(Updated) Fifteen peace organizations across Canada issued the following statement in light of the Canadian government’s boycott of the recent UN Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty negotiations, and the upcoming commemoration of the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki (August 6th & 9th, 1945). The statement commends Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal, for issuing statements “In the spirit of keeping the lessons of history alive.”
Vancouver has issued proclamations declaring Hiroshima Memorial Day for Aug. 6, 2017 and Nagasaki Memorial Day Aug. 9, 2017. (See Wikipedia for short history on bombs dropped there.) The peace groups’ statement quotes Vancouver’s declaration “to remember the devastation of these Japanese cities in 1945, and to renew our commitment to remove the threat posed by nuclear weapons, here and everywhere.”
Everything is connected. Vancouver, B.C., is only about 500 km from where the material for bomb dropped in Nagasaki was produced. The Hanford site is still a major nuclear hazard. The government is still trying to deal with the nuclear waste to this day. See “How safe is Vancouver from (Hanford, Washington State) plutonium finishing plant tunnel collapse today? (May 9, 2017).”
End Our World’s 72 Year Nuclear Misadventure
On the 72nd anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, peace activists across Canada are calling out the Canadian government for its recent boycott of the United Nations negotiations on the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. The treaty was approved by non-nuclear nations on July 7 on a vote of 122-1 with one abstention.
“We feel like we are back in the recent era, behaving like an embarrassing dinosaur on the international stage,” the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (Canadian Section), said in a statement. The group went on to add, “Although Canada’s international record in pressing for nuclear disarmament has been weak at the UN and the Geneva Conference on Disarmament, which our international office actively monitors, Canada was the first nuclear-capable country to renounce nuclear weapons and has historically been an active participant in any such negotiations.”
Poll after poll, going back decades, shows that the vast majority of Canadians strongly oppose nuclear weapons. It is therefore baffling that the “Canada is Back” government of Justin Trudeau chose to abandon the rest of the world on an issue of such vital importance to Canadians and people around the world.
The bomb dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, set in motion not just an atomic chain reaction, but a chain reaction of consequences that continue to threaten our planet even without another nuclear detonation.
Nuclear waste from the Fukushima disaster, Hanford, WA, Chernobyl and a myriad of other nuclear accidents and spills, remain deadly and difficult to contain for centuries to come. Yet, we continue to do business-as-usual with nuclear-weapons and nuclear-power production, generating deadly nuclear by-products that we have no safe method to store.
The nuclear age has shed a spotlight on our species’ alarming lack of wisdom. We know from the recent Nuclear Famine Report by Physicians for Social Responsibility and the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War that the humanitarian consequences of even a small, limited, regional nuclear war are far worse than previously imagined.
We have left a trail of destruction from Hiroshima to Fukushima and beyond.
In the spirit of keeping the lessons of history alive the Mayor of Vancouver, Gregor Robertson, has issued two proclamations declaring Hiroshima Memorial Day for Aug. 6, 2017 and Nagasaki Memorial Day Aug. 9, 2017, “to remember the devastation of these Japanese cities in 1945, and to renew our commitment to remove the threat posed by nuclear weapons, here and everywhere.”
A similar proclamation has been issued by Toronto Mayor, John Tory (click here), and Montreal Mayor, Denis Coderre, has organized a memorial for Hiroshima (Montreal’s twin city) to be held on August 5th, 2017 at 19 h 15, the precise moment that a similar ceremony will be held in Hiroshima. The ceremony is to be held in the Japanese garden by the peace clock – a gift from Hiroshima – that signifies the eternal commitment to friendship and peace between the two cities.
We commend the cities of Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal, and call for Canada to rejoin the international community, and put an end to the 72 year-long nuclear misadventure that threatens life on our planet if the use of the weapons doesn’t extinguish it first.
Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom
Physicians for Global Survival
Hamilton Coalition to Stop The War
Toronto Hiroshima Nagasaki Day Coalition
les Artistes pour la Paix (Montreal)
Denman Island Peace Group
Ploughshares Calgary Society
Canadian Voice of Women for Peace
Science for Peace
Vancouver Island Peace and Disarmament Network
Additional sign-ons as of 4-Aug-2017
Canadian Peace Initiative
Toronto Association for Peace and Solidarity
Canadian Peace Congress
Victoria – Council of Canadians
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Contact: Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (Canadian Section)