Gov’t replies to anti-nuke petition signed by hundreds of PeaceQuest readers
The government has tabled its formal response to an official Parliamentary petition signed by hundreds of members of the PeaceQuest community.
The petition, e-3208, initiated by our friend Nancy Covington in Halifax and sponsored by Green MP Elizabeth May (Saanich—Gulf Islands), called on the government, “to accede to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons thereby advancing Canada’s longstanding commitment to global nuclear disarmament.”
After receiving nearly 2000 signatures, the petition was presented in Parliament by Elizabeth May and the government was obliged to answer. The government’s response was tabled on Aril 12, 2021 by Rob Oliphant MP (Don Valley West), the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Unfortunately, and predictably, the government rebuffed Canadians’ call for Canada to join the landmark nuclear disarmament treaty, arguing that the “Treaty’s provisions are inconsistent with Canada’s collective defense obligations as a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).”
The Treaty’s provisions are inconsistent with Canada’s collective defense obligations as a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).Response by the Minister of Foreign Affairs
This position has been refuted by experts such as Canada’s former UN Ambassador for Disarmament Paul Meyer, who argues that “the first step would be to sign the TPNW as an expression of Canada’s support for its primary goal of nuclear disarmament. It could then work within NATO to advocate changes to NATO policy that would free it from its dependency on nuclear weapons and enable this policy to align with the requirements of the TPNW.”
The government’s position also defies public opinion. A recent poll by Nanos Research found that 74% of those polled wanted Canada to sign the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.