Peace, still a Canadian value?

Artistes pour la Paix and Pugwash Canada (author Pierre Jasmin) 2017-03-23

Canada has gained respect throughout the world for choosing to work for the common good and real democracy, rather than follow the paths of militarism, colonialism and corporate domination. For example:

  • The 1957 Nobel Peace Prize awarded to Lester B. Pearson’s vision of the UN blue helmets;
  • 1957, also: The first meeting of the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs hosted in Nova Scotia by Canadian millionnaire Cyrus Eaton; Pugwash and Rotblat will receive the 1995 Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts against global nuclear arms’ threat;
  • 1961: Foundation by the Alcocks of the Canadian Peace Research InstituteCPRI;
  • 1963: John Diefenbaker’s opposition to Canada’s acquisition of nuclear weapons;
  • 1967: a rare example of government generosity toward arts and sciences creating Expo’67 Man and his world in Montreal, with great international attendance and attention;
  • 1978: Pierre Elliott Trudeau’s contribution to the United Nations First Special Session on Disarmament, in which he proposed his audacious strategy of suffocation of armaments;
  • 1984: from Performing Artists for Nuclear Disarmament (Harry Belafonte & Liv Ullmann), foundation of les Artistes pour la Paix under the presidency of Jean-Louis Roux;
  • 1990: despite the opposition of Thatcher and Reagan, Brian Mulroney obtaining the release of Nelson Mandela after 27 years of imprisonment: he will then overcome apartheid and become the first real South African president;
  • 1995: Canadian general De Chastelain disarms paramilitary militias (Ian Paisley & Gerry Adams) bringing with the help of Mairead Maguire (Nobel Peace Prize 1976) peace to Northern Ireland at a cost a thousand times inferior to the Canadian military expeditions that were sent to no avail in Afghanistan;
  • Jean Chretien’s bringing about the Ottawa Treaty banning anti-personnel mines (Nobel Prize 1997) and helping Canadian diplomat Philippe Kirsch in establishing in 1998 the World Criminal Court (The Hague, Netherlands);
  • Canadian officer Scott Cairns’ supervision of disarming Syria’s Bachar al-Assad’s arsenal of chemical weapons, under the auspices of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), awarded the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize;
  • 2015: L’élanglobal.org, a Quebec movement of 42,000 people, precedes the Leap Manifesto (signed by Naomi Klein and many Canadian Authors in September), both establishing ambitious targets for the December Paris Climate Summit;
  • Present direction of nuclear weapons’ and military expenditures’ programs by Canadians Tarik Rauf & Aude Fleurant for the *Stockholm International Peace Research Institute *(SIPRI);
  • Pugwashite Murray Thomson and 940 members of The Order of Canada, Canadians for a Nuclear Weapons Convention, ask the Canadian Government to join with 135 countries, 7000 Mayors for Peace and the UN secretary General to negotiate the abolition of nuclear weapons (New York, March 27).

Alas, with the exceptions of his liberal welcoming attitude toward Canada’s First Nations and to war refugees, Justin Trudeau’s government seems to be in denial of Canadian values:

  1. In the pursuit of many dark policies of Stephen Harper
  2. Through military expenditures1 supporting anti-Russian NATO policies
  3. Through approving oil pipelines that transgress aboriginal territory and aggravate global warming with the spread of heavily governmentally subsidized tar-bituminous petroleum;
  4. By selling armored vehicles to Saudi Arabia, a country in war with Yemen and a primary source of ideological (salafist) support of jihadist terror;
  5. Through complicity with the USA, NATO and Russia against the efforts of the United Nations to abolish nuclear weapons.

1 Defence minister Sajjan has in preparation a Trumpian extension of the 22nd of March 2017 Canadian budget, without even acknowledging the disastrous consequences of the Libyan NATO bombings led by general Bouchard in 2011; Trudeau will of course have the choice of refusing this costly extension…