27 August 2009 - Hundreds of Order of Canada recipients, representing some of the country's leading scientific, cultural and political luminaries, are joining a growing global groundswell calling for a multilateral agreement to end the use of nuclear weapons.
Yet while their effort is particularly focused on pushing for Canada to take a leading role, a top Canadian nuclear arms expert says the Harper government has been veering away from this longstanding position of non-proliteration.
In recent months, a petition has been circulated to recipients of the Order of Canada urging support for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's calls for a multilateral nuclear disarmament treaty. Of the 3,215 living recipients of Canada's highest civilian honour, 286 have signed on so far.
The petition is the brainchild of a trio of Canadian anti-nuclear weapons activists: internationally renowned social justice activist and Pearson Peace Medal recipient Murray Thomson, eminent University of Toronto chemist and 1986 Nobel Prize winner John Polanyi, and Doug Roche, a longtime Canadian politician turned Canadian ambassador for disarmament.
Together, these three Order of Canada recipients managed to gain the support of an impressive cross section of Canadians. Scientists aside, the list includes filmmakers Atom Egoyan and Norman Jewison, authors Margaret Atwood, Charlotte Gray and Michael Ondaatje, entertainers like Bruce Cockburn and artists such as Alex Colville. Also onside are former ambassador Stephen Lewis, environmentalist David Suzuki, ballerina Karen Kain, former external affairs minister Flora MacDonald and Senator Romeo Dallaire.
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by Jeff Davis, http://www.embassymag.ca/page/view/ban_weapons-8-26-2009.