The Vancouver Island Peace and Disarmament Network (VIPDN) is an open coalition of peace keepers representing diverse views and approaches to peace and disarmament with a focus on Canada’s role domestically and internationally. VIPDN is closely affiliated with the Canadian umbrella organization: The Canadian Network for the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons (CNANW). VIPDN was formed in May 2016 when Murray Thomson, Canada’s preeminent peace educator visited Victoria (Coast Salish) to deliver a talk on his recent book: Minutes to Midnight: Why Have over 800 recipients of the order of Canada called for Nuclear Disarmament.
We, the Vancouver Island Peace and Disarmament Network, which is associated with the Canadian Network for the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons,
Call on the Government of Canada, as a member of the Uranium Suppliers Group and one of the largest exporters of uranium on the world market, to initiate a process to end the use of uranium for nuclear reactors and to limit uranium for medical technologies. The mining of uranium is environmentally damaging and the use of nuclear energy is dangerously risky and costly as evidenced by the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in 2011. We are opposed to nuclear energy and want a national ban on uranium mining.
- Call on the Government of Canada to use its diplomatic power to push our closest allies, the United States, the United Kingdom, and France, to support the no-first use policy recently proposed by the United Nations’ Nuclear Disarmament Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG).
- Request that the Government of Canada, as a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), support the proposal to call for a nuclear-ban amendment conference of NPT. If one-third of the States Parties to the NPT call for such a conference, the NPT depositories (including the U.S., the U.K., and Russia) are legally obliged to hold the conference, invite all state parties to the treaty to attend, and discuss a proposed nuclear weapons ban. As Unfold Zero explains, “such an NPT conference could build political momentum and legal impact for a nuclear ban, particularly in nuclear-armed and allied states.”
- Express our deep concern that the Canadian army is deployed in the Ukraine and Latvia, the Canadian navy is patrolling in the Black Sea and Canada is leading a NATO brigade in Eastern Europe, which are very provocative measures aimed at nuclear-armed Russia. Canada should be strengthening its relationship with Russia through diplomacy and should not be engaged in dangerous and destabilizing NATO interventions that risk a new Cold War. The federal government must withdraw our soldiers and warships from Eastern Europe.
- Urge the Government of Canada to publicly declare opposition to NATO’s nuclear first strike policy that is inconsistent with the NPT and withdraw from the military alliance. We are opposed to Canada’s participation in NATO because of its support of nuclear weapons deterrence and its frequent operation outside the UN and international law.
- Call on the Government of Canada, as an Arctic nation and a founder of the Arctic Council, to show leadership in protecting this fragile ecosystem. Canada must work vigorously with partners to declare the Arctic a nuclear-weapons free zone and a zone of peace. The Arctic Council and the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea provide the necessary mechanisms for the peaceful resolution of conflict in this maritime region.
- Adopt the Montreal Declaration for Nuclear Fission Free World released at the World Social Forum in Montreal, Quebec in August 2016. (Text: http://www.globalresearch.ca/montreal-declaration-for-nuclear-fission-free-world/5542890). We support the declaration for “the elimination of all nuclear weapons, to put an end to the continued mass-production of all high-level nuclear wastes by phasing out all nuclear reactors, and to bring to a halt all uranium mining worldwide.”