I am a longtime member of the Canadian Department of Peace Initiative (CDPI) and head of its new Brampton Chapter. We had our 2008 AGM in Toronto on the weekend of April 4-6. It was energizing and uplifting to see all our supporters, especially the following politicians: in my riding of Brampton-Springdale MP (Liberal) Dr. Ruby Dhalla, Etobicoke Centre MP (Liberal) Borys Wrzesnewskyj, Trinity-Spadina MP (NDP) Olivia Chow, and the Leader of the Green Party of Canada Elizabeth May. The empty chair on the stage at Friday evening’s opening meeting at The Church of the Holy Trinity for Foreign Affairs Minister Maxime Bernier was a stark symbol of the ruling Conservative Party’s lack of interest in our initiative. However, I just heard back from my colleague Rob Acheson of the Toronto CDPI chapter that he has met with Bev Oda, Minister of International Cooperation and CIDA, Colin Carrie (Oshawa), Mike Wallace (Burlington) and David Sweet (Hamilton). Rob is diligently working on meeting with more Conservative MPs and hopefully inroads will be made.
For more about our AGM, please read this article in NOW Magazine:
Getting past the petty
We can’t make peace our foreign policy till pols stop political blood sport
Loath as I am to admit it, music alone won’t change our war-making ways.
That’s why the April 4 all-party (except the governing one) panel kicking off a conference the next day promoting the idea of a Canadian Department of Peace at Friends House on Lowther is such a tonic.
Read rest of this article here.
Saul Arbess, National Co-Chair of the Canadian Department of Peace Initiative talks about the mandate and the roll of a minister of peace:
Bill Bhaneja, National Co-Chair of the Canadian Department of Peace Initiative talks about disarmament after the end of the Cold War:
Liberal MP Borys Wrzesnewskyj talks about the difficulties big tent national parties have in moving an agenda like this forward:
Liberal MP Borys Wrzesnewskyj talks further about the importance of speaking with MP’s who have made decisions, like supporting Afghanistan, and showing them ways of changing those decisions: