Canadians for a Nuclear Weapons Convention

Tasneem Jamal Nuclear Weapons

Letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, signed by many recipients of the Order of Canada, including Project Ploughshares co-founders Ernie Regehr and Murray Thomson

May 12, 2009

Right Honourable Stephen Harper
Prime Minister of Canada
80 Wellington St.
Ottawa, ON
K1A 0A2

Dear Prime Minister,

We, the undersigned write to you on an urgent matter. Nuclear weapons, many still on hair-trigger alert, threaten daily our very existence. The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty is largely ignored by the Nuclear Weapon States. The Doomsday Clock of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists remains at five minutes to midnight.

Nevertheless, there is a rapidly growing consensus that a nuclear weapon-free world can and must be achieved in the near future. Renowned political leaders from around the world have spoken out about the need to abolish nuclear weapons.

On 9 December 2008, in Paris, more than 100 world leaders endorsed the goal of abolishing nuclear weapons completely. They included Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, UK’s Prime Minister Gordon Brown, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Pakistan and China have said explicitly they support abolition, which is the objective of that new initiative called Global Zero.

What we lack today, is the political will to actually begin the negotiation to eliminate nuclear weapons. The 26 members of NATO, including Canada, all subscribe to its nuclear weapon policies. Those policies state that nuclear weapons are essential and must be maintained into the unforeseen future. As long as NATO holds to these policies then Russia and China will maintain their nuclear arsenals and the non-nuclear weapon states will be tempted to acquire nuclear weapons, too.

Twelve years ago, experts in law, science, disarmament and negotiation came together to draft a Model Nuclear Weapons Convention. Their purpose was to determine whether nuclear disarmament is possible by exploring the legal, technical and political requirements for a nuclear weapon-free world, taking into consideration the security of
all states.

The Model Convention proposal was presented to the UN by Costa Rica in 1997 and has been well received by many of its members. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, in a speech titled “Five Steps to a Nuclear Free World,” stated that “All parties to the Non-Proliferation Treaty could consider negotiating a nuclear weapons convention, backed by a strong verification system, as has long been proposed at the UN”.

Prime Minister, now is the time to engage internationally by advancing a nuclear weapons convention. Please seize the opportunity created by President Obama’s historic speech in Prague calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons, and the joint US-Russian statement committing both countries to significant reductions in their nuclear stockpiles.

Canada has long been an influential voice in support of peace and disarmament. We look to you to once again assume this leadership role. Time is of the essence.

The undersigned

Mr. Michael Ignatieff, Leader of the Opposition
Hon. Gilles Duceppe, Leader, Bloc Québécois
Hon. Jack Layton, Leader, New Democratic Party of Canada

Bruce Aikenhead, O.C, B.Sc, AFCASI, P.Eng. Salmon Arm, BC Architect & Space Engineer
Fernand Arsenault, CM, D.Th. Cap-Pele, NB Linguist; was Dean, Univ de Moncton
Harvey Barkun, O.C., MD, FRCP. Physician. was E/D, Assn of Can. Medical Colleges
Gerry Barr, C.M., Ottawa, ON President, Can. Council for International Cooperation
John Barron, C.M. Komoka, ON Musical Educator
Robert Bateman, O.C. OBC, BA, D.Litt. Saltspring Isl. BC Wildlife Artist & Painter
Gregory Baum, O.C., Montreal, QC Theologian. Prof Religious Studies, McGill Univ
Richard Beamish, C.M., OBC, Nanaimo, BC. Fisheries Scientist
Jean-Luc Belanger, C.M., Dieppe, NB Community Sports Activist; “father of Acadian Games”
Robin Boadway, O.C, Ph.D, FRSC. Kingston, ON
Newton Bowles, O.C., New York, NY UNICEF Policy Advisor
Raymond Breton, O.C., Toronto, ON Sociologist
Edward Broadbent, C.C., Ottawa, ON Former Leader of NDP; was Pres. Rights & Democracy
Timothy Brodhead, O.C., Montreal, QC McConnell Foundation President; was Pres CCIC
James Bruce, O.C., Ottawa, ON Natural Disasters Environmentalist
Edward Burtynsky, OC, Toronto, ON Photographer
Allan Carswell, C.M. Ph.D, FRSC, P.Eng. Thornhill, ON Physicist & Entrepreneur
Bruce Cockburn, O.C., Toronto, ON Musician & Songwriter
John Colombo, C.M., Toronto, ON Author & Editor
Thomas Condon, C.M., Ph.D, St. John, NB. Former Vice-Pres, UNB
Gisele Cote-Harper, O.C., Quebec, QC Lawyer. Board Chair, Rights & Democracy
Romeo Dallaire, O.C., Ottawa, ON Senator, Author & Major General (Rtd)
Peter Desbarats, O.C., London, ON Journalist; was Dean Grad School Journalism, UWO
Thomas De Koninck, Quebec, QC Philosopher; was Dean, Philos Faculty, Laval U
Jan deVries, C.M., Pickering, ON Veteran
Henry Dinsdale, C.M., MD, FRCP Kingston, ON. was Pres, Royal Coll. Physicians & Surgeons
Leo Dorais, O.C., Ph.D. Ottawa, ON Founding Rector, UQAM
Roger Dorton, C.M., Ph.D, D.Sc, FCAE, P.Eng. Toronto, ON Civil Engineer
John Dossetor, O.C., Ph.D, FRCP. Edmonton, AB. Physician; Co-founded Kidney Foundation.
Muriel Duckworth, C.M., MA. Halifax, NS Peace Educator; Co-founded Voice of Women
Mathieu Duguay, C.M. Lameque, NB
James Edwards, C.M. DFC, DFM, C.D., Comox, BC RCAF; Flew 370 combat missions WWII
Robert Elgie, C.M., MD, LL.D, FRCS, Keswick, ON Neurosurgeon & lawyer
Paterson Ferns, C.M., Victoria, BC Film & TV Producer. Was Director, CBC films & TV
Sheila Fischman, C.M, M.A., D.U.. Montreal, QC Literary Translator
Marielle Fleury, C.M., C.Q., Brome, QC Fashion Designer
Ursula Franklin, C.C, O.Ont, Ph.D, LL.D, FRSC. Toronto, ON Prof Engineering. Peace Edu’tor
Margot Franssen, O.C., Toronto, ON President of The Body Shop Canada
John Friesen, C.M., DFC, EdD, LL.D, Vancouver, BC. Veteran; was Dir. UBC Extension Dept
John Fryer, C.M., MA. Victoria, BC was Pres of Natl Union of Public & General Employees
Margaret Fulton, O.C, Ph.D, Ed.D. Saltspring Isl. BC. was President Mount St. Vincent Univ.
Corinne Gallant, C.M., Ph.D. Dieppe, NB. Head, Philosophy Dept, Univ de Moncton
Lorette Gallant, C.M, D.Mus, ndsc., Dieppe, NB. Musician; “Singing Ambass. of Acadia”
Roland Gauvin, C.M. Moncton, NB Singer & Composer
John W. Gerrard, O.C.,DM,, FRCP. Saskatoon, SK. Head of Pediatrics, Univ of Sask.
Maynard Gertler, C.M., Montreal, QC Publisher & Agriculturalist
William Gibson, C.M., MD, D.Sc. FRCPC, Victoria, BC. Estab. Dept Medicine at UBC
Robert Gilham, C.M. Guelph, ON
Norman Goble, O.C., Moncton, NB Was Secy-Gen, Can Teach Fedn & World Teachers Cnfedn
Dale Godsoe, C.M., D.Hum.Litt. Halifax, NS Women’s Rights Activist
Ted Godwin, O.C. LL.D, RCA, Calgary, AB Painter
Victor Goldbloom, CC, Montreal, QC was Quebec’s first Minister of the Environment
Douglas Hall, C.M., Th.D, Montreal, QC. Prof of Christian Theology, McGill U
Stephen Hanessian, O.C., FRSC, Montreal, QC Pharmacy Research, Chemistry Dept U de
Richard Harington, O.C., Gatineau, QC Curator, Quarternary Zoology Emeritus
Gerald Helleiner, O.C, PhD, LL.D, FRSC Toronto, ON. Development Economist, UnivToronto
Charles Hill, C.M., M.A., Ottawa, ON Curator & Art Historian
Margaret Hilson, O.C, MES, RN. Vancouver, BC was Head, Intnl Program, CPHA
Myer Horowitz, O.C., Victoria, BC was President. Univ of Alberta
Norman Horrocks, C.M., Halifax, NS
Eric Hoskins, O.C. MD, MSC, D.Ph, LL.D, FRCPC. Toronto, ON CoFounded War Child Can.
Laurent Isabelle, C.M., Ottawa, ON Past President of Algonquin College, Ottawa
Richard W. Ivey, C.M. Toronto. Entrepreneur. Chair & CEO, Ivest Corpn
Marcel Junius, O.C., Quebec, QC Architect/Urban Planner
Cyril Kay, O.C. Edmonton, AB Prof Emeritus Biochemistry, Univ of Alberta
Tom Kent, C.C., Kingston, ON was Chair, Royal Commission on Newspapers
Azhar Ali Khan, C.M., Ottawa, ON Journalist
Bruce Kidd, O.C. Ph.D., Toronto, ON Educator & Olympic Athlete
Anton Kuerti, O.C., Toronto, ON Musician & CoFounder, Concertmasters
Eva Kushner, O.C., Toronto, ON was President, Victoria University of the UofT
Donat Lacroix, O.C, Caraquet, NB Musician. Wrote Acadia’s “national anthem”
Aldea Landry, C.P., C.M., cr, LL.B, LL.D Moncton, NB Chaired Atlantic Prov. Econ Council
Antoine Landry, C.M. Caraquet, NB. Historian. Heritage & Community Devt Activist
Edmond Landry, CM, Moncton, NB
Eva Landry, C.M., B.Ed, St. Peter’s, NS. Educator. First woman Inspector of Schools in NS
Michele Landsberg, O.C, LL.D., Toronto, ON G&M & TorStar Columnist; Edited Chatelaine
Dennice Leahey, C.M, BA. Pugwash, NS Businesswoman. was Senior VP,RBC Financial Group
Viola Leger, O.C., ONB, MFA. Moncton, NB Actress
Martin Legere, O.C. Caraquet, NB Businessman & Co-operatives Activist
Marguerite Lescop, C.M. Montreal, QC
Joseph Letendre, C.M, MD., Amos, QC Orthopedic Surgeon
Jacques Levesque, C.M. Montreal, QC
Stephen Lewis, C.C., Toronto, ON was Can Ambass to UN & its Special Adviser on Africa
Leonard Lockhart, O.C. Moncton, NB Businessman. Chaired Greater Moncton Econ.Commn
Frederick Lowy, OC., MD, LL.D, FRC P, Montreal, QC Psychiatrist.
Harry Lumsden, C.M., Aurora, ON Biologist. International authority on grouse & waterfowl
Janet Lunn, C.M., O.Ont, Ottawa, ON Writer. Chaired Writers Union of Canada
Manoly Lupul, C.M., Ph.D Calgary, AB Prof. Ukrainian Studies
Norman Lush, C.M, MD, FRCP. St. John’s, NL Neurologist
Flora MacDonald, C.C, Ottawa, ON Former Minister of External Affairs
H. Ian Macdonald, O.C. Toronto, ON Former President, York University
Ronald MacLeod, O.C., Surrey, BC
Teresa MacNeil, C.M., Ph.D, LL.D, St. Peter’s, NS. Adult Educator
Garfield Mahood, O.C. Toronto, ON
Robt Marchessault, O.C., Ph.D, D.Sc, FRSC. Montreal, QC Polymer Chemist
Elizabeth May, O.C, LL.B Ottawa, ON Leader of Green Party of Canada. was E/D Sierra Club
Gordon McBean, C.M., Ph.D, FRSC. London ON Geographer
Don McKay, O.C., St. John’s, NL
Audrey McLaughlin, PC, O.C., MSW, LL.D, White Horse, YN Was Leader of NDP
John Meisel, C.C, Ph.D, LL.D, Kingston, ON. Political Scientist, Queen’s U & Chair, CRTC
Lawrence Morley, O.C., Ph.D, D.Sc, FRSC, P.Eng. Owen Sound, ON Geophysicist
Avrum Morrow, C.M., Montreal, QC Businessman & Philanthropist
Ann Mortimer, C.M. Newmarket, ON Ceramist; Past Pres. Can. Guild of Potters
Balfour Mount, O.C, OQ, MD, LL.D, FRCS. Montreal, QC .“Father of Palliative Care in N.A.”.
Fraser Mustard, C.C., O.Ont, MD, LL.D, FRSC. Toronto ON Cardio-vascular Disease Specialist
Alex Neve, O.C., Ottawa, ON Lawyer & E/D of Amnesty International Canada
Hanna Newcombe, C.M., Ph.D. Hamilton, ON Chemist & Peace Researcher
Timothy Oke, O.C., Vancouver, BC Geographer
Bruce Oland, C.M., D.Comm. Halifax, NS Veteran & Businessman
Bridglal Pachai, CM, Ph.D, DCL, Halifax, NS Historian; was E/D NS Human Rights Commn.
Charles Pachter, C.M., Toronto, ON Visual Artist
Timothy Parsons, O.C., Ph.D, D.Sc, FRSC Oceanographer
Daniel Paul, C.M., ONS, D.Litt, Halifax, NS. Human Rights activist.. Elder of Mi’kmaq Nation
Howard Pawley, O.C., PC, OM, QC, LL.B, LL.D, Windsor, ON former Premier of Manitoba
Landon Pearson, O.C., Ottawa, ON Author on Children’s Rights; Former Senator
David Phillips, C.M.,. Aurora, ON Climatologist & Meteorologist
Walter Pitman, O.C., Toronto, ON Adult Educator; was Director of OISE
Andre Poilievre, C.M., B.Th. Saskatoon, SK
Eva Prager, O.C., Montreal, QC Founder of Children for Peace
John Polanyi, PC, C.C, PhD, D.Sc, FRSC. Toronto, ON Nobel laureate (Chemistry) .
Cranford Pratt, O.C., Toronto, ON was Dir, UofT Intnl Studies & first Pres, U of Tanzania
Raymond Price, O.C., Ph.D, D.Sc, FRSC, P.Eng. Kingston, ON Geologist (Evoln of Rockies)
Richard Puddephatt, O.C., Ph.D, FRSC, FCIC. London, ON
Robert Rae. P.C.,O.C., O.Ont, QC, LL.B, LL.D .Toronto, ON Liberal Foreign Affairs Critic
Ernie Regehr, O.C, LL.D Waterloo, ON CoFounded Project Ploughshares; Adj. Prof. U of
Boyce Richardson, C.M., Ottawa, ON Journalist, Writer, NFB Narrator
Roderick Robbie, O.C., LL.D, FRAIC, Toronto, ON Architect. Designed SkyDome, ExpoBldgs
Douglas Roche, O.C., Edmonton, AB Author; was Senator & Can. Ambassador to UN
Claude Roussel, C.M., Cap-Pele, NB Sculptor and Painter
Muriel Rent Roy, C.M, DEA, D h.c. Moncton, NB Historian of Acadian Heritage
Annette Saint-Pierre, C.M, Ph.D. Winnipeg, MB Promoter of Francophonie in Western Canada
Ezra Schabas, C.M., O.Ont, MA.Toronto, ON. Was Principal, Royal Conservatory of Music
Irving Schwartz, O.C., Sydney, NS. Entrepreneur. CoFounded Can. Intnl Demining Centre
Charles Scriver, C.C., MDCM, D.Sc, FRSC, Montreal, QC Pres. American Pediatric Socy
John Sewell, O.C. Toronto. Lawyer. was Mayor of Toronto. Founded Citizens for Public Justice
Jack Shapiro, C.M., Toronto, ON Businessman & Chair. Ont Cancer Research Board
Shirley Sharzer, C.M., BA, Ottawa, ON Journalist; was Dy Man Editor, Toronto G&M
Michael Shenstone, C.M.,Ottawa, ON Was Ambassador & Dir Gen Africa & Mid Eastern Affairs
David Silcox, C.M., MA, LL.D, FRSA, Toronto, ON. Biographer. Was Pres. of Sotheby’s Can.
Ian Smillie, C.M., BA, Ottawa, ON was E/D of CUSO. CoFounded Inter Pares
Gerard Snow, C.M., LL.B; trad.a. Moncton, NB J urilinguist Integrated French in Common Law
Brian Sproule, C.M.,MD, FRCP Edmonton, AB Pulmonary Medicine Specialist
Robert Stephens, C.M., MD., Warkworth, ON Physician. Estab. hospital centres in Africa
Alec Stewart, O.C., Ph.D, LL.D, FRSC. Kingston, ON Prof Emeritus in Physics, Queen’s U
David Suzuki, C.C., OBC, Ph.D Vancouver, BC Environmentalist; Science Broadcaster
Lionel Theoret, C.M., Laval, QC Founder of Centre Epic for preventing heart disease
Murray Thomson, O.C., MA. Ottawa, ON was E/D of CUSO; Co-Founded Proj Ploughshares
Kenneth Thorlakson, C.M. MD, FRCSC, Winnipeg, MB Surgeon
Setsuko Thurlow, C.M., Toronto, ON Peace Educator & Hiroshima Survivor
Peter Trueman, O.C., Stella, ON Journalist. Anchored Global TV News
Gerald VandeZande, C.M. Toronto, ON CoFounded & was E/S, Citizens for Public Justice
Blanche VanGinkel, C.M., Toronto, ON
Jean Vanier, C.C. BOC, D.Ph., Paris, France Theologian. Founder of l’Arche
Pierre Viens, OC. MD. Neuville, QC Infectious, parasitic diseases specialist
Norma Walmsley, O.C. MA , LL.D. Wakefield, QC Founder of MATCH International
John Warkentin, O.C., Toronto, ON Historical Geographer
Gary Warner, O.C., Hamilton, ON Dept French & Peace Studies Centre, McMaster U
Mamoru Watanabe, O.C, MD, CM, D.Sc, FRCP. Calgary, AB. Pioneered Telemedicine
William Weintraub, O.C. BA. Montreal, QC Journalist, Filmmaker (150 NFB Films)
Frederick Wiegand, C.M., MD, FRCSC, Surgeon; served with Medicins Sans Frontiers
Boyd Wettlaufer, C.M., BA. Victoria, BC Archeologist. Focused on Plains First Nations
Frederick Wiegand, C.M., MD, FRCSC. Westmount, QC Surgeon; Medicins Sans Frontiers
Lois Wilson, C.C, O.Ont, M.Div, LLD. Toronto, ON Pres, Can & World Councils of Churches

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