• Sean Howard

Hiroshima Memorial Day in the Cape Breton Regional Municipality

Peace Quest Cape Breton Commends Council for Championing the Cause of a Nuclear-Weapon-Free World

On July 6, responding to a request of Peace Quest Cape Breton, the Cape Breton Regional Municipality (CBRM) unanimously adopted a Peace Proclamation declaring August 6 ‘Hiroshima Memorial Day’ and urging Canada to embrace the vision of a nuclear-weapon-free world by signing the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), the ‘Ban Treaty’ adopted by 122 states at the UN General Assembly four years ago.

The depth and detail of the resolution was commended by numerous peace groups and activists around the country, and was described by the Hiroshima and Nagasaki Day Coalition, based in Toronto, as “breaking new ground” for a municipal resolution in its reference to a recent Nanos opinion poll showing 75% of Canadians (and 78% of Atlantic Canadians) in support of Canada joining the Ban.

In 2013, CBRM joined Mayors for Peace, the global coalition of over 7,000 anti-nuclear municipalities, headquartered in Hiroshima. “We applaud our ‘Mayor for Peace,’ Amanda McDougall, and all Councillors,” Peace Quest Campaign Coordinator Sean Howard declared, “for demonstrating again its commitment to nuclear disarmament, and for urging the government of Canada to take responsibility for ridding the world of the insane threat of nuclear war.” “That risk is today only growing,” Howard added, pointing to the current ‘modernization’ of nuclear arsenals by all nine nuclear-armed nations (China, France, India, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia, UK, and US), and the increased preparedness and training by both Russia and NATO to use nuclear weapons first in a widening range of scenarios, including in response to cyber-attack.

“Current nuclear postures and practices needlessly endanger millions of lives and the health – and climate – of the planet,” Howard argued. “As CBRM clearly understands, Canada has no right to call or consider itself a peace-loving nation as long as it continues to base its so-called ‘national security’ on American and NATO nuclear weapons, which apart from imperilling us all cost trillions of dollars far better spent ‘building back better’ from COVID-19.”

The full text of the ‘Hiroshima Memorial Day Proclamation’ reads as follows:

WHEREAS: August 6th, 2021, marks the 76th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, followed three days later by the atomic bombing of Nagasaki; and;

WHEREAS: hundreds of thousands of civilians died in these attacks and tens of thousands more have suffered and are suffering from the wounds, radiation sickness and multigenerational genetic disorders triggered by the explosions; and;

WHEREAS: today’s 14,000 nuclear weapons, possessed by nine states, are equal in their destructive power to more than one million Hiroshimas; and;

WHEREAS: in 2013, the Cape Breton Regional Municipality joined the global Mayors for Peace coalition, based in Hiroshima, pledged to work for a nuclear-weapon-free world; and;

WHEREAS: in 2017, 122 states adopted the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, also known as the ‘Ban Treaty; and;

WHEREAS: in April 2021, a Nanos opinion poll showed 75% of Canadians in favour of Canada signing the Ban Treaty;

BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED: that Mayor Amanda McDougall of the Cape Breton Regional Municipality proclaim August 6th, 2021, as “Hiroshima Memorial Day” here in the Cape Breton Regional Municipality. A day to remember the devastation of Hiroshima in 1945, and to renew our commitment to ensuring freedom from the threat posed by nuclear weapons, here and everywhere.

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