Letter: Canada unwilling to sign treaty on prohibition of nuclear weapons

Letter: Canada unwilling to sign treaty on prohibition of nuclear weapons

Government’s position unlikely to change without pressure from Canadians

What will it take for Canada to sign the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW)?

Adopted by the United Nations in 2017, the TPNW would prohibit the manufacture, possession, use, or threatened use of nuclear weapons. Canada so far refuses to sign it.

Early this year, the hands of the Doomsday Clock were moved ahead to 100 seconds before midnight. Experts around the world are warning political leaders and citizens that there is a greater risk of nuclear war now than at the height of the Cold War.

The use of even a fraction of today’s 13,000 thermonuclear bombs would be enough to cause nuclear winter, famine and starvation that would kill nearly all humans on Earth.

At recent international conferences on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons, survivors of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombings testified to the unspeakable suffering caused by nuclear weapons. This inspired a call for negotiations to begin on a new treaty to ban these weapons of mass destruction.

Read more: Letter: Risk of nuclear weapons use grows with increasing arsenal

Read more: Letter: Nuclear treaty needs signing

The International Campaign Against Nuclear Weapons, a coalition of non-governmental organizations, began work in 2007 toward the TPNW. Eighty-one nations have now signed the treaty; 40 have ratified it. Once 50 have ratified, the treaty will go into effect, banning nuclear weapons. This will be a first step towards eliminating them.

The next step will be a treaty containing a timetable to accomplish this. The International Court of Justice has stated unanimously that nations have a legal obligation to negotiate a treaty to eliminate nuclear weapons.

Canada’s endorsement of NATO’s nuclear deterrence doctrine is deeply contradictory to this goal. But Canada’s position is unlikely to change without strong pressure from Canadians.

As the world marks the 75th anniversary of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombings, Canadians would do well to let the Prime Minister know their views: pm@pm.gc.ca

Anne Morris

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Nuclear weapons

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
253 new COVID-19 cases, 4 more deaths in Interior Health over the weekend

More than 1,000 cases in the region remain active

The BC CDC data for Jan. 3-9. (BC CDC Photo)
Golden adds 7 cases in first week of 2021; BC CDC

The numbers are down from 14 the week before

Justin Kripps of Summerland and his team have competed in Olympic action and World Cup competitions in bobsleigh. (Jason Ransom-Canadian Olympic Comittee).
QUIZ: Are you ready for some winter sports?

It’s cold outside, but there are plenty of recreation opportunities in the winter months

A map released by the BCCDC on Jan. 15 shows the number of new COVID-19 cases reported for each local health area between Jan. 3 and 9. (BCCDC Image)
Salmon Arm and Vernon see increase in new COVID cases, curve flattening elsewhere

The rate of new cases is levelling off in Kelowna, Penticton and Revelstoke.

A juvenile sturgeon in a B.C. rearing facility. The wild population in the Upper Columbia is estimated at 1,100 individuals, enhanced with roughly 5,500 hatchery fish. (file photo)
B.C.’s Upper Columbia sturgeon endure long battle with local extinction

Decades of monitoring and intervention is ongoing to save the prehistoric fish

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C. adjusts COVID-19 vaccine rollout for delivery slowdown

Daily cases decline over weekend, 31 more deaths

Interior Health confirms vaccination of priority populations has begun in Salmon Arm. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19 vaccinations underway in Salmon Arm

Interior Health confirms vaccination of priority populations has begun

This is the location, 3240 Skaha Lake Road, of where BC Housing plans to build a four storey supportive housing project for the homeless and at risk of being homeless. (Jesse Day Western News)
Penticton mayor and MLA concerned about new BC Housing project

‘Penticton already has its fair share’ of BC Housing projects

Interior Health declared the COVID-19 outbreak at McKinney Place long term care home over Monday, Jan. 18, 2020. (File photo)
COVID-19 outbreak at McKinney Place care home declared over

‘This has been one of our most challenging outbreaks so far,’ says chief medical health officer

Penticton Bylaw officer Glenn Smith, as well as resident Zak Laycock (not pictured), received the Governor General Award from the Royal Canadian Humane Association to recognize their heroism in a summer 2019 incident. (Contributed)
Bylaw officer and Penticton resident given awards for intervening in sexual assault

Bylaw officer Glenn Smith said he was simply in the right place at the right time

Sunnybank
COVID-19 related deaths at Oliver, West Kelowna and Vernon senior care homes

Sunnybank, Heritage Retirement Residence and Noric House recorded deaths over the weekend

Hillview Elementary students Emma Li and Mina Nadeau were awarded by the Premier’s office for winning the annual holiday card contest. (Karen Rogers photo)
North Okanagan students’ art featured on Premier’s cards

Hillview youth chosen for annual holiday card contest

A female prisoner sent Langford police officers a thank-you card after she spent days in their custody. (Twitter/West Shore RCMP)
Woman gives Victoria-area jail 4.5-star review in handwritten card to police after arrest

‘We don’t often get thank you cards from people who stay with us, but this was sure nice to see’: RCMP

An elk got his antlers caught up in a zip line in Youbou over the weekend. (Conservation Officer Service Photo)
Elk rescued from zip line in Youbou on Vancouver Island

Officials urge people to manage items on their property that can hurt animals

Most Read