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

Dr. Jonathan Down new Chairperson of CNANW


Dr. Jonathan Down succeeds Dr. Sylvie Lemieux and Mr. Robin Collins as Chairperson of the Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons 

Dr. Jonathan Down, an active supporter of nuclear disarmament for more than 30 years, will serve as chairperson of the Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, effective March 31, 2024.

He replaces Robin Collins and Sylvie Lemieux who served as Co-Chairpersons for a period of three years. Highlights of their work include the promotion of, and outreach for, a Peace Table for Ukraine and Russia and several important Roundtables generating focused recommendations to the Government of Canada, especially on reduction of nuclear weapon risks.

The nomination of Dr. Down, presented by former Senator and Ambassador for Disarmament, the Honourable Douglas Roche O.C., Chairperson of the CNANW Search Committee, was unanimously approved by the CNANW Steering Committee and endorsed by the 17 member organizations of the Network.

Dr Jonathan Down is a recently retired Developmental Paediatrician and lives in Victoria, BC. He became a member of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War in 1986, the same year he founded a local chapter of Project Ploughshares in Manotick, Ontario where he was then living. As did many, he had expected that the fall of the Berlin Wall and the dissolution of the USSR would eventually lead to peace and the elimination of nuclear weapons.

Dr. Down, together with Dr Mary-Wynne Ashford, formed a teaching partnership in Victoria giving peace talks in local high schools and community venues, and gathered support for the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (the Ban Treaty). Their work was acknowledged by the 2019 Distinguished Achievement Award from Canadians for a Nuclear Weapons Convention. Dr. Down was President of IPPNW Canada from 2019-2023 and remains on the Board.

The outgoing Co-Chairpersons of the CNANW, Sylvie Lemieux and Robin Collins,  remarked that “Dr. Down has already brought us much leadership in the disarmament field, and contributed a great deal to our network over the years. We are now happy to pass the baton over to him.”

The new Chairperson will continue to receive the support of Dr. Lemieux and Mr. Collins, together with the steadfast advice of Bev Delong, who remains a lifetime member of the Network’s Steering Committee.

Other Steering Committee members are Dr. Nancy Covington, Dr. Arnd Jurgensen, Mr. Cesar Jaramillo, Dr. John Guilfoyle, Dr. Richard Denton, and Dr. Erika Simpson.

The member organizations of the CNANW are:
Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility
Project Save the World (publishers of Peace Magazine)
Canadian Federation of University Women
Canadian Voice of Women for Peace
Canadian Peace Research Association
Canadian Pugwash Group
Friends for Peacebuilding and Conflict Prevention
Group of 78
Hiroshima Nagasaki Day Coalition
International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War Canada
Project Ploughshares
Religions for Peace Canada
Rideau Institute
Science for Peace
United Nations Association in Canada
Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (Canada section)
World Federalist Movement – Canada


Contact CNANW by email:
The CNANW is a project of Canadian Pugwash Group.

CNANW: “We believe that the use and threat of use of nuclear weapons are abhorrent and morally wrong. We call on the Government of Canada to work urgently with other nations to conclude a Convention which will set out a binding timetable for the abolition of all nuclear weapons in the world.”


PDF (in English): CNANW Chair Dr. J Down Announcement
PDF (en français): RCAN Dr. J Down Annonce