’re doing everything possible,” Martin said, adding that he believes fasting is “an effective way of raising awareness.”
He’s not the only one who starved himself for the last two weeks. The move was put together by a group called the No Fighter Jets Coalition, and other members across the country posted their pledges on social media.
Despite the noble effort, Martin admits the group may not see immediate results.
“I don't think my fast, or the fast of others will change the hearts of our representatives in parliament… but it may make or help Canadians to talk to their MPs,” he said.
Martin says he would do the fast again, just not anytime soon.