The cost to Ottawa of the Freedom Convoy’s occupation of Canada’s capital city is now said to be $36.3 million. Even worse is the damage to Canadians’ already low respect for their elected politicians, and to Canada’s reputation internationally. It was embarrassing to witness the city’s failure of imagination.
In Ottawa there are seven mandated levels of “government”: the Canadian Federal government, the Ontario provincial government, the Ottawa city government, the National Capital Region government, and the Gatineau city government. The seventh “government” is indigenous. Freedom Convoy disrupted life on “unceded territory.”
Eight security organizations operate in Ottawa: the Department of National Defence with its national HQ, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police with its national HQ, the Ottawa Police Services, the Parliamentary Protective Service (the police force for the Parliament of Canada), the Protective Service Branch of the RCMP (protecting government members and diplomats), the Canadian Forces Military Police, the Communications Security Establishment, and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service; “the primary national intelligence service”. As for ‘intelligence’? We never saw it coming, they said.
David Harries, Principal, The Security and Sustainability Guide, Kingston, ON
Ukraine has been attacked without a believable provocation. Nuclear weapons are a dark shadow over everything in this conflict, especially small tactical nuclear weapons, which are restraining the US and NATO. Some say retention of nuclear weapons on Ukrainian soil would have prevented this war. I do not believe this. Ukraine did not “own” nukes any more than NATO allies own US nukes on their soil, or when we had nukes in Canada. The command-and-control systems and maintenance systems were, and are, strictly controlled by Russia and US and are very tight. These were Russian nukes, unusable by Ukraine.
The military aspect of this war will resolve either through exhaustion, surrender (which is unlikely), one side prevails, Russia withdraws, a negotiated ceasefire, or a grinding endless stalemate.
When the post-conflict stage begins, and it will, the ethic of care for victims is the first priority. This a wake-up call to build infrastructures for peace (I4P) to prevent or mitigate future conflicts. First, reorient our world view to make “just peace” interventions a strict precursor to “just war” interventions. Second, the world must invest at least half as much in peace as in militarization. This means stronger global and national institutions. Good luck to us all.
Paul Maillet, Retired Colonel, Ottawa
As Nobel Peace Prize Laureates we reject war and nuclear weapons. We call on all our fellow citizens of the world to join us in protecting our planet, home for all of us, from those who threaten to destroy it. The invasion of Ukraine has created a humanitarian disaster for its people. The entire world is facing the greatest threat in history: a large-scale nuclear war, capable of destroying our civilization and causing vast ecological damage across the Earth.
We call for an immediate ceasefire and the withdrawal of all Russian military forces from Ukraine, and for all possible efforts at dialogue to prevent this ultimate disaster. We call on Russia and NATO to explicitly renounce any use of nuclear weapons in this conflict, and we call on all countries to support the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons to ensure that we never again face a similar moment of nuclear danger. The time to ban and eliminate nuclear weapons is now. It is the only way to guarantee that the inhabitants of the planet will be safe from this existential threat. It is either the end of nuclear weapons, or the end of us. We reject governance through imposition and threats, and we advocate for dialogue, coexistence and justice. A world without nuclear weapons is necessary and possible, and together we will build it. It is urgent that we give peace a chance.
Signed by: American Friends Service Committee (1947); His Holiness The Dalai Lama (1989); Leymah Gbowee (2011); International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (2017); International Peace Bureau (1910); International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (1985); Tawakkul Karman (2011); Pugwash Conference on Science and World Affairs (1995); Kailash Satyarthi (2014); Lech Walesa (1983); Jody Williams (1997); Muhammad Yunus (2006)
Peace Magazine April-June 2022, page 5. Some rights reserved.