Letters

Erna Paris’s Award

Canadian author Erna Paris is the 2012 recipient of the Canada World Peace Award. The award, presented July 12 in Winnipeg, recognizes an outstanding Canadian whose work advances awareness and action in support of a more peaceful future for humanity.

Erna Paris is the author of seven books and the winner of ten national and international prizes. Her most recent book, The Sun Climbs Slow: The International Criminal Court and the Struggle for Justice, explores the little-known history of global justice and the advent of the world’s first permanent International Criminal Court.

The World Peace Award has been presented annually or every second year since 1972. There have been 31 previous recipients, including most recently Lloyd Axworthy, Louise Arbour, Philippe Kirsch, Rom»o Dallaire, Ernie Regehr, Gerry Barr and Flora MacDonald.

Fergus Watt, Ottawa

Peacemaker Camps

The Canadian Voice of Women for Peace has two upcoming summer peacemaker camps for young women aged 15-35. Participants may also receive funding to participate in the VOW AGM and conference in November and/or to attend the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women in New York in March.

The BC camp meets July 6-8 and costs $50. The Ontario camp is on Georgian Bay, August 19-22, costing $150. For information: http://vowpeace.org/peace-maker-camp.

Voice of Women, Toronto

Oil Pipelines

The long term effects of building the Keystone XL pipeline from Alberta south through the US, or to Canada’s West Coast could cause problems for decades.

But building the Northern Gateway pipeline to move diluted bitumen to Asia does not necessarily mean that the bitumen will go to China. The tar sands oil producers include a number of global oil interests that also own eight refineries in California and a few more in Washington. Some of these have been upgraded to refine diluted bitumen. If and when the northern pipeline delivers the product to tankers on the West Coast, it is ready to be transported to China or south to California. As many as 200 tankers could be involved, if the pipeline becomes a reality.

The China Petroleum and Chemical Corp. [Sinopec] will apparently control the diluted bitumen once it is loaded on tankers. Sinopec has arranged to have a Calgary firm, Nexen, sell the diluted bitumen to the highest bidder. This means that Canada’s bitumen could be refined in California, then shipped out and sold in international markets. At present, global oil corporations mainly based in the US are exporting as much oil as they are importing.

Why aren’t we building our own refineries and our own pipeline to Eastern Canada?

Leo Kurtenbach, Saskatoon

Who Wants Nuclear Weapons?

Global Zero, the international movement for the elimination of all nuclear weapons, recently issued a report that calls for reducing US nuclear warheads from the current number of around 5,000 to just 900. More important than the report was the person who released it, retired four-star Marine Corps General James Cartwright, the former Vice Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and former Commander of US strategic forces.

Cartwright called existing stockpiles “baggage of the Cold War” and asserted that our nuclear arsenal “does not address the threats of the 21st century.” These are important words from the man who used to be in charge of nuclear weapons.

Global Zero and General Cartwright won’t get any sympathy in the US House of Representatives, which has approved a Defense Authorization bill that provides $4 billion more than the Pentagon requested. It includes additional funding for a nuclear weapons production facility in New Mexico and requires the US government to begin preparations for establishing a missile defence site on the East Coast.

Yes, you read that right. The House of Representatives wants to build more capacity for producing nuclear weapons. It also wants to create a missile defence system that does not work, against a ballistic missile threat that does not exist. Insanity of the first order!

David Cortwright, Kroc Institute, University of Notre Dame

Peace Magazine Jul-Sep 2012

Peace Magazine Jul-Sep 2012, page 5. Some rights reserved.

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