Member of Parliament, NDP Leader, nuclear disarmament activist
Député, chef du NPD, militant du désarmement nucléaire
Tribute to follow.
Hommage à suivre.
Member of Parliament, NDP Leader, nuclear disarmament activist
Député, chef du NPD, militant du désarmement nucléaire
Tribute to follow.
Hommage à suivre.
Annual General Meeting/Assemblée générale annuelle 4-6 PM Ottawa time by Zoom/16 h à 18 h, heure d'Ottawa par Zoom
Ottawa peace activist Jordan Bishop
Jordan, who passed away in late October, was the Veterans Against Nuclear Arms representative to CNANW, while VANA was active. He was a long time peace advocate, well-known and a friend of many, particularly in the Ottawa area. “He was a lifelong advocate for peace, actively opposing military intervention from Vietnam to Iraq and Afghanistan, and working to end nuclear arms – in the peace and anti-nuclear movements in Cape Breton, and in Project Ploughshares and Veterans Against Nuclear Arms.”
As Ernie Regehr writes: “It was always a pleasure to have extended conversations with him – he obviously read very widely, had great knowledge of history, and was an innovative thinker. One always ended a chat with him better informed, and feeling the better for having spent time with him.”
Individual Signatories/Signataires Individuels
Nadia Alexan, retired high school teacher, (Citizens in Action)
Jacques Boucher, (Regroupement pour la surveillance du nucléaire)
Ann Clow, Montague PEI
Chandler Davis, (Science for Peace)
Patrick Groulx, retired
Paul Hanley, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
John O’Brian, Professor Emeritus, UBC
This year we commemorate the 76th anniversary of the use of atomic weapons over Japan. A 14-kiloton uranium bomb exploded at Hiroshima on August 6, and a 20-kiloton plutonium bomb on August 9 was dropped over Nagasaki. As many as 225,000 people, most of whom were civilians, died.
Debates continue to this day over the impact of these bombings on the Japanese surrender that ended World War II. Not in doubt is that tens of thousands of Japanese civilians were intentionally targeted, and slaughtered or maimed by two small nuclear detonations.
In its 1996 Opinion, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) determined: “There exists an obligation to pursue in good faith and bring to a conclusion negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament in all its aspects under strict and effective international control.”
That same year, in 1996, the first meeting of the Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (CNANW) was held. CNANW’s 17 member organizations include faith communities, professional groups, peace research and women’s organizations – all of which work in various ways toward the abolition of nuclear weapons.
Today, nearly 13,000 nuclear warheads still remain, more than 90% of them belong to Russia and the United States. Average explosive yields are many times the destructive capacity of the bombs dropped over Japan in 1945.
Across the world, commemorative events are held to remind us of the terrible cost and ongoing dangers of nuclear arms races and the potential impact of even a limited nuclear missile exchange. Yet, the nine official and unofficial nuclear-armed states are intent on retaining, rebuilding and modernizing their warheads.
In Canada this week there are commemorative events in
Ottawa, Lantern Ceremony, Friday August 6, 7:30 PM (ET) 5th Avenue/Queen Elizabeth Driveway along the Rideau Canal.
Toronto, Hope for the Earth, August 6, 7:00 PM (ET)
Vancouver, Seaforth Peace Park Flame, August 6 from 6 to 7:30 PM.
(Cornwall and Burrard in Vancouver Centre)
Calgary, Peace Memorial Weekend, August 6-8 (Lantern Ceremony, Film Fest, Messages for Peace video)
Edmonton: Project Ploughshares’ annual commemoration of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, a webinar on Saturday, August 7th at 1 p.m (MT), with Cesar Jaramillo (Executive Director of Project Ploughshares), Hon. Douglas Roche, Kirsten Mosey and Paula Kirman, president of Project Ploughshares Edmonton.
Halifax: Nova Scotia Voice of Women have organized a bell ringing at City Hall from 11AM to Noon on August 6.
Canadian premiere of The Vow from Hiroshima screening
We encourage all to participate and to contribute in ways that speed us towards a world free of nuclear weapons.
“A good starting point would be the launching of a Commission on Rethinking Security, to hear expert and other views (both within and without Canada), but also to undertake relevant studies and reports, to take account of, and contribute to, the burgeoning analyses in this area.” Ceasefire Blog post
by Robin Collins and Dr. Sylvie Lemieux, Co-chairpersons, CNANW
A recent Nanos poll found 80% across-the-board support for nuclear weapon elimination. A strong 74% majority believe Canada should join the new Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (“the ban treaty” or TPNW), even if there is pressure from the United States to stay clear. Those results are no surprise. Similar enthusiasm is found in older polls, and in Canadian municipalities where Councils have supported “nuclear-weapons-free zones” for many years
In an International Committee of the Red Cross 2019 global survey, millennials (those born between 1980 and 1994) in the 16 countries polled, overwhelmingly (82%) oppose the use of all weapons of mass destruction – be they nuclear, biological, or chemical – in any circumstance.
And yet, almost half “believe nuclear weapons are an effective instrument of deterrence.”
How can this be?
There lingers a belief that possessing a nuclear arsenal may protect you from enemies. There is also a lack of political leadership countering this dangerous illusion.
For example, just recently the United Kingdom announced they would increase their Trident submarine nuclear warhead limit. There are also plans to “modernize” the arsenals of most nuclear-armed states, including Russia, the USA and China. Some militaries see these weapons as war-fighting options, or as an appropriate response to an overwhelming conventional weapon attack.
And the Canadian government has snubbed the new ban treaty. Rob Oliphant, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, said the ban is “inconsistent with Canada’s collective defence obligations” as a member of NATO. Within the Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, however, we point to NATO’s own policy in support of “eventual” nuclear weapons abolition. And Canada has options: Either sign the treaty while pushing back against alliance nuclear deterrence policy; or work harder for a nuclear weapons convention, as Canada did before. Get back in the game.
Canadian disarmament practice hasn’t always been so hesitant – over decades, leadership was shown on antipersonnel landmines, but also nuclear weapons policy. A resolution was supported by all members of the House of Commons and Senate as recently as 2010. It called on the government to “engage in negotiations for a nuclear weapons convention” and to “deploy a major world-wide Canadian diplomatic initiative” towards that end. Despite the all-party mandate, the last ten years saw little initiative by Canada.
There is, however, a new effort — that includes Canada — known as the Stockholm Initiative. Sixteen states are engaged, including ban supporters New Zealand, Indonesia and Kazakhstan, but also NATO members Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, and Spain, as well as two non-NATO nuclear umbrella states (South Korea and Japan). Will this be a fresh start?
“The initiative is positive in principle, but it is too soon to tell whether it will have any meaningful impact,” says Cesar Jaramillo, Executive Director of CNANW member group Project Ploughshares. “Efforts to reframe, rename and relaunch a series of steps or stones or blocks are also not new.” Canada should participate, and at the ministerial level, if this is to be a serious contribution.
Canada can also at minimum sit in as observer to the inaugural meeting of States Parties (likely in January 2022) of the new TPNW to show solidarity with the goals of its 122+ supporting or signatory states. This is also being considered by Germany.
A new global campaign for No First Use (NFU) of nuclear weapons has been established and encouraged the US and Russian leaders Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin at their bilateral meeting in Geneva to engage in talks to reduce nuclear risks. US President Biden is on record as questioning “first use” of nuclear weapons for the US. At the NATO summit of leaders this month, Canada had a chance to promote NFU for the alliance as a game-changing safer policy, but also as an early step towards nuclear weapon elimination.
This opens up the urgently needed discussion of alternatives to nuclear deterrence, a shift to sustainable common security for all peoples, and protection of the global environment. Canada needs to be there.
Regarding: Canada’s support for Nuclear Deterrence and the Right to Life
Article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
Submission by the Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (CNANW)
April 30, 2021
United Nations Human Rights Committee
Dear Human Rights Committee Members,
The Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (CNANW) offers as our submission to the Periodic Review of Canada our endorsement of the statement submitted by Canadian Pugwash Group on April 27, 2021. Our statement follows, attached.
On behalf of CNANW,
Robin Collins and Dr. Sylvie Lemieux
(Co-Chairpersons of CNANW)
Note: This effort was initiated by Alyn Ware and Basel Peace Office, among others.
A new poll shows significant support by Canadians for nuclear disarmament and for the new Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. But, the Chair of Canadian Pugwash Group, Paul Meyer writes, Ottawa refuses to support the treaty. Why is there such a disconnect between government policy and public preference?
A strong majority across Canada want the government to join the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, despite pressure it may face from the United States.
Link to the Nanos poll
Poll was sponsored by:
The Simons Foundation Canada, The Hiroshima Nagasaki Day Coalition and Le Collectif Échec à la guerre
The Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (CNANW) joins with other disarmament organizations critical of the nuclear weapons policy shift of the government of the United Kingdom.
CNANW Statement March 25, 2021
The Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (CNANW) joins with other disarmament organizations critical of the nuclear weapons policy shift of the government of the United Kingdom. The British defence and foreign policy review, “Global Britain in a Competitive Age”, would increase the number of nuclear weapons in the U.K. arsenal. It would also extend the declared purposes of nuclear deterrence to a wider range of perceived threats. Germany’s Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has cautioned that “there are already too many nuclear warheads in the world, not too few.” He added: “The past has shown that if one side has more nuclear weapons, the other side will try to catch up. And that is the disastrous arms race we have been in for decades.”
We urge the government of British Prime Minister Johnson to reverse these regressive and provocative steps as they are in violation of treaty obligations. They carry the inherent risk of re-fueling both a nuclear and conventional arms race.
Instead of reducing to a maximum of 180 nuclear warheads from the current 195, as previously promised, the new plan moves in the opposite direction by increasing the Trident-purposed arsenal to a new cap of 260 warheads. In contrast to limiting the scope of nuclear deterrence and moving towards full elimination as required by the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), the UK’s declared policy is being extended to “emerging technologies” and to a wider range of weapons of mass destruction.
Three former Canadian U.N. Disarmament Ambassadors quickly reacted to the U.K. policy shift.
The Honourable Douglas Roche O.C. stated that:
On February 26, 2020, the United Kingdom joined a unanimous statement by the U.N. Security Council calling on all states parties to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty to cooperate in nuclear disarmament measures. What happened to suddenly move the U.K. government to increase its nuclear arsenal by 40 percent? This appears to be the U.K. response to the entry into force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. So much for the humanitarian movement against nuclear weapons! Power politics rears its ugly head once more. This unconscionable act, which drives ahead the nuclear arms race, jeopardizes the success of the NPT Review Conference later this year. Canada must join Germany in criticizing the U.K.’s reckless act.
Peggy Mason, who heads the Rideau Institute, further said that:
The new UK defence policy reduces transparency in that country’s operational stockpile and deployed warheads. It also expands the circumstances in which it would use, or threaten to use, nuclear weapons against a non-nuclear weapon state party to the NPT, beyond weapons of mass destruction, to include threats from unspecified “emerging technologies” of “comparable impact”. It is hard to see these extraordinarily destabilizing actions as anything other than a desperately diminished post-Brexit Britain struggling to maintain some semblance of global prestige.
And Paul Meyer, who is also the Chair of the Canadian Pugwash Group, notes that:
At the last NPT Review Conference in 2015, the UK delivered a statement committing to limit operationally deployed warheads on its ballistic missile submarines to no more than 120 and to reduce its overall nuclear warhead stockpile to no more than 180 by the mid-2020s. The announced change in UK nuclear policy represents a betrayal of that pledge and sends the worst of all possible signals to the NPT community in the lead up to its August Review Conference. In 2015 the UK promised “to strive to build conditions for a world without nuclear weapons”. Doesn’t Prime Minister Johnson’s Government realize that increasing nuclear arsenals is not one of the ways to get to that goal?
CNANW joins many others in challenging the rationale of the UK’s decision. Whatever the political reasons for the redirection of official United Kingdom defence policy, CNANW sees the proposal as an affront to the entry into force of the two-month-old Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), and as a challenge to this year’s planned Review Conference deliberations for the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT).
We call on the Canadian government to clearly state its disappointment to its NATO ally, to urge caution and press Prime Minister Johnson to reverse the implementation of a policy that would lead to a more dangerous world with a greater likelihood of proliferation of nuclear weapons.
In these days of pandemics and other global stresses, the world requires sober and thoughtful vision, with leadership that pulls us together for shared mutual security and risk reduction goals. We need to avoid — not increase — global risks from dangerous, and regressive policy changes.
Robin Collins and Dr. Sylvie Lemieux
The Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (CNANW) was established in 1996 by representatives of national organizations that share the conviction that nuclear weapons are immoral and should be abolished.
Mr. Robin Collins, an active supporter of nuclear disarmament and global governance for more than 30 years, and Dr. Sylvie Lemieux, a retired Lieutenant-Colonel army engineer and public service executive, will jointly Co-Chair the Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, effective March 19, 2021.Continue reading “Robin Collins and Dr. Sylvie Lemieux Succeed Earl Turcotte as Co-Chairs of the Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (CNANW).”
Who in their wildest dreams would have thought that the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, would feel compelled earlier this month to plead with the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to deny access by an increasingly unstable president to the nuclear launch codes, for fear that he might order a nuclear strike? As if this were even possible, since, under U.S. law, no one can counter such an order by the commander in chief.Continue reading “So many words, but so little action on nuclear disarmament”
photo credit: OPANAL
On February 14, 2014, as the Second Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons came to an end, conference Chair Juan Manuel Gomez Robledo—then deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Mexico—captured the sentiment in the room in the powerful last few words of his closing remarks: in global efforts toward the elimination of nuclear weapons, this conference marked a “point of no return.” His optimistic conclusion was met with a roar of applause.
Read further: here
(text version below image version)
Earl Turcotte – Letter to The Hill TimeAs. Published in modified form on Nov. 2, 2020.
The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), negotiated in 2017 has been endorsed by 122 nations. Since that time, 50 nations have signed and ratified the Treaty, triggering its entry into force in 90 days.
While most of the world will celebrate this historic event, almost 75 years to the day after the UN’s first-ever resolution that called for the elimination of atomic weapons, the United States of America is doing its level best to sabotage the Treaty.
In a now widely circulated ‘non-paper’ sent to countries that have joined the TPNW, the US registers its outrage and requests that they withdraw from the Treaty. Why? Among the long list of reasons cited by the Americans, because “Russia and the Peoples Republic of China (PRC) are engaged in a nuclear arms buildup with the goal of military dominance that if left unimpeded, will result in a new nuclear arms race. Should they succeed, the result will be profoundly negative for the future of the democratic way of life… And let’s be frank: The TPNW will not stand in Russia’s or the PRC’s way in remaking the global order in their own cynical, autocratic image.”
Leave aside that China has approximately 300 nuclear weapons, compared to the US and Russia that have 6,000 each and that the US spends more on defence each year than the next 10 countries combined. It is precisely this kind of ham-fisted rhetoric, combined with the US’ own actions in recent years, that render nuclear disarmament a global imperative.
The United States itself triggered the new nuclear arms race when it announced that it would budget $1.5 Trillion dollars over the next 30 years to ‘modernize’ its nuclear arsenal. Donald Trump, in addition to increasing tension with adversaries and allies alike, has threatened “fire and fury” on North Korea, withdrawn from the nuclear deal with Iran and the Intermediate-range Nuclear forces Treaty with Russia, stated his intention to withdraw from the Open Skies Treaty and has not to date agreed to renew the critically important New START Treaty with Russia that will expire in February 2021 – despite repeated offers by Russia to extend the Treaty without preconditions.
While there is indeed cause for concern about an ascendant China and Mr. Putin’s clear longing for the glory days of the former USSR, it is lunacy to engage in this kind of brinkmanship. All hell could break loose – deliberately or accidentally – plunging the world into an existential crisis that could make a global pandemic feel like a day at the beach.
What to do? Looking (and praying) for change south of our border after November 3rd, Joe Biden has indicated that, if elected, he would try to scale back Trump’s buildup in nuclear weapons spending and would make the US less reliant upon the world’s deadliest weapons. There could be an opportunity here, to engage a more rational and mature administration in the United States. Either way, the rest of the world has to make it clear to all nuclear armed states that enough is enough! We’ve got to get rid of these damned weapons before they get rid of us!
Chair, Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons
Douglas Roche, October 30, 2020 in The Hill Times: In a subtle diplomatic move, the Government of Canada has ceased its opposition and now “acknowledges” the reason for the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which will enter into force on Jan. 22, 2021.
When someone that has survived a nuclear bomb gets to deliver the Nobel Peace Prize lecture, this is the message she wants the world to hear.
Help Setsuko Thurlow and ICAN finish the job – go to rise.icanw.org and pledge to support the survivors and the campaign that will ban and eliminate nuclear weapons for good
Video: Ari Beser’s Goss Grove Films
For the full Nobel ceremony: