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"CHILLIWHACKED: Petition Drive to Oppose U.S. Missile Defence" PDF Print E-mail
Justice News
Thursday, 07 October 2004 00:30
CHILLIWACK, B.C. - o­n October 5, 2004, as Members of the 38th Canadian Parliament gathered in Ottawa to listen to a Throne Speech that did not mention even o­nce those political fighting words "missile defence," o­ne very determined housewife in Chilliwack, B.C. spoke with a sense of righteous disgust about the Government of Canada over the phone to staff at peaceinspace.org . http://www.peaceinspace.org

"Prime Minister Martin promised we would be independent from the United States," she said with determination. "Now he and [Minister of National Defence] Bill Graham want us to join the U.S. in Missile Defence.

If the Prime Minister of Canada and his Cabinet think that this Chilliwack housewife is some fringe radical, they may have a very rude awakening coming in this 38th Parliament. The City of Chilliwack, British Columbia is the core of conservative middle class Canada. Chilliwack is a city of 70,000 people, 100 klicks east of Vancouver. Local government in Chilliwack, according to the City authorities, "is dedicated to efficiency, accountability and service for both current and prospective residents and businesses. Discover our thriving agricultural, commercial and industrial economy. Discover our lifestyle, offering all the benefits of our natural surroundings, rural setting, family oriented neighborhoods and the convenience and facilities of our vibrant urban core. Discover Chilliwack!"

Discover Chilliwack indeed! The Prime Minister and his Cabinet may soon discover that the Chilliwack's of Canada are very, very unhappy with their perception that they are being lied to about U.S. Missile Defence by their Government about what really drives the Martin Government's obsessive compulsion to join the U.S. Defence Department's global Missile Defence system.

"My Member of Parliament is Chuck Strahl," our Chilliwack housewife continued. "He knows me. I am very angry about this. I am going to meet with him, and I am going to organize a petition drive against missile defence." Chuck Strahl is a Conservative MP for Chilliwack-Fraser Canyon, B.C.


Our heroic Chilliwack housewife embodies a depth of public indignation and official municipal action behind a new Parliamentary Petition drive o­n missile defence and space-based weapons taking place in Canada. Seven Canadian Cities, including Victoria, Vancouver, Nanaimo, Burnaby, Sparwood, Bowen Island, and Grand Forks, B.C. have officially opposed Canada?s participation in U.S. Missile Defence, as well as the weaponization of space by passing an official Resolution.

Six of these cities, and sister city Berkeley, California passed the Space Preservation Resolution calling for Canada to convene a United Nations Treaty conference to ban missile defence systems and space-based weapons. These cities did so because they are obliged to protect the public security of their citizens. U.S. Missile Defense would incite a new nuclear arms race and put weapons in space. A new nuclear arms race and weapons in space would threaten the security of all human beings, including the citizens of Canada.


WHAT DOES THE PETITION SAY?

" The Petition calls upon Parliament and the Government of Canada to do three things. Together, these three things will permanently ban missile defence systems world-wide and keep space free of all space-based weapons forever. Remember, it was two hawks, U.S. President Richard Nixon and Soviet Premier Leonid Breznev that in 1972 signed the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty banning missile defence systems, precisely because they are such a dangerous and destabilizing type of weapon.

"The Petition calls o­n Canada to oppose U.S. plans for Missile Defence and not participate in them. That detaches Canada from the U.S. Administration's Missile Defence plans, as Canada detached from the U.S.-led 2003 war o­n Iraq.

"But a Canada-wide ban o­n missile defence does not eliminate missile defence systems world-wide, which are proliferating under a U.S. plan to spend up to $1 trillion building them. Missile defence systems can and will produce nuclear war and nuclear winter. We need to ban missile defence systems and space-based weapons world-wide in a new, United Nations treaty. So the Petition Calls o­n Canada to require the United Nations to permanently ban missile-defence systems and space-based weapons worldwide by October 24, 2005, or to convene a mandatory Space Preservation Treaty-signing Conference thereafter for that purpose."

"Why by October 24, 2005?

"That date is United Nations Day, 2005," we reply. "Eight months from that date, Vancouver, B.C., the host city of the 2010 Winter Olympics, is holding a World Peace Forum 2006, in June 2006.

Vancouver was o­ne of the first cities in Canada to pass the Space Preservation Resolution, asking Canada to convene a Treaty conference to ban missile defence systems and space-based weapons, like Canada did in the 1997 Land Mines Ottawa Conference, where 122 countries came together to ban landmines. In case the United Nations does not produce a Treaty banning missile defence systems and space-based weapons by United Nations Day 2005, we have a Canadian Alternative waiting in the wings."

"The Petition states, 'If the United Nations fails to ban missile defence systems and space-based weapons world-wide by October 24, 2005, the Government of Canada shall convene a UN Space Preservation Treaty Conference for the purpose of banning missile defence systems and space-based weapons world-wide, as part of the 2006 World Peace Forum, to be held in Vancouver, B.C. in June 2006.'"

"A tentative Agenda for a 2006 Victoria-Vancouver Space Preservation Treaty Conference has been designed by a team of international Peace and First Nations activists. You can see it o­nline at:

WORLD SPACE PRESERVATION TREATY SIGNING CONFERENCE
http://peaceinspace.blogs.com/peaceinspaceorg/2004/09/world_space_pre.html

"To learn more about the mechanics of the Petition drive, go o­nline:

Petition Drive Opposing Missile Defence and Space-based Weapons

Download a Petition Form, Legal Instructions, and Suggestions:

http://peaceinspace.blogs.com/peaceinspaceorg/2004/09/strongnew_petit.html

Call us at (604) 733-8134 or Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Thank you.
peaceinspace.org
http://www.peaceinspace.org

[Political Footnote 10-6-04]: New Democratic Party Leader Jack Layton has stated, " It would be 'unspeakable arrogance for Prime Minister Paul Martin to join the American missile defence system without a parliamentary vote....This is an absurd view of security . . . sacrificing Canadian values in order to buy into George Bush's view of security; spending billions o­n weapons that don't even work." [CNEWS, September 28, 2004]./"Observers interpreted that to mean the minority Liberal government led by Prime Minister Paul Martin could sign o­n with the ballistic missile defence program without a vote. That had the opposition going ballistic. 'That's the old-style arrogance of the Liberals,' said Gilles Duceppe, leader of the Bloc Quebecois. "They think they are still the majority.'" [CTV, October 4, 2004]./"According to the MP Gordon O'Connor, a retired general now serving as the Conservative Party's defence critic, says 'the Conservative party, at this time, neither supports nor rejects Canada's involvement in a future ballistic missile defence system....The Conservatives agree that there are many issues to be addressed before we would support full Canadian participation. Is missile defence technically feasible? Exactly what role would Canada play? What is the connection, if any, between missile defence and the `weaponization of space?'" [Toronto Star, October 3, 2004]. Other reporters state, "Unlike the New Democratic Party, the Conservatives support joining the defence shield, but [Conservative Leader Steven] Harper said he wants to see the details of the proposal before taking an official stand for or against. [CNEWS, September 28, 2004]./ "Defence Minister Bill Graham said this week that he supports the missile plan because it's part of the Canada-U.S. relationship. 'My view is, o­n continental defence matters, we should be really accommodating of the Americans and work with them as closely as we possibly can,' the minister said.' [CNEWS, September 28, 2004].

ARTICLE URL: http://peaceinspace.blogs.com/peaceinspaceorg/2004/10/peaceinspaceorg.html

__________
Alfred Lambremont Webre, JD, MEd
ICIS-Institute for Cooperation in Space
3339 West 41 Avenue
Vancouver, BC V6N3E5 CANADA
Tel: 604-733-8134
Fax: 604-733-8135
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
CAMPAIGN: http://www.peaceinspace.org
Last Updated on Thursday, 07 October 2004 00:30
 

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