LETTER: Canada dragging its heels on nuclear ban

"Thousands of nuclear weapons remain on alert, ready to be fired at a moment’s notice, intentionally or even accidentally."

“Hiroshima and Nagasaki are the most unspeakable crimes in history.” — Noam Chomsky

On Aug. 6, 1945, the US dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan, and three days later another bomb on Nagasaki. More than 100,000 people were killed instantly, and later from horrible burns and radiation sickness. Death, destruction and human suffering were the legacies.

Seventy years later, nuclear weapons remain a constant threat. Thousands of nuclear weapons remain on alert, ready to be fired at a moment’s notice, intentionally or even accidentally.

Most nations, including Canada, signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in 1970, agreeing to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and to work towards eliminating them. Since then, the number of nations with nuclear weapons has nearly doubled, and there is still no timetable to eliminate nuclear weapons.

The answer seems clear: there must be a global ban on the development, possession, testing and use of nuclear weapons, with specific provisions for the actual elimination of nuclear weapons and a timetable for implementation. Unfortunately, Canada is dragging its heels on this issue and remains committed to first strike and pre-emptive doctrines.

The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons is a global campaign coalition working to mobilize people in all countries to pressure and persuade their governments to initiate and support a treaty banning nuclear weapons.

The campaign calls on state and society to acknowledge that any use of nuclear weapons would cause catastrophic humanitarian and environmental harm; acknowledge that there is a universal humanitarian imperative to ban nuclear weapons; acknowledge that nuclear armed states such as Canada have an obligation to eliminate their nuclear weapons completely; and take immediate action to support a multilateral process for a treaty banning these weapons. Prominent individuals such as Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama have lent their support to this campaign.

Finally, I would like to quote Isaiah 2:4: “And  they shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.”

KAIROS is an ecumenical organization working for peace, environmental justice and human rights in Canada and the world.

Sandra Hartline

KAIROS Representative

Kootenay Subregion

Just Posted

Selkirk College students protest proposed tuition increases

Sudents’ union says this year’s 2 per cent increase puts education out of reach for some

Nelson project funds rural schools in Nepal

Mountain trekker David Swain runs the Altitude Project

Trail area homicide investigation continues

Jan. 14 marked one year since Jordan Workman was discovered in the trunk of a burnt car

Leafs, Nitehawks settle for 4-4 tie

Nelson is now unbeaten in nine straight games

Former ski champ and MLA’s son hope to open Castlegar cannabis store next month

Felix Belczyk and Ben Conroy are in the approval process for local Spiritleaf outlet

UPDATE: B.C. legislature managers accused of excessive travel, personal expense claims

Clerk Craig James, security chief Gary Lenz call allegations ‘completely false’

B.C. man fined $10,000 after leaving moose to suffer before death

Surrey man was convicted last week on three Wildlife Act charges

‘Blue Monday’ isn’t real, but depression can be

CMHA encourages people to prioritize their mental health

Anti-pipeline group wants NEB to consider impact of emissions, climate change

Stand.earth filed NEB motion asking to apply same standard to the project as it did with Energy East pipeline

B.C. man charged in 2014 snake venom death of toddler

Henry Thomas was taking care of the North Vancouver girl the day before she died

Parole granted for drunk driver who killed B.C. RCMP officer

Kenneth Jacob Fenton will be able to attend alcohol abuse treatment, nearly three years after crash that killed Const. Sarah Beckett

B.C.’s largest public-sector union wants inquiry into money laundering, drugs

Union officials say Premier John Horgan and Attorney General David Eby have not ruled out the possibility of a public inquiry

Teen in confrontation with Native American: I didn’t provoke

Nick Sandmann of Covington Catholic High School said he was trying to defuse the situation

New military armoury opens in Cranbrook

Military presence in the Key City a part of the 44th Engineer Squadron

Most Read