Newsworthy

By Saul Chernos, John Bacher

Stealth Cruise Test Protests

BY SAUL CHERNOS

TORONTO- Rallies were held across the country on February 25 to protest the Government's decision allowing the United States to test its new stealth cruise missile in Canada. ACT for Disarmament organized these rallies. In Vancouver, about 400 people turned out. In Toronto, 100 marched.

The decision means that an AGM-129A missile will be placed under the wing of a U.S. Air Force B-52 bomber and test-flown over the northern Alberta-Dene (Northwest Territories) test route.

The new missile and the old AGM-86B model are both first-strike weapons, designed to avoid radar. However, the stealth cruise carries far more offensive punch than its predecessor. An External Affairs brochure describes it as "capable of bursts of high speed to penetrate air defences."

Both missiles fly slower than the speed of sound, but the stealth cruise is faster, harder to spot on radar than the older model, and able to travel three times as far. Also, the stealth can be re-targetted while in flight.

Bernard Wood is the New Head of CIIPS

TORONTO-Bernard Wood is the new Executive Director of the Canadian Institute for International Peace and Security. He replaced Geoffrey Pearson in that job on February 1, 1989.

Since 1976, Mr. Wood has been the Chief Executive Officer of the North-South Institute, an independent research organization concerned with relationships between industrialized and developing countires. During this period he has also held a number of special appointments. In 1985 and 1986 he was the Personal Representative of the Prime Minister to the leaders of the Commonwealth states and in 1980-82 he was a member of the U.N. Secretary-General's expert group on the relationship between disarmament and development.

The Canadian Institute for International Peace and Security is a Crown Corporation established in 1984 to increase knowledge and understanding of issues relating to international peace and security from a Canadian perspective.

Women's Directory of Experts to be Published

BY JOHN BACHER

OTTAWA - The Canadian Council for International Cooperation is developing a pioneering Directory of Canadian women specializing in Global Survival Policy Issues. This will include women from diverse related disciplines and will illustrate their capability for greater work on issues impacting on the survival of the planet.

Many of the Canadian women working on these issues are underpaid and overworked, most carrying on a volunteer or freelance basis. Despite this commitment, they are largely unknown to conference pioneers, organizers and others who can benefit from their skills. Women have many experiences related to peace and the environment which cannot be duplicated by men. Women and children are the most vulnerable to ecological disasters. For example, women have been forced to stop breastfeeding because of the Chernobyl nuclear reactor accident, the disaster at Bhopal, India, and Canada's own PCB fire at St. Basile le Grand, Quebec.

Nevertheless, women are rarely interviewed on such issues by the media. Project Co-ordinator for the Directory, Dorothy Rosenberg, notes that after the St. Basile disaster, she heard only two women interviewed as experts. The point of the project is to make it easier to identify women who can be called on to speak or to work on important projects for which they have expertise.

Peace Run '89

OTTAWA- Sri Chinmoy's followers are organizing another peace run this year. The starting ceremony will be on April 21 in New York, where one peace torch will light all the others as a symbol of world unity. The representatives will return to their countries to initiate a series of torch relays.

One relay will traverse Canada and another will travel through all 48 states in the continental U.S. Others will make their way across Australia, Africa, Japan, and Iceland. Countries in Europe and Africa will unite to stage trans-continental relays. On August 7, some 31,000 miles later, representatives will return to New York City for the grand finale. Contact in Canada: 613/ 739-1274.

Poll Shows Support for Disarmament

BURLINGTON, ONT.- Most Burlingtonians want our government to do more for world peace and nuclear diarmament. That is the result of a public opinion poll by the Burlington Association for Nuclear Disarmament. Of the 255 persons surveyed, 91 percent felt that Canada should support arms control initiatives, such as a comprehensive nuclear test-ban treaty, and 59 percent opposed the purchase of nuclear submarines. Volunteers held the telephone interviews in October.

Blocking Nuclear Technology for Weapons Makers

By Thomas Adams

OTTAWA-About 25 peace activists, environmentalists, and safe energy advocates demonstrated against the Canadian nuclear industry's weapons connections in October. They were demanding that Ontario Hydro and Atomic Energy Canada Limited (AECL) cut their tritium links with nuclear bomb manufacturers.

The Canadian Fusion Fuels Technology Project was giving a course on tritium safe handling, with employees of nuclear weapons manufacturers attending. The Project is a joint effort between Ontario Hydro and AECL, with participation by the Ontario Ministry of Energy.

The Canadian nuclear industry has tried to distance itself from association with nuclear weapons. Industry spokespeople claim that its only links to nuclear weapons were between 1942 and the mid-1960s, when Canada directly supplied nuclear materials to U.S. and British military projects.

Tritium, a key component of nuclear weapons, is an isotope of hydrogen-from which comes the name "hydrogen bomb." The transfer of Canada's tritium technology is particularly significant now because the U.S. has a critical shortage of tritium and is undertaking major new commitments in its tritium supply program.

Among the customers at the tritium safe handling course were representatives from four institutions in nuclear weapons manufacturing. These were Lawrence Livermore National Lab, Sandia National Labs, Westinghouse (Hanford) and General Atomics (a subsidiary of General Electric).

After the demonstration, Brian Charlton, NDP energy critic, brought up the issue in the provincial legislature. He asked the Minister of Energy, Robert Wong, to provide the legislature with a list of participants in the tritium handling training sessions. That list reveals several more institutions with interests in the nuclear weapons industry. The following institutions have sent people to past tritium handling courses: Los Alamos National Lab; Grumman Aerospace Corporation; U.S. Department of Energy (Argonne, Illinois) (Washington, D.C.) (Germantown, Maryland) (Savannah River Plant, South Carolina); Westinghouse Idaho Nuclear Company; E.I. Dupont de Nemours (Savannah River Plant); General Electric Company (Largo, Florida); Brookhaven National Labs; Idaho National Engineering Labs; Oak Ridge National Labs; U.S. Naval Research Lab.

The following British and French bomb makers have also been represented: CEA/Centre de Valduc, and U.K. Atomic Energy Authority (Hartwell), (Warrington).

Taxes for Peace, Not War

BY DEREK WILSON

VANCOUVER-This fiscal year, the Canadian government will spend about $11.5 billion on the Department of National Defence (DND)-representing over 40 percent of federal government discretionary spending. In 1988, the U.N. peacekeeping organization was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Canada has served on all but one of the peacekeeping assignments. In 1987-88 the DND paid $58 million to sustain Canada's peacekeeping forces. This expense works out to 0.57% of DND expenditures!

These military expenditures are paid for through the compulsory income taxes of Canadians. Under the name of Conscience Canada, about 500 people, over the past nine years, have refused to pay taxes for military purposes. Their justification for this action is their conscientious or religious beliefs, as guaranteed by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Conscience Canada is taking a test case to the Supreme Court to obtain an interpretation of the freedom of conscience. Dr. Jerilynn Prior, the claimant, and her lawyer, Thomas Berger, expect to have their hearing before the Federal Court of Appeal in early 1989. The cost will be about $100,000 and Conscience Canada has about $27,000 on hand in donations to support this Charter case. The objective is to force the federal government to amend the Income Tax Act to provide a "peace tax" check-off to be used for peace education, research, peace keeping, and removing the causes of war.

Even if you can't participate in the Peace Tax Fund, consider enclosing a letter to the Minister of Nation Revenue with your next income tax return expressing your wish for a legal alternative to taxes for war. Write to Conscience Canada, at P.O. Box 601, Station E, Victoria, B.C. V8W 2P3.

Meets: Montréal and Washington

MONTREAL-Many Canadians attended conferences in Washington February 24-26, and in Montréal on February 27- March 5.

The Washington conference, "Common Security through Structures for Peace," included former U.N. Ambassador Stephen Lewis and Disarmament Ambassador Douglas Roche among the 50 speakers. While some 70 organizations participated, the managing sponsor was the World Federalist Association (USA), which had planned for 500 participants, and were delighted when nearly 1400 people registered.

The Montréal gathering, which also drew over 1000 participants, was organized by the National Conference on Peacemaking and Conflict Resolution, based in Fairfax, Virginia. Most participants were professional mediators, peace educators, therapists, lawyers, and ethnic relations experts.

Peace Magazine Apr-May 1989

Peace Magazine Apr-May 1989, page 29. Some rights reserved.

Search for other articles by Saul Chernos here
Search for other articles by John Bacher here

Peace Magazine homepage