No Armed Drones

The campaign to end Canada’s planned purchase of its first armed drones.

The Canadian government is attempting to purchase and deploy its first fleet of armed drones.

The Canadian government is moving quickly to award a contract for remotely piloted armed drones which would be used by the military both for domestic surveillance and in foreign operations.

In December 2023 the government announced their plan to purchase a fleet of 11 SkyGuardian MQ-9 Reaper drones, built by U.S. defence contractor General Atomics, in a $2.49 billion package. It also plans to spend more than $400 million on 219 Hellfire missiles and assorted other weapons and equipment for the drones. 

The initial cost estimates exclude the billions more that would be required to operate the drones over their 25-year lifespan.

Now is the time to stop this planned purchase before it happens. The Canadian military does not need armed drones. Rather than making the world safer, these weapons of terror are used in extrajudicial executions, surveillance of targeted populations and other violations of human rights.


In the government's proposal seeking bids for its drone program it laid out disturbing scenarios for Canadian military drone use...

One scenario concerns domestic surveillance missions, and specifically surveillance of public protest within Canada. Canadian drones are described being used to surveil activists protesting a (theoretical) G20 Summit in Quebec. In this scenario the drone helps the security team intercept and identify the occupants of a vehicle, who are “anti-capitalist radicals” who had been intending to “hang a banner concerning global warming.”
Another scenario modeled after US drone strike programs features a drone bombing “Fighting Age Males” in the Middle East after spotting one of them “holding a small radio or cell phone."


Read about additional scenarios described in the government proposal here and here. The proposal itself is available in full here.

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In December 2023, right after adjourning for the holidays, Parliament quietly announced that it intends to spend $2.49 billion on its first fleet of armed military drones, a fleet of Sky Guardian MQ-9 Reapers.


"When it comes to Canada’s plans to acquire its first armed drones, what we do know and what we don’t know both provide cause for alarm."


Watch the webinar here featuring Rinaldo Walcott, Matt Korda, Azeezah Kanji, Maya Garfinkel, and Bianca Mugyenyi


Ottawa Citizen article highlighting the lack of transparency in Defence spending and operations. "The secrecy problem has become so bad that the House of Commons Committee on National Defence has launched hearings into the lack of openness and transparency."


An exploration into the drone wars and domestic surveillance this purchase is intended for.


Watch the webinar here featuring Dr. Samer Abdelnour, Kathy Kelly, and Tim McSorley.

5 Reasons to Cancel Canada's Proposed Armed Drone Purchase

1. Defence, National. “Government of Canada.”, / Gouvernement Du Canada, 15 Feb. 2022,
2. Korda, Matt. “Canada Is Buying a Fleet of Armed Drones. We Should All Be Worried.” Passage, 19 Aug. 2020,
3. The Bureau of Investigative Journalism. “Drone Warfare.” The Bureau of Investigative Journalism ,
4. Acheson, Ray. “Abolishing State Violence” Haymarket Books, July 26, 2022.

Canada's Proposed Drone Purchase: Basic Facts

"When it comes to Canada’s plans to acquire its first armed drones, what we do know and what we don’t know both provide cause for alarm. So far, we know that the drones will be equipped to carry at least two “precision-guided” missiles each and cost up to $5 billion in total; that the government expects to award the final contract by 2024 and for the drones to be in full operation by 2030. We do not know what legal restrictions will apply even in theory to the drones’ activities inside and outside Canada, or what protections and remedies will be available even in theory for the targets."

A Title to Turn the Visitor Into a Buyer