The Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons | Le Réseau canadien pour l’abolition des armes nucléaires

Attending First Meeting of States Parties to TPNW: Additional Signatories to CNANW Oct 28 Letter/Signataires supplémentaires de la lettre CNANW du 28 octobre, 2021

  • Letter in English
  • Lettre in French

    Additional Organizational Signatories/Organisation Signataires

    Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, Anjali Helferty, Executive Director
    Coalition for Responsible Energy Development in New Brunswick, Susan O’Donnell
    Concerned Citizens of Manitoba, Dave Taylor
    Conseil central du Montréal métropolitain – CSN, Dominique Daigneault, Président
    Council of Canadians (PEI Chapter), Nouhad Mourad
    The Island Peace Committee, (PEI) Tony Reddin
    National Council of Women of Canada, Patricia Leson, President
    Nova Scotia Voice of Women for Peace, Nancy Covington
    Ontario Clean Air Alliance, Angela Bischoff
    Parkdale United Church, Calgary
    People for Peace, (London, Ontario), David Heap
    Ploughshares Calgary Society
    Pontiac Environment Protection, (Quebec) Deborah Powell, President
    Religions pour la Paix – Québec, Pascale Frémond
    The Saskatoon Peace Coalition, Michael Murphy, Chairperson
    Sierra Club Canada Foundation, Ole Hendrickson

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)
Brydon Gombay
Patrick Groulx, retired
Paul Hanley, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Jo Hayward-Haines
John O’Brian, Professor Emeritus, UBC
Nessa Spurel

CNANW Letter to Prime Minister Trudeau: Canada can join Norway and attend first TPNW meeting

[Aussi, en français:]

Rt. Hon. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
Minister of Foreign Affairs Mélanie Joly
Minister of Defence Anita Anand

October 28, 2021

Canada can join Norway and attend first TPNW meeting

Dear Mr. Prime Minister, Madame Foreign Minister and Madame Defence Minister,

This month the Government of Norway announced that it will attend the first Meeting of States Parties to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (1MSP-TPNW) in Vienna (22-24 March 2022) as an Observer. This is welcome news and an indication that, within NATO, States in support of the abolition of nuclear weapons can work together towards that goal whether or not they are signatories to the TPNW. This commitment to dialogue is a particularly important signal to Canada’s new government in the lead up to the Tenth Review Conference of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) in January 2022.

A recent Nanos poll indicates that 80% of Canadians support nuclear weapons elimination; 74% believe Canada should join the new Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, even if there is pressure from the United States to stay clear. 

The Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (CNANW) encourages Canada to also commit, as Norway has done, to attending the TPNW States parties meeting as an Observer. Our government can make an early and clear statement to this effect and encourage other NATO members to also attend. CNANW supports Canada acceding to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons or to a new comprehensive Nuclear Weapons Convention that will achieve the same stated goal: the total elimination of nuclear weapons.

Canada is able to sign and ratify the TPNW while a member of NATO as long as our government disassociates Canada from NATO’s existing nuclear deterrence doctrine. As recommended unanimously by the House of Commons Standing Committee on National Defence in its 2018 report, Canada can take “a leadership role within NATO in beginning the work necessary for achieving the NATO goal of “creating the conditions for a world free of nuclear weapons.”

As members of the Stockholm Initiative, Canada and Norway are also well placed to work together within NATO to develop a cohort of alliance members engaged in challenging nuclear deterrence policy, during the alliance’s current review of its “Strategic Concept” slated to be adopted at the next NATO Summit in June 2022.

The new government in Canada has a fresh opportunity to work with like-minded States and middle powers, such as Norway and others, and to revitalize our traditional disarmament credentials. The nuclear weapons threat demands measurable progress on nuclear non-proliferation and arms control, and towards the elimination of nuclear weapons. CNANW expects to see early concrete action in this direction from our government, in keeping with the wishes of most Canadians, and we stand ready to assist in achieving this common objective.


Robin Collins and Dr. Sylvie Lemieux, Co-Chairpersons
Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons
Le Réseau canadien pour l’abolition des armes nucléaires

and the following member organizations:
Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility – Gordon Edwards, President
Canadian Disarmament Information Service  – Metta Spencer, Chairperson
Canadian Peace Research Association – Erika Simpson, President
Canadian Pugwash Group – Cesar Jaramillo, Chair
Canadian Voice of Women for Peace – Nancy Covington and Lyn Adamson
Friends for Peacebuilding and Conflict Prevention – Richard Denton
The Group of 78 – Roy Culpeper, Chair
Hiroshima Nagasaki Day Coalition, Mary-Ellen Francoeur
International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War Canada – Jonathan Down, President
Project Ploughshares – Cesar Jaramillo, Executive Director
Religions for Peace Canada – Pascale Frémond, President
Rideau Institute – Peggy Mason, President
Science for Peace – Arnd Jurgensen
World Federalist Movement–Canada – Alexandre MacIsaac, Executive Director

Additional Signatories: organizations and individuals

Response to CNANW Letter by Office of The Prime Minister: here

Response of Office of the Prime Minister to CNANW Letter of October 28 re: Canada attending 1MSP to TPNW

From: Prime Minister | Premier Ministre <>
Date: Wed., Nov. 3, 2021, 3:45 p.m.
Subject: Office of the Prime Minister / Cabinet du Premier ministre
To: <>
Cc: Anita Anand <>, Mélanie Joly <>

Dear Robin Collins and Dr. Sylvie Lemieux:

On behalf of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, I would like to acknowledge receipt of your correspondence of October 28, 2021, regarding the first Meeting of states parties to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

Thank you for taking the time to write. Please be assured that your comments, offered on behalf of the Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, have been carefully reviewed.

I note that you have also addressed your correspondence to the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the Honourable Anita Anand, Minister of National Defence. While the Prime Minister appreciates being made aware of your letter, he will leave the matter you raise to be considered by the Ministers.

Once again, thank you for writing to the Prime Minister.

H. Clancy
Executive Correspondence Officer/
  Agente de correspondance
Executive Correspondence Services/
  Services de la correspondance de la haute direction

2021 Canadian Call to Action on Nuclear Disarmament, Letter to Prime Minister and Media Release

Please find below a letter to the Prime Minister from the Canadian Network
to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, a formal *Call to Action on Nuclear
,* and a media release that provides context.

To: Prime Minister Trudeau,

cc. Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of National Defence

January 21, 2021

Dear Prime Minister,

Earlier this month the world witnessed the storming of the US Capitol building; civil unrest fomented at least in part by one particular man’s desire to overturn the results of what was widely seen to be a free and fair election.  

So worrisome was the behaviour of Mr. Trump in the dying days of his presidency, that the leader of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, felt compelled to plead with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to deny access by the President to the nuclear launch codes, for fear that he might order a nuclear strike.

The terrifying reality is that a handful of world leaders continue to hold the fate of the world in their hands. One accident, one miscalculation or one tragically misguided impulse and everything could spin out of control, bringing an end to life on Earth as we know it. 

We pray that developments of late, and the ongoing existential threat posed by nuclear weapons, generate an appetite for greater action by Canada on the world stage.  

The Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons offers the attached Call to Action on Nuclear Disarmament for your and your Cabinet colleagues’ consideration. 

We urge your Government to act as though another nuclear event were imminent – as it very well could be. 


The CNANW Steering Committee
Earl Turcotte (Chair)
Bev Delong (Past Chair)
Rob Acheson (Treasurer)
Mr. Cesar Jaramillo 
Dr. Adele Buckley
Dr. Nancy Covington
Dr. Jonathan Down

Canadian Call to Action on Nuclear Disarmament

Sponsored by the Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons*

On the historic occasion of,

The Entry Into Force of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons;

And less than 6 months after:

The 75th Anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, that killed more than 200,000 people,

The 75th Anniversary of the founding of the United Nations whose stated purpose is to “save succeeding generations from the scourge of war…” and whose first

Resolution sought the elimination of atomic weapons,

And the 50th Anniversary of the entry into force of the Treaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons that binds almost all of the world’s nations,

The Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons respectfully submits to the Government of Canada the following Call to Action on Nuclear Disarmament:


Nuclear weapons present an existential threat to humanity and to our planet;

Use of even 1% of the global nuclear arsenal of approximately 13,400 nuclear weapons could result in a loss of millions of lives immediately and billions more from radiation and starvation as a result of ensuing nuclear winter;

Nuclear-armed states have embarked on a new nuclear arms race under the banner of ‘modernization’, including the development of new types of, and new roles for nuclear weapons;

Recent technological developments including missiles that can travel more than 20 times the speed of sound, vulnerability to cyber-attack and the deployment of tactical nuclear weapons, have increased the likelihood of their deliberate or accidental use;

At least two nuclear-armed states retain a first-strike option;

Several non-nuclear armed states including Iran, Saudi Arabia and South Korea have indicated that they too could pursue nuclear weapons capability;

Non-state actors including Daesch and Al Qaeda have pledged to acquire nuclear weapons;

There has been dramatic deterioration of the nuclear arms treaty regime in recent years including:

• US withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) agreement with Iran;

• US and Russian withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty;

• US and announced Russian withdrawal from the Open Skies Treaty;

• US refusal to date to extend the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) set to expire in February of this year;

• refusal of all nuclear armed states to participate in the negotiation of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) that has been endorsed by 122 other states and enters into force, today;

• failure for half a century to fulfill the legally binding obligation contained in Article VI of the Treaty on the Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) to “pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective intentional control”;

And Given,

The ever-present risk of human miscalculation or accident that have brought the world terrifyingly close to the brink of nuclear disaster many times over the past 75 years; and

The dangerously high level of tension between and among nuclear-armed states;

Resulting In,

The hands of the Doomsday Clock, being set, on January 23, 2020, at 100 seconds to Midnight, the closest to ‘Doomsday’ since it was created by atomic scientists in 1947;

We, citizens of Canada, call upon the Government of Canada, on an urgent basis, to:

Act upon the motion adopted unanimously in the House of Commons and the Senate in 2010 that “encourages the Government of Canada to engage in negotiations for a nuclear weapons convention as proposed by the United Nations Secretary General, and to deploy a major world-wide Canadian diplomatic initiative in support of preventing nuclear proliferation and increasing the rate of nuclear disarmament”.

In so doing, the Government of Canada should, inter alia:

1. Welcome the Entry Into Force of the historic Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, accede to this Treaty at the earliest possible date and actively promote its universalization;

2. Allow a full Parliamentary debate on Canada’s role in advancing nuclear disarmament throughout the world, to enable Canadians to hear from all political parties on this critically important issue;

3. Conduct formal hearings in the House of Commons Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development to enable Canadians citizens with extensive knowledge and expertise to advise on ways that Canada can more effectively facilitate nuclear disarmament;

4. Announce to NATO allies and to the world that nuclear disarmament shall be among the highest priorities for Canada. Then, work closely with the UN Secretary General and his officials, like-minded nations and civil society to achieve the goal of the total elimination of nuclear weapons;

5. Disassociate Canada from NATO’s nuclear security doctrine and “take a leadership role within NATO in beginning the work necessary for achieving the NATO goal of creating the conditions for a world free of nuclear weapons”, as recommended unanimously by the House of Commons Standing Committee on National Defence in 2018;

6. Press all nuclear-armed states to undertake the following:

• commit to a ‘no first use’ nuclear weapons policy and remove all nuclear weapons from ‘high-alert’ status;

• cease all efforts and activities toward the modernization and expansion of nuclear arsenals and decommission and destroy nuclear weapons within their possession or control as soon as possible;

• urge the US and Russia to reinstate the INF Treaty and extend the New START Treaty indefinitely;

• universalize the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and act upon the obligations contained in Article VI to pursue good faith negotiations toward nuclear disarmament;

• either become party to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons or, failing this, commence negotiation on a new comprehensive Nuclear Weapons Convention that will achieve the same stated goal on an urgent basis: the total elimination of nuclear weapons;

• cease the production of all weapons-grade fissile material, place it under effective international control and undertake a comprehensive program to deplete it;

• establish an effective system of verification to ensure compliance with key obligations, on an ongoing basis.

We further urge the Government of Canada to:

7. Press nations that host the nuclear weapons of other states on their territory to cease doing so, as Canada itself did almost 4 decades ago;

8. Call upon non-nuclear armed states throughout the world to employ all available non-military means – political, diplomatic, economic, etc. – to dramatically increase pressure on nuclear armed states to eliminate their nuclear arsenals at the earliest possible date;

9. Support the creation of additional Nuclear Weapons-Free Zones, in particular in the Middle East and in the Arctic; and

10. Adopt and promote throughout the world a new paradigm of national security based upon the principle of sustainable common security for all states and all peoples.


Another nuclear event could occur at any time. Unlike global pandemics, preventing nuclear catastrophe is fully within human control. We must act NOW to rid the world of this ultimate existential threat and to preserve our planet for succeeding generations.

January 22, 2021
For additional information or comment, contact Earl Turcotte, Chair, CNANW at: or telephone at 613-839-2777

Media Release

Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons Releases

Call to Action on Nuclear Disarmament – 2021

On the occasion of the Entry Into Force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) on January 22nd, the Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (CNANW) has released a new Call to Action on Nuclear Disarmament – 2021. (See attached text)

Included in this ‘Call’ is a request that the Government of Canada establish nuclear disarmament as a foreign policy priority and to allow parliamentary debate and Standing Committee Hearings on Canada’s role in advancing global nuclear disarmament.

The CNANW also calls upon Canada to accede to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons which is an historic milestone in the global campaign to rid the world of nuclear weapons.


The Treaty:

Negotiated in 2017, the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons has been endorsed by 122 States in the UN General Assembly. It currently has 86 signatories, 51 of which have ratified.

The minimum threshold of 50 ratifications to trigger Entry Into Force 90 days later, was achieved on October 25, 2020. Thus, the Treaty will become legally binding on all States Party to it on January 22, 2021.


Upon the announcement of the 50th ratification, United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres observed that the Entry Into Force of this Treaty will be “the culmination of a worldwide movement to draw attention to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons. It represents a meaningful commitment toward the total elimination of nuclear weapons, which remains the highest disarmament priority of the United Nations.”

The President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Mr. Peter Mauer, said that “For too long, we have looked to the past for guidance on what to do about nuclear weapons. We have witnessed how the dangerous logic of nuclear deterrence repeatedly has led the world to the brink of unimaginable destruction, threatening the very survival of humankind…. (This) is a victory for humanity”.

The Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, regrets that all nine nuclear-armed states and their allies – including Canada – boycotted negotiation of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, and continue to denounce it. NATO claims that the TPNW could undermine the 1970 Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT), despite the fact that the NPT itself contains a legally binding provision to “pursue good faith measures leading to general and complete nuclear disarmament under strict and effective international control.”

The majority of the world’s nations and many in civil society contend that the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons is in fact complementary to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and a major step forward in the global campaign to prevent nuclear catastrophe.

Key Provisions of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons

The Treaty prohibits under any circumstances, the development, production, testing, manufacture, acquisition, stockpiling, transfer, use or threat of use of nuclear weapons or other nuclear devices. It further prohibits assisting, encouraging or inducing the activities mentioned, including disallowing the stationing, installation or deployment of nuclear weapons on territory of or under the control of a state party to the Treaty.

It requires States party in a position to do so to assist the victims of use of nuclear weapons in Japan and of more than 2,000 nuclear tests conducted in various locations since 1945, including environmental remediation.

Also included is the obligation to encourage states not party to accede to the Treaty with the ultimate goal of universal adherence by all States.

States Party to the Treaty will identify a competent international authority to ensure and verify that all provisions of the treaty are upheld, including the immediate removal from operational status of nuclear weapons of any State Party, and their elimination within a time-bound deadline.

In sum, the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons imposes on States Party to it, comprehensive and categorical prohibitions, positive obligations and measures for the verified, time-bound and irreversible elimination of nuclear weapons. For additional information, please contact Earl Turcotte, Chair of the Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons at or by telephone at 613-839-2777.

Lettre ouverte au Premier ministre Justin Trudeau

PDF  En & Fr

Le désarmement nucléaire: une forte position canadienne requise

Lettre ouverte au Premier ministre Justin Trudeau
cc. Membres du Parlement et sénateurs

le 15 mai 2019

Cher Premier Ministre,

Le risque grandissant de catastrophe nucléaire nécessite une urgente action de prévention. Car considérons les développements récents :

  • détérioration marquée des relations Est/Ouest, en particulier entre la Russie et l’OTAN;
  • retrait américain de l’entente nucléaire avec l’Iran;
  • retrait imminent des États-Unis et de la Russie du Traité des Armes Nucléaires à portée Intermédiaire (INF);
  • possibilité réduite d’arriver en 2021 au renouvellement du New START;
  • tension accrue entre deux pays nucléarisés, l’Inde et le Pakistan;
  • possible résurgence du programme nucléaire de la Corée du Nord;
  • risque grandissant de voir l’Arabie saoudite et/ou d’autres états s’armer de bombes nucléaires;
  • développement de bombes nucléaires tactiques et de systèmes de missiles hypersoniques;
  • vulnérabilité grandissante face à des cyber-attaques;
  • risque de voir des bombes nucléaires ou du matériel radioactif tomber entre les mains d’acteurs non-étatiques.

Ceci survient dans le contexte d’une nouvelle course à l’armement nucléaire, précipitée en grande partie par l’allocation américaine de $1.5 mille milliards pour ‘moderniser’ son arsenal nucléaire dans les prochains trente ans.

Le Bulletin des Savants Atomiques vient de régler son horloge de la fin du monde à minuit moins deux minutes, l’échéance la plus rapprochée depuis le pire moment de la Guerre Froide. L’humanité fait face à une réelle possibilité qu’à chaque moment, une folie humaine, un mauvais calcul ou un accident nucléaire puisse mettre fin à la vie sur terre ou même à la planète elle-même.

Le Canada est en position d’aider à empêcher cela.

Comme vous le savez, au début des années 80, votre père s’était personnellement engagé dans une campagne internationale de « suffocation » des armes nucléaires; et au cours des années récentes, nos parlementaires de toutes allégeances ont fortement appuyé ce genre d’actions. En 2010, une motion a reçu l’appui unanime de tous les membres du Parlement canadien (Sénat et Chambre des Communes):

« incitant le gouvernement du Canada à participer aux négociations en vue d’une Convention sur la sécurité  nucléaire…  et  à  mettre  en  œuvre  une  importante initiative diplomatique canadienne à l’échelle mondiale en prévention de  la  prolifération nucléaire et en accroissement du taux de désarmement nucléaire. »

Le 18 juin 2018, le Comité permanent de la Défense nationale de la Chambre des Communes a fait la recommandation suivante, appuyée par tous les partis:

« Que le Gouvernement du Canada exerce un rôle de leadership à l’intérieur de l’OTAN pour commencer le travail nécessaire à réussir la volonté de l’OTAN de créer les conditions pour un monde libre d’armes nucléaires…

 Et pourtant le Canada a travaillé en marge des problématiques et a boycotté les négociations qui ont mené au Traité de Prohibition des Armes Nucléaires (TPNW), une percée historique appuyée à l’Assemblée Générale de l’ONU du 7 juillet 2017 par cent vingt-deux autres nations.

Membre du G7, du G20 et de l’OTAN, ainsi qu’allié constant des Nations-Unies, le Canada pourrait faire bien davantage.

Le monde a désespérément besoin d’un ‘champion’ en désarmement nucléaire – un leader national qui, jouissant d’une position privilégiée, lui permettra de jouer un rôle déterminant auprès du Secrétaire général des Nations-Unies – pour inciter fortement les pays dotés d’armes nucléaires de renverser l’actuelle course à l’armement nucléaire en renouvelant et en raffermissant leur adhésion aux traités INF et new START, en signant et en ratifiant le Traité de Prohibition des Armes Nucléaires, ou en négociant une nouvelle et complémentaire Convention de Sécurité Nucléaire en état d’accomplir le but ultime – une dénucléarisation mondiale.

Nous croyons que vous pourriez être cette personne, monsieur le Premier Ministre.

Car nous avons espoir que vous seriez en mesure de mener la cause du désarmement nucléaire mondial, comme vous aviez bien entrepris en 2015 celle de la lutte au changement climatique -, l’autre grande menace à notre existence.

Le temps presse et les enjeux sont immenses.

Veuillez agréer cette expression de nos sentiments sincères,

Earl Turcotte, Président, Réseau canadien pour l’abolition de l’arme nucléaire (CNANW)

co-signataires :

Hon. Douglas Roche OC, Président fondateur du Le Réseau canadien pour l’abolition des armes nucléaires

Beverley J. Tollefson Delong, ex-Présidente, Le Réseau canadien pour l’abolition des armes nucléaires

Paul Meyer, Président, Les Conférences Pugwash Canada

Normand Beaudet, Fondateur, Centre de Ressources sur la Non-Violence

Roy Culpepper, Président, Groupe des 78

André Michel, Président-national, Les Artistes pour la Paix Jonathan Down, Co-Président, Médecins pour la Survie Mondiale Pascale Frémond, Présidente, Religions pour la Paix

Peggy Mason, Présidente, Institut Rideau

Rob Acheson, Président, Comité sur les armes nucléaires, Science pour la Paix

Kathryn White, Présidente et Directrice Générale, Association canadienne pour les Nations Unies

Fergus Watt, Directeur exécutif, Mouvement fédéraliste mondial – Canada