• Sean Howard

Banning the Bomb: How Cape Breton Can Help Canada Do the Right Thing

Peace Quest Cape Breton is today asking the Cape Breton Regional Municipality (CBRM) to join the ICAN Cities Appeal, the new initiative by the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (winners of the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize) to encourage governments around the world to sign and ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, the ‘Ban Treaty’ adopted by 122 states at the UN General Assembly last year.

The Ban Treaty will enter into force (become international law) when 50 states ratify it; currently, 69 states have signed, and 19 ratified. To its shame, however, Canada – as a member of NATO, the world’s only nuclear-armed alliance – is among the minority of powerful, military-industrial states refusing to join an accord seeking to achieve the goal set in the UN’s inaugural resolution (1946), and enshrined in the 50-year-old nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT): outlawing the world’s most dangerous, indiscriminate and immoral weapons before they are used again, a nightmare currently growing more likely each year as the nine nuclear-armed states (US, Russia, UK France, China, Israel, India, Pakistan, North Korea) spend billions developing their arsenals and threatening not just  each other but all life on Earth.

ICAN is simply asking cities and towns in the world’s anti-Ban states to pass resolutions calling on their national governments to do the right thing and join the anti-nuclear majority.  The Appeal was launched on November 7, with the immediate support of major cities such as Toronto, Baltimore, Los Angeles, Melbourne – and Sydney (Australia). Peace Quest believes that Sydney, Nova Scotia, home of the CBRM, should now put its name on the ICAN map of pro-Ban Councils.

In 2013, after a 6-year Peace Quest campaign, CBRM became a member of ‘Mayors for Peace,’ the Hiroshima-based coalition of over 7,500 Councils in 163 countries advocating nuclear abolition, united in the determination that no town or city ever again have to suffer the intolerable atomic agony of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Last year, CBRM unanimously adopted a resolution calling on the government of Canada to join the Ban Treaty – a move which prompted a number of other ‘Mayors for Peace’ councils in Nova Scotia to follow suit. 

Given this impressive track-record, signing the ICAN Cities Appeal is a logical next step for CBRM to take as a responsible, progressive, peace-loving member of the Canadian municipal community.

For more information on the ICAN Cities Appeal, see

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