On October 5th, 2016, CUSJ President Margaret Rao wrote to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, noting that the US and Russian superpowers are showing renewed interest in a nuclear arms race, and reminding Trudeau to work towards a Nuclear Weapons Convention to ban nuclear weapons–one of the promises of the Liberals heading into the 2015 federal election. Here is the text of the letter:
Dear Prime Minister,
I am writing to you on behalf of Canadian Unitarians for Social Justice (CUSJ), a faith-based organization that advocates for peace and justice in our world. The United States plans to spend billions of dollars to modernize its nuclear weapons and Russia is retracting its pledge not to be the first to use nuclear weapons in a conflict — it appears that we are heading in the direction of a new nuclear arms race.
We were, therefore, deeply disappointed to learn that the Canadian government voted against starting negotiations to ban nuclear weapons at the recent Geneva Conference on Disarmament. The official 2016 Liberal platform calls for Canada to “commence negotiations for a Nuclear Weapons Convention that would ban nuclear weapons.”
We urge you to stay true to your principled stance and to show real leadership at the UN General Assembly by supporting the resolution to establish a negotiating process that will lead to nuclear disarmament. As a middle (not a nuclear) power, Canada has taken the initiative on developing disarmament treaties in the past, such as the UN Mine Ban Treaty (Ottawa Treaty), and could do so again.
Your government has a second chance to do the right thing by all Canadians and the world. When it comes to a nuclear weapon’s strike there will be no second chance. Now is the time to act for peace and a ‘nuclear weapons free’ future for all.