Toronto Peace Events – Aug. 6th & 9th – Hiroshima/Nagasaki Photo Exhibit & Commemoration

August 2, 2008
HIROSHIMA / NAGASAKI PHOTO EXHIBIT
August 6th, 2008, Rotunda, Toronto City Hall, 5:30 PM

HIROSHIMA / NAGASAKI PEACE COMMEMORATIONS and LANTERN CEREMONY

August 9th, 2008, Toronto Peace Garden, Nathan Phillips Square, 4:30 PM – 9:00 PM

The Toronto Hiroshima Day Coalition (THDC) is honoured to announce that the City of Toronto has been selected to host the Hiroshima / Nagasaki Photo Exhibit to be held concurrently with 101 cities across the United States. THDC is also very pleased to present Setsuko Thurlow, Member of the Order of Canada and Hibakusha (Hiroshima survivor), who will introduce the atomic bombing exhibition at city hall.

The Hiroshima & Nagasaki Photo Exhibit features before and after a-bombing photos, details about the proliferation of nuclear weapons, and the story of human suffering including the health consequences caused by the devastation of nuclear war. The exhibit also displays emotional drawings and paintings from dozens of Hibakusha survivors with the message, “never again”. The exhibit runs from August 6th -11th, 2008.

Toronto remembers the citizens of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombings
August 9th, 2008, Toronto Peace Garden, Nathan Phillips Square, 4:30 PM – 9:00 PM

Hiroshima / Nagasaki Peace Commemorations and Lantern Ceremony

Featuring keynote Bruce Gagnon, Founder, Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. Bruce has appeared on the TV program “60 Minutes” and is known as the writer of the “16th Most Censored US Story of the Year” for his 2006 article “US Plans for Hemispheric Integration Includes Canada” on how the weaponization of space will include nuclear warheads.

Reading the Proclamation from the City of Nagasaki will be Joe Ohori (Canadian-born, Hiroshima Survivor).

Speakers to include ICAN, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, Physicians for Global Survival, and the Canadian Department of Peace Initiative.

Performances to include Japanese drummers, the Raging Grannies, flautist Debbie Danbrook, and the silent story performance of “Sadako”, the young Japanese girl who survived the Hiroshima a-bombing when she was only two-years-old. At eleven, Sadako was diagnosed with leukemia, “the atom bomb” disease. Believing an old Japanese legend that if she made 1000 paper cranes, the gods would make her well, Sadako never gave up hope. She continued to fold paper cranes until the day she died, inspiring her young classmates to build a monument honouring the thousands of children killed by the atom bomb. Erected in 1958, the Hiroshima Peace Park’s children’s memorial of Sadako holding a golden crane reads, “This is our cry. This is our prayer. Peace to the world.’

The reflecting Lantern Ceremony concludes the evening with hundreds of paper lanterns launched into the pool at Nathan Phillips Square.

All events are free to the public.
Paper crane and lantern making activities start at 4:30 pm.
Commemoration, entertainment and speakers between 6:30 – 8:45 pm.
Lantern ceremony at 8:45 pm.

For further information, please contact Helen Chilas, National Coordinator with the Canadian Voice of Women for Peace (VOW) via cell at 416-473-8238 or email: h-chilas@rogers.com

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Integrate This! – SPP Watch Update

August 2, 2008

SPP Watch

SPP WATCH makes the links between daily news items, new government initiatives and the ongoing Security and Prosperity Partnership talks between Canada, Mexico and the United States. As well as regular SPP updates, we will continue to post new reports, interviews and multimedia presentations critical of what is sometimes called the “deep integration” of North America.

The Integrate This website will slow down over the summer as staff take their annual vacations and as Stuart Trew, the Council of Canadians researcher/writer who has been administering the site’s content, heads to Toronto to become the Council’s regional organizer for Ontario-Québec. We will continue to post news articles and important reports but not as frequently as we have been over the past eight months.

Harper launches major assault on food safety, fires government scientist; regulatory harmonization blamed
The extent of Harper’s current assault on Canada’s food and drug inspection system is about to dwarf any previous concerns we had with the regulatory harmonization of pesticide residues. The Prime Minister is simultaneously eliminating funding for BSE testing for Canadian producers, offloading federal research facilities to the private sector and academia, and firing government scientists who dare stand up against this widespread deregulation for the sake of corporate profits.

What’s good for U.S. energy security is good for the SPP
A recent U.S. statement confirms the ongoing push for greater North American energy integration that leaves Canada wide open for the worst of an energy gold rush.   In addressing the Subcommittee of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs in Washington DC, Daniel Sullivan (Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Economic, Energy, and Business Affairs) calls for more energy integration and dependence on market-based solutions in the face of rising oil and gas prices and the havoc this is wreaking on the U.S. economy.

Majority of Canadians would renegotiate NAFTA, says Angus Reid poll
You’d never know it from the lengths our federal and provincial governments are going to in defence of NAFTA, but most Canadians think we should renegotiate the free trade and investment pact, says a new poll by Angust Reid.

Plan Mexico, SPP about “armouring NAFTA,” says Avi Lewis
Journalist and human rights activist Avi Lewis, commented on Plan Mexico and the Security and Prosperity Partnership this week on U.S. radio program Democracy Now.

Put on the EDL brakes
From the speed at which provinces are introducing so-called enhanced driver’s licences, you’d think they were a universally acclaimed technology (Passport Alternative Approved In Sask. – B.C. and online editions, July 31). But as a public forum in Toronto this month showed, there is much skepticism among Canada’s privacy commissioners, consumer groups and the public.

Industry Week magazine contrasts European vs. SPP approach to chemicals regulation
A new article in Industry Week magazine offers an interesting and brief explanation of Europe’s new chemicals regulation laws (the Registration, Evaluation and Authorization of Chemicals (REACH) legislation), and how they differ from the North American approach being developed through the Security and Prosperity Partnership.

“Any harsh treatment endured by Khadr is Canada’s responsibility,” says lawyer Kuebler
As reported by CTV this week, new documents and video footage “suggest Canada was aware of the harsh treatment that Canadian terror suspect Omar Khadr was being subjected to in Guantanamo Bay at the hands of U.S. military interrogators.” But Prime Minister Harper still says the government knew nothing and has no intention of interfering, or in asking that Khadr be allowed to return to Canada.

For more information on the SPP, please visit www.IntegrateThis.ca.


Militarization of Peace in Canada

August 2, 2008

Below is an article by Ottawa CDPI colleague Koozma J. Tarasoff. It is on an emerging trend he has noticed among those promoting militarization in Canada. Please let him know if you are seeing similar developments in your respective cities. Koozma is a distinguished Doukhobour anthropology/ethnography research scholar and a long-standing peace champion. For more on his work, see website: http://www.spirit-wrestlers.com/ .

The Military Attempts to Hijack the International Peace Movement

by Koozma J. Tarasoff
July 31, 2008

For several years the United Nations has designated September 21st as the International Day of Peace and Nonviolence. In Ottawa it will be marked this year by a fourteen day festival of peace events. Peace Festival 2008 is being organized by the Ottawa chapter of the Canadian Department of Peace Initiative (CDPI).

What a shock it was to learn in the Ottawa Citizen’s Weekend edition (July 26, 2008 ) a quarter-page ad for the first Canada Army Run on September 21st. This is either a coincidence or a strategic way in which the government has chosen to neutralize the impact of the international peace movement. All entrants to the run receive a free t-shirt, special camouflage kit bags, and race bibs, soldiers dog tag finishers medals, and an evening meal for $15. Open to all military and civilian runners. Students get special discount. The well-funded and publicized Run (modelled on a similar US run) with corporate endorsement (Ottawa Citizen, Marriott Hotel, CFRA Talk Radio, Running Room and others) seems to be part of the government’s $23 million drive to enhance support for military involvement in Afghanistan and recruitment drive. For more on the run see www.armyrun.ca

This hijacking type of venture by the government may be the tip of the iceberg. Citizens across the country are being asked to be vigilant to this secret invasion. There appears to be a clandestine attempt to condition the public to war as a a legitimate culture of peace. In Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, for example, the military has become one of the sponsors of the August 14-16th annual Follkfest ‘One World, Many Faces’. In Ottawa, the US Embassy is planning an Arms Bazaar for September 30 – October 11. If it goes ahead, the ‘U.S. Embassy Defense & Security Exhibition’ will be the first weapons expo on Ottawa City property since May 23-25, 1989, when ARMX Canada’s largest military exposition was held in Lansdowne Park. Following a public outcry inspired by a campaign against ARMX organized by the Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade (COAT), Ottawa City Council barred the return of ‘ARMX or other such arms exhibitions’ to municipal property. Read the almost-unanimous City Council Motion, April 19, 1980: http://coat.ncf.ca/ARMX/bylaw.htm

More than ever before, the Canadian Department of Peace Initiative this fall is determined to focus on the true spirit of peace, unity and harmony by celebrating citizen level activism for peace locally, nationally and globally. Like last year, the organizers will be holding this Festival together with the NCR Branch of the UN Association of Canada and other Ottawa-based peace organizations. During the 14 day period, it is aimed to have at least one citizen group based activity every day.

The CDPI’s most ambitious project, ‘Women Building Peace’ will be held October 2nd with a social hour dinner, entertainment, keynote speaker and closing remarks. Co-Conveners are Theresa Dunn, The Honourable Flora MacDonald and The Honourable Alexa McDonough. For more information and ways to get involved please visit www.departmentofpeace.ca or email to kathleenKevany@gmail.com.

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16-year-old Wins Disarmament Video Contest: “We Started It. Let’s End It.” (watch video)

August 2, 2008
Teenager Erik Choquette created a remarkable animated video to claim the $1,000 first prize in the 2008 Swackhamer Disarmament Video Contest.
The top three videos can be viewed on line at :

“I’m incredibly uncomfortable living with the fact that there are almost 27,000 nuclear weapons in the world,” he said when he received his first place check. “We have used these [nuclear weapons] on people. I want to help make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

Erik, 16, is going into his junior year at Santa Barbara High School in California. Starting this autumn, he will be the Director and Editor of the SBHS News Bulletin – a 15 minute weekly newscast of school events. He said the prize money would go into a savings fund for his first car – he plans to get his drivers’ license soon.

“Erik’s video is a powerful and creative expression by a concerned young person,” says Nuclear Age Peace Foundation President David Krieger. “It sends a message to other young people – as well as older people – that US leadership is essential as we work towards a world free of nuclear weapons.”

Second prize, and $750, went to the animated video, “Wooden Bombs” by Drew Madson of Minnetonka, Minnesota. Third prize, and $250, was awarded to “Testing” by Sagesse Graham of Seattle, Washington.

The top three videos can be viewed on line at :
All videos had to be three minutes or less.

The topic for the contest was: “There are about 27,000 nuclear weapons in the world today. Use your creativity to make a short video about why US leadership is necessary to achieve a world free of nuclear weapons.”


This year’s Swackhamer Disarmament Video Contest was a first for the Foundation [Nuclear Age Peace Foundation]. The Swackhamer was an essay competition in past years.

The video contest will be held annually. There will be an announcement about the next contest in March 2009.

If you haven’t already signed, please join the Dalai Lama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Walter Cronkite and thousands of others in sending a message to the next occupant of the White House. It’s easy. Make it clear you support US leadership for a world free of nuclear weapons. It only takes a few seconds to help make the world safer.
Sign the Appeal today