Nuclear: The Last Six Months
Of Federal Activity

About

This Report

This is a computer-generated report that shows all of the federal activity with respect to the keyword "Nuclear" over the last six months. This is a demonstration of the power of our government relations automation software.

Hansard

House: 131 Speeches
Senate: 5 Speeches

House Senate

Bills

Active: 4

See Bills

Regulations

Filed: 2
Proposed: 0

Regulations

The House

Mr. James Maloney (Etobicoke—Lakeshore, Lib.)

June 9th
Hansard Link

Routine Proceedings

“...fficial languages, the fifth report of the Standing Committee on Natural Resources, entitled “The Nuclear Sector at a Crossroads: Fostering Innovation and Energy Security for Canada and the World”...”

Mr. Murray Rankin (Victoria, NDP)

June 8th
Hansard Link

Routine Proceedings

“Mr. Speaker, on this important day when the House will be considering an NDP motion on nuclear disarmament, I am pleased to present a petition from my constituents in Victoria.

The petitioners call the attention of the House to Canada's recent opposition to a UN resolution to begin negotiating a treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons. These constituents call on Parliament to take a position independent of NATO and the United States, and support a treaty to prohibit the development, production, transfer stationing, and use of nuclear weapons.

They call on us to set as our goal the elimination of these weapons and to su...”

June 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...use:

a) recognize the catastrophic humanitarian consequences thatwould result from any use of nuclear weapons, and recognize those consequences transcend national borders and pose grave implications for human survival, the environment, socioeconomic development, the global economy, food security, and for the health of future generations;

(b) reaffirm the need to make every effort to ensure that nuclear weapons are never used again, under any circumstances;

(c) recall the unanimous vote in both Houses of Parliament in 2010 that called on Canada to participate in negotiations for a nuclear weapons convention;

(d) reaffirm its support for the 2008 five-point proposal on nuclear disarmament of the former Secretary-General of the United Nations;

(e) express disappointment in Canada’s vote against, and absence from, initial rounds of negotiations for a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons; and

(f) call upon the government to support the Draft Convention on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, released on May 22, 2017, and to commit to attend, in good faith, future meetings of the United Nations conference to negotiate a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination.

She said: Mr. Speaker, I will be sharing my time with my colleague from Edmonton Strathcona, who, I would like to point out, has been doing excellent work on this file. It is an honour for me to share my time with her.

I am truly honoured to rise in the House today to move this motion and talk about the very timely issue of nuclear disarmament.

As the Secretary General of the United Nations has reminded us, nuclear weapons continue to pose a serious threat to humanity and our planet. Right now, there are approximately 170,000 nuclear weapons in the world, and just one of them could cause unthinkable damage. This problem is not going away. Countries are modernizing their weapons, the new American president wants to increase the strength of his country's nuclear arsenal, and then there are countries like North Korea. That is a major concern.

It is likely because of that concern that the House unanimously adopted the following motion in 2010:

That the House of Commons:

(a) recognize the danger posed by the proliferation of nuclear materials and technology to peace and security;

(b) endorse the statement, signed by 500 members, officers and companions of the Order of Canada, underlining the importance of addressing the challenge of more intense nuclear proliferation and the progress of and opportunity for nuclear disarmament;

I will shorten it a little, since I do not have much time.

(c) endorse the 2008 five-point plan for nuclear disarmament of Mr. Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations...

(d) support the initiatives for nuclear disarmament of President Obama of the United States of America; and

(e) ...encourage the Government of Canada to deploy a major world-wide Canadian diplomatic initiative in support of preventing nuclear proliferation and increasing the rate of nuclear disarmament.

Canada did not follow through on this major diplomatic initiative. That said, a major diplomatic initiative is being undertaken at the United Nations right now, and Canada is opposing this motion, which was supported by many members across the aisle and adopted by unanimous consent. Not only did Canada fail to take the initiative and support this, but it is actually fighting it, which I find completely unacceptable.

I would really like to know what has changed, exactly, for my colleagues across the way who supported this motion in 2010. Is the current U.S. government pressuring them to not take part in this effort? That would be terrible.

Let me read another text that states:

WHEREAS there are still at least 17,000 nuclear weapons [I cannot remember what number I gave earlier] in the world, whose very existence constitutes an unprecedented threat to the continuation of life on Earth as we know it;

WHEREAS nuclear weapons are the only weapons of mass destruction not yet banned by international agreement;

WHEREAS as a member of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons...Canada has an international treaty obligation “to pursue negotiations” for the total elimination of nuclear weapons...;

WHEREAS the International Court of Justice ruled on July 8, 1996: i) that this [non-proliferation treaty] commitment is a legal obligation under international law, and ii) that it is generally illegal to use nuclear weapons, or even threaten to use them;

BE IT RESOLVED that [in the House, I guess] the Liberal Party of Canada urge the Government of Canada to:

comply more fully both with its international treaty obligations under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and with the International Court of Justice ruling of July 8, 1996, by playing a pro-active role in achieving a nuclear-weapon-free world;

emulate the Ottawa Process (which led to the banning of land mines) by convening an international conference to commence negotiations for a Nuclear Weapons Convention that would ban nuclear weapons — akin to the Biological Weapons Convention...and the Chemical Weapons Convention. (1015)

The motion I just read was adopted by the Liberal Party of Canada last year. Not only are some of the members opposite turning their backs on what they supported in 2010, but they are turning the backs on their own party and supporters. This is quite unacceptable. I have raised this issue in the House several times, and each time I was told that Canada is working on a convention on fissile materials.

I am not opposed to working on such a convention, but I am not sure that this has anything to do with what I am talking about. It is a bit like if I said that this month I was going to breathe so I will not really have any time to eat. We can do both. What is stopping us from doing both?

Two days ago, in her foreign policy speech, the minister told us about the importance of multilateral systems and major international instruments. Here we have a multilateral process involving over 130 countries, and an international instrument, ratified by Canada, calling on all parties to take part in these kinds of negotiations, but Canada is missing in action.

Throughout her speech, the minister talked about all of Canada’s great accomplishments. Interestingly, she failed to mention one thing: the anti-personnel mine ban convention, signed in Ottawa. Setsuko Thurlow, a Hiroshima survivor, was here yesterday and showed us books on this convention written in Japanese. It made Canada famous.

I do not know why the minister refused to mention the anti-personnel mine ban convention, but I sometimes get the impression that she is afraid of drawing parallels with the nuclear disarmament negotiations. The situation is quite similar. It is not easy; some countries do not want to participate, but leadership means taking the initiative. While certain countries did not want to participate in the anti-personnel mine ban convention, it created a catalyst, moral suasion and a movement. It is a great achievement for Canada.

With the negotiations underway, we are truly witnessing a historic moment. There is never an ideal time for such a convention, but if we do not start, we will not reach the finish line. Right now there is a momentum that we need to capitalize on. In what little time I have left, I will quote in English the letter signed by 100 members of the Order of Canada, including former ambassadors, a former minister of foreign affairs and former ambassadors for disarmament, calling on the Government of Canada: (1020) [English]

It states:

Lead an urgent call to end provocative rhetoric and sabre rattling over North Korea in favour of a return to sustained engagement and negotiations in pursuit of a denuclearized Korean peninsula.

Urge the US and Russia to publicly reaffirm and act on their “unequivocal undertaking,” as agreed at the 2010 NPT Review Conference, “to accomplish, in accordance with the principle of irreversibility, the total elimination of their nuclear arsenals.” [Translation]

Unfortunately, I will not have the time—”

Mr. Matthew Dubé (Beloeil—Chambly, NDP)

June 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...e knows this better than I, this government is all talk and very little action, and that applies to nuclear disarmament too.

Yesterday, the Prime Minister said there was no need to participate i...”

Ms. Hélène Laverdière

June 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...Minister to ask him to:[English]

Respect and support multilateral efforts to rid the world of nuclear weapons by ending Canada's boycott of the current UN General Assembly negotiations of a treaty to ban all nuclear weapons and by joining the next session of talks (scheduled for June 15 to July 7).”

Ms. Hélène Laverdière

June 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...teresting because, initially, North Korea would not take a position on this proposal to negotiate a nuclear weapons disarmament convention, while Canada opposed it. North Korea was a better state play...”

Ms. Linda Duncan (Edmonton Strathcona, NDP)

June 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...The first crisis, climate change, the Canadian government is beginning to tackle. The second, the nuclear threat, it is not, yet both crises pose equally significant threats to humanity, both to our environment and to life.

Nations are deeply concerned about the catastrophic humanitarian consequences posed by nuclear weapons. The threat, like climate change, transcends national borders. It has grave implications for human survival, the environment, the global economy, food security, and the health of future generations.

Since my election in 2008, l have become engaged through the Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament, a global association of elected officials and civil leaders advocating for nuclear disarmament. A few months back I attended the UN negotiations for a convention on nuclear disarmament. This convention is being premised on the principles and rules of humanitarian law and is considered directly consistent with the binding terms of the non-proliferation treaty.

Despite voting for the motion calling for Canadian engagement in these negotiations, Canada not only continues to boycott this global initiative but is counted among the few nations that last year voted against even commencing the negotiations. Why is this troubling? Canada is a party to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty. That multilateral treaty compels our country, along with the other signatories, to negotiate and complete a convention on a nuclear ban.

Nuclear weapons are the only weapons of mass destruction, as my colleague mentioned, not yet prohibited. Canada played a key role in global actions to ban chemical and biological weapons and landmines, yet our government is boycotting actions to ban nuclear weapons. Do the Liberals not share the global concern that the nine states possessing 15,000 nuclear weapons are determined to modernize or make it easier to deploy those weapons, not dismantle them? What is puzzling is that we have a Prime Minister and a government that claim to the world that they are back at the UN and are committed to a multilateral approach to addressing global crises. They seem to find that of value on climate change. Why not on the threat of nuclear war?

Last March, a majority of nations gathered in New York at the UN to draft a convention on the prohibition of nuclear weapons. I went to New York to observe first-hand these negotiations. What I heard in the speeches by state delegates, including, for example, the Netherlands and Ireland, was profound concern about the threat posed by nuclear weapons and a determination to stand together to call for their prohibition. It is anticipated that a final version of this convention will be completed this July.

In the wake of the government's decision to boycott, I travelled to hear first-hand and was inspired by the sense of commitment among these nations to pursue a common end to nuclear weapons. The very purpose of the UN, as pointed out by UN Secretary-General Guterres, is to prevent war and human suffering. We are reminded in a book by the former ambassador for disarmament, Douglas Roche, that the UN charter begins by saying that the purpose of the organization is “to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace”.

Former UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon issued a five-point proposal for nuclear disarmament, including a call to ratify and enter into force a comprehensive nuclear test ban treaty. In 2010, this call, as my colleague mentioned, was unanimously endorsed by this place on a motion by the NDP. It called for Canadian engagement in these negotiations on a global convention and for kick-starting a Canadian diplomatic initiative to prevent nuclear proliferation. As my colleague has also pointed out, many have expressed support for this convention, including the lnter-Parliamentary Union, hundreds of Order of Canada appointees, and many former Canadian diplomats.

It is noteworthy that the Liberal Party, at its recent convention, adopted a resolution calling on the government to convene a conference to commence negotiations. That action is already happening, absent the government. What excuse has the government given for refusing to participate in the negotiations? Liberals argue that they are engaged in discussions on a fissile material ban to put a stop to the production of new fissile materials that could be used to make nuclear weapons. (1030)

However, unlike the open and transparent process at the General Assembly to negotiate a convention, that process is behind closed doors and requires consensus. There is little likelihood that those opposed, for example, Pakistan, China, Russian, Iran, Israel, Egypt, will agree, and to date have not. These nations, I am advised, have huge supplies of fissile material, regardless of any ban eventually negotiated for no new production.

It is not too late for Canada to come forward and join world nations in pursuit of this humanitarian action. Negotiations recommence this month in New York. For the sake of our children, for the sake of the planet, we implore the government to step forward to join the efforts of nations threatened by nuclear weapons, not those determined to retain and potentially deploy them.”

Mr. Gérard Deltell (Louis-Saint-Laurent, CPC)

June 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...me. As we have heard, and the facts are there, on a very important motion, Canada voted against the nuclear disarmament initiative and North Korea abstained, meaning that North Korea's position was be...”

Ms. Linda Duncan

June 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...und the world from agreeing to get together. They hold in common the equal threat by those who hold nuclear weapons and, from time to time, threaten to use them. We simply look to the situation in Ukraine. Even NATO nations are leery to step forward because of the threat of nuclear weapons that could be deployed by Russia.

This is not a reason not to step forward. Th...”

Mrs. Celina Caesar-Chavannes (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Development, Lib.)

June 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...t the fissile material cut-off treaty. This is a concrete step toward our engagement and support of nuclear disarmament. The NDP is calling for us to immediately join this ban treaty and work with countries without nuclear weapons. What we have done works with both sets of countries, with and without nuclear weapons.

Could the member clarify that or talk to whether she thinks the way in which Canada is going, by taking these concrete steps, is a valuable step toward a world of nuclear disarmament?”

Ms. Linda Duncan

June 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...involved in all the measures to which it has committed. In fact, it is compelled to do so under the nuclear non-proliferation treaty. The Liberals voted for it at their own convention and they voted for it in a motion in the House in 2010. There is nothing stopping Canada from being engaged in the process of non-expansion of fissile materials and at the UN. The Liberals claim to be back at the UN, but they are not. They talk a big line. They have gone nowhere on the fissile materials and are unlikely to because there has to be consensus. The very nations that hold these nuclear weapons and want to expand fissile materials are blocking that.

We should continue on that, but at the same time the Liberals can easily be at the UN helping to negotiate this treaty to ban nuclear weapons.”

Ms. Linda Duncan

June 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...hange, and that it is joining nations around the world. However, it is cowering in the face of this nuclear threat. We would like to see the government give equal attention to the two crises facing ou...”

Hon. Andrew Leslie (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs (Canada-U.S. Relations), Lib.)

June 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“... Speaker, I am pleased to have this opportunity to discuss our government's position and actions on nuclear disarmament. This is a vitally important issue that affects both Canada and the world. It also comes at a critical juncture for the international community, where our diverging views about the path forward.

Before going any further, I had the great privilege of meeting Mrs. Setsuko Thurlow, a Hiroshima survivor and wonderful Canadian who has dedicated her entire life toward bettering the world and ridding it of nuclear weapons systems.

In that context, let me assure the Canadians that advancing nuclear disarmament in a meaningful way remains a priority for the Government of Canada. Canada strongly supports concrete efforts toward nuclear disarmament. That is why we are taking meaningful steps to achieve nuclear disarmament, which in turn means doing the hard work in real and meaningful results. Members will note that I have used the term “meaningful” three times in two sentences.

We absolutely recognize the great consequences of even an accidental nuclear detonation, which could have catastrophic human impacts that transcends borders, harms the environment, the global economy, and even the health of future generations. Nuclear disarmament should be the goal of every country and of every government. It is certainly Canada's goal. That is why our government is fully committed to pursuing pragmatic initiatives that will lead to a world without nuclear weapons. We owe it our children and to future generations.

Let me remind the House that Canada gave up its nuclear weapons capability, which, in essence, acts as a role model for the rest of the world.

In 2016, for the first time ever, Canada rallied 159 states to support and pass a resolution calling for the fissile material cut-off treaty. With the support of nuclear and non-nuclear countries, Canada is chairing this high-level group to help phase out nuclear weapons, a meaningful contribution.

Recognizing the important work that has been done on the path towards nuclear disarmament, it is more important than ever that we make these pragmatic approaches to this very complex international issue as clear as possible. During the late 1980s and 1990s, the world witnessed a dramatic, almost 80%, reduction to the numbers of nuclear weapons, those primarily held by the United States and the former Soviet Union. A number of countries abandoned their nuclear weapon development programs and joined the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, NPT. The NPT is now almost universal, with only four countries remaining outside of its obligations, which aim at achieving a world free of nuclear weapons.

The 1990s also saw the signing of the comprehensive nuclear test ban treaty, CTBT, which prohibits the testing of nuclear weapons. Although still not yet in force, it is being partially implemented. Obviously there are some exceptions. Countries around the world, including those that have not ratified, have already built 116 monitoring stations to quickly identify a nuclear detonation anywhere in the world. While the treaty may not yet be in force, it has effectively established, in essence, a taboo on such testing. Only one country in this century, North Korea, has dared to break this taboo and faced global condemnation.

In terms of international security, the world does not become a safer place, unfortunately. Crises in Ukraine, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and I could go on for quite some time, continue to undermine regional and global stability. Irresponsible and reckless acts by North Korea, in defiance of United Nations Security Council resolutions and its own international obligations, leaves the global community struggling to contain its behaviour and to assure their populations of their continued security. This is why Canada is taking meaningful steps that will deliver tangible results for all. (1045) [Translation]

Many countries, including Canada, believe that this uncertain environment is not conducive to expediting disarmament. Historically, non-proliferation efforts and disarmament, or arms reduction, only occurred when the main stakeholders participated in the discussion. That was true in the case of the negotiations regarding landmines and cluster munitions, to give just two examples.

Significant progress requires a good dialogue and trust between the governments involved in the negotiations. Unfortunately, since that is currently not the case, we need to focus on measures that rebuild that trust and make it possible to open a dialogue.

Other countries believe that the current context warrants a more radical approach to total nuclear disarmament, but such an approach has very little chance of success in the near future. I am thinking of the initiative to negotiate an agreement to ban nuclear weapons. While we obviously appreciate the good intentions behind that initiative, unfortunately, it is not the right approach. We believe that the current negotiations are premature and ineffective, and that they could create divisions and complicate the path to nuclear disarmament.[English]

Let me explain this further.

First, we believe the negotiations are premature because, in the current security climate, countries with nuclear weapons regard them as essential for their security. That is their point of view, and they are the ones that possess the nuclear weapons. It is unrealistic to expect countries to disarm when they face very real threats, including from nuclear weapon proliferators like North Korea. Only when these countries have the confidence in their security, without the need for nuclear deterrence, will they be ready to reduce and ultimately eliminate their nuclear weapon stockpiles. This is a pragmatic and realistic approach.

Second, we expect that the draft convention will be ineffective. Without the participation of states possessing nuclear weapons, it is certain that not a single nuclear weapon will be eliminated through this process. In this context, these negotiations will provide nothing else than a declaratory ban, as the countries participating in them are already prohibited from possessing these nuclear weapons through their obligations under the nuclear non-proliferation treaty. In other words, any additional prohibitions that apply only to states party to the ban will not help to achieve a world free of nuclear weapons.

Further, we are concerned that the treaty does not include credible provisions for monitoring and verification. Countries that are expected to give up their reliance on nuclear weapons will want to be assured that others are not able to cheat. We have already seen, in the very recent past, a nation that has cheated repeatedly. Unfortunately, the current discussions do not encompass such verification measures. As well, much technical work remains to be done in order for disarmament verification to be credible and effective, and Canada is currently actively engaged in advancing some of this work.

Finally, the proposed treaty is likely to be very divisive. Without any meaningful disarmament or verification measures, it will stigmatize nuclear weapons, with the aim of establishing customary international law prohibiting their use. In order to prevent this, countries with nuclear arms will become persistent objectors.

We all abhor nuclear weapons and their potential to be used. However, if it is going to create a divisive wedge, then it should be thought through extraordinarily carefully. Quite frankly, this is already creating an adversarial dynamic. Instead of striving to seek common ground on mutually agreed objectives, like happened between the former Soviet Union and the United States 20 years ago, this process will only reinforce the differences between nuclear weapon states and non-nuclear weapon states, making further progress on nuclear disarmament even more difficult because there will be no continuation of the dialogue.

These concerns are not new. Indeed, Canada participated extensively and constructively in the process leading up to the current ban treaty negotiations. This included active involvement in the three conferences on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons and the United Nations open-ended working group on nuclear disarmament. Throughout these processes, Canada worked to shape the dialogue and arrive at recommendations that addressed the security interests and disarmament objectives of all countries. We even hosted our mission in Geneva, a framework forum round table, to facilitate the work of the open-ended working group, with great results. Unfortunately, despite considerable efforts by Canada and others, the working group could not come to a consensus on its final report, and instead established the basis for the United Nations resolution of last fall, which authorized the current negotiations.

It is a long and complicated tale, but the bottom line is that the concerns raised by Canada and many of our like-minded partners were not addressed in the recommendations of the final report from the open-ended working group. We could not therefore support the UN resolution establishing these negotiations. Moreover, as we expect their outcome to be a merely declaratory document targeting important elements of our collective security obligations under NATO, we cannot participate in these negotiations in good faith. (1050)

Canada's approach recognizes that despite a problematic international security environment, there is great opportunity to pursue effective nuclear disarmament efforts over the longer term. The current ban treaty negotiations pit nuclear weapon states against non-nuclear weapon states, forcing both sides to entrench their positions. Leadership on nuclear disarmament demands the opposite, bringing actors together to realize concrete progress where it is possible and not merely driving groups of them apart. This is where Canada has its focus, as do our allies, 41 of which did not participate in the ban treaty negotiations.

What marks real, tangible action? In contrast to ban treaty proponents as suggested by the members opposite, Canada and her allies maintain that nuclear disarmament can only realistically be achieved through an approach that takes into account the views and security interests of all states. Our position is that the most effective approach is a step-by-step process, which includes the universalization of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, a fully enforced comprehensive nuclear test ban treaty, a negotiated fissile material cut-off treaty, and only as the ultimate step, a credible and enforceable convention or ban on nuclear weapons. We must act in a systematic, logical, progressive fashion to tackle this complex and hideously dangerous issue.[Translation]

In keeping with the 2010 motion adopted unanimously in both Houses of Parliament here in Canada, encouraging the Government of Canada to deploy a major worldwide Canadian diplomatic initiative in support of nuclear disarmament, I am proud to say that is precisely what Canada is doing.

As the Minister of Foreign Affairs said a few days ago, in December 2016, Canada rallied 159 states, including those with nuclear weapons, to adopt a United Nations resolution calling for a fissile material cut-off treaty. Banning the production of fissile materials for nuclear explosives is almost universally recognized as the logical next step.

This resolution establishes for the first time an expert preparatory group, which will develop aspects of an eventual treaty. This group will enjoy input from open-ended, informal consultative meetings with all UN member states. Canada is chairing this process. Under our leadership, the success of the process will be a major step toward nuclear disarmament. The vast majority of countries with nuclear weapons are participating in the preparatory group, which is key to its success.[English]

In addition to our work in this regard, Canada is supporting work on the technical issues that will need to be addressed in order to establish a credible nuclear weapons disarmament regime. This includes engagement with the international partnership for nuclear disarmament verification, which aims to develop measures for the verification of nuclear disarmament, of which I spoke earlier.

Verification systems and methods are crucial to managing risks and mitigating threats related to weapons of mass destruction, and these, especially for nuclear weapons, are essential for providing assurance that all parties are in compliance with their obligations under the regime. Doubts and mistrust can and have stalled non-proliferation, arms control, and disarmament talks in the past. Transparency and confidence provided by independent verification can be a true motivator, as seen by the 116 stations of which I have spoken. (1055)

Understandably, the global skills and knowledge base for nuclear disarmament verification is limited, resulting in significant capacity gaps. Through, however, a cross-regional partnership of over two dozen countries, including the United States, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, France, and the People's Republic of China, countries are now working collaboratively to develop in detail the measures required to address the technical challenges related to the monitoring of nuclear disarmament and to ensure that disarmament commitments are being faithfully implemented. This is progress.

In addition to providing a nuclear disarmament policy and technical expertise, Canada is finalizing a project, through its weapons of mass destruction threat reduction program, that contributes to the Nuclear Threat Initiative, an organization that is hosting and facilitating a variety of meetings. This financial contribution will help the important work being undertaken through this initiative. Through this financial contribution, we will help the international partnership for nuclear disarmament verification continue its critical work.

We also support Norway's initiative to create a group of government experts on nuclear disarmament verification, one of the most challenging obstacles to nuclear disarmament. Concerted and inclusive action is necessary if we are to make genuine progress.

To conclude, let me reiterate that Canada is firmly committed to achieving a world free of nuclear weapons. There is no doubt about it. However, rather than symbolic gestures, which can and will be divisive, Canada is staying focused on the pragmatic and on what will actually achieve concrete results toward global nuclear disarmament, emphasizing efforts that have broad support.

Canada and our allies are supporting practical efforts that will require time and effort, of course, but the outcomes are much more likely to be meaningful, enduring, and effective. Canada's determined leadership on nuclear disarmament initiatives, including on several panels, and on technical issues, such as verification, will achieve the results that will best serve all countries.

Once again, let me be clear. We strongly support concrete efforts toward nuclear disarmament. We welcome them, but we are taking meaningful steps to achieve this, and that means doing the hard technical work to deliver real and lasting results. The work we are currently doing will have a positive impact toward nuclear disarmament worldwide, and it is something to be proud of.”

Ms. Linda Duncan (Edmonton Strathcona, NDP)

June 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...gument is being made that it is premature for nations to sit down and negotiate a convention to ban nuclear weapons. When precisely is a perfect time? Should it be the same thing as on climate change, because the United States has now pulled out? No, it should not. Canada has said “we are there” even stronger.

The arguments are so specious. I find it an incredible slight to the many nations, including Ireland and the Netherlands, which is a NATO country, who are participating there and speaking from their hearts and doing the hard work to protect the nations that are at risk from a nuclear war.

I wonder if the member could say which camp the Liberals are in. Are they in the camp that believes the only path to security is to have nuclear weapons, or are they in the camp of the majority of nations in the world that are saying the continuance of having nuclear weapons and moving to modernization for easier deployment of them is not the way to go?”

Hon. Andrew Leslie

June 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“Madam Speaker, in the main, Canada absolutely believes in the principle of nuclear disarmament. As a former soldier, and one who is trained in the NATO systems, and who many years ago took a nuclear fire planning course to employ tactical weapons systems in conjunction with our American allies, I am fully aware of the potential tragic impact that such weapon systems, if ever utilized, would bring not only to local battlefield circumstances but indeed the world.

Having said that, Canada's approach is pragmatic, realistic, and is going to be effective in conjunction with our friends and allies. It is illogical to expect friends and allies who do possess nuclear weapons, and on whose shoulders the whole idea of deterrence has rested for many decades, to actually be able to co-operate meaningfully with those who are just interested in making statements. That is why our efforts, which involve providing technical skills, scarce resources, and money to those technical aspects involved in establishing the frameworks for future dialogue are so important.

Nuclear disarmament is an excellent ideal, but unfortunately, tragically, because of international s...”

Hon. Andrew Leslie

June 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...d like to remind the House that Canada is one of the very few nations in the world that gave up its nuclear weapons capability. It was the Bomarc system, of which I think most are well familiar. This was groundbreaking. It represented the will, the desire, and indeed the need of Canadians to take a firm stand, all of which was highly admirable.

However, in that context, as members of NATO, we have relied on and stood on the shoulders of others who have nuclear weapons deterrent capabilities, which, for good or bad, I think mainly good, prevented an outbreak of nuclear war until now. Where the nuclear doomsday clock stands in terms of its hands moving toward midnight is a matter of scientific opinion. However, the point is that it obviously has not crossed that threshold of midnight.

In that sense, although it has been a hideous expense, and of course we are well aware of the two tragic utilizations of nuclear weapons under wartime conditions, specifically in Japan, and the horrific casualties that ensued, we have brought peace and stability under a very fractious world system. Unfortunately, right now, international security circumstances are such that those nation-states that do have nuclear weapon systems are probably not going to be convinced in any way, shape, or form by motions ...”

Mrs. Celina Caesar-Chavannes (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Development, Lib.)

June 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...colleague to elaborate on the importance of this responsible approach of engaging countries without nuclear weapons, particularly in the context of the fissile material cut-off treaty, and accountabil...”

Hon. Andrew Leslie

June 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“... to lay out the pragmatic approach to which she referred that Canada has taken to achieve worldwide nuclear disarmament in co-operation with our friends and allies, both those who have nuclear weapon systems and those who do not.

Our government believes that in order to convince nuclear powers to get rid of their weapons we must take this step-by-step approach. We are leading on a UN resolution that is doing just that, bringing nuclear powers to the table and working gradually toward disarmament. Not only do we lead through the UN system to make sure we advance toward this goal, we are also taking concrete actions. For example, Global Affairs has a program with respect to the mass destruction non-proliferation treaty with a view to prevent weapons of mass destruction from falling into the hands of terrorists. This program is called, not surprisingly, the weapons of mass destruction threat reduction program, and receives funding of $73 million per year.

We also support Norway's initiative to create a group of government experts on nuclear disarmament verification, something that is needed. These stations, which I referred to earlier with respect to monitoring, need support, sustenance, networking, and cannot be stand-alone. Without this weapons verification system ability to track explosives, very few of the nuclear states will disarm.

As well, in 2016, for the first time ever, Canada rallied 159 states to support and pass the resolution that my hon. colleague referred to, the fissile material cut-off treaty. With the support of nuclear and non-nuclear countries, this was a first and we chaired it.”

Ms. Anne Minh-Thu Quach (Salaberry—Suroît, NDP)

June 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...motion passed unanimously, including the Liberals, calling on Parliament to join negotiations for a nuclear weapons convention. As well, in 2016, Liberal delegates voted in favour of a resolution for Canada and a nuclear-weapon-free world, which included the following:

WHEREAS as a member of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT)(1970), Canada has an international treaty obligation “to pursue negotiations”…

Despite all this and the fact that Canada signed the treaty and that delegates asked the Liberal Party to oppose nuclear weapons and take part in negotiation, Canada is still standing in the way of negotiations.

Hon. Andrew Leslie

June 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“Madam Speaker, of course, we support nuclear disarmament agreements.

What my hon. friend is proposing is to negotiate a nuclear weapons ban without those countries that have nuclear weapons participating. That would be pointless. This is not something that would result in real change.

Of course, our goal is nuclear disarmament and we are doing what it takes to achieve it. This means working hard to get tan...”

Hon. Peter Kent (Thornhill, CPC)

June 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...er the next week.

We know that, since 1945, although there have been a number of close calls, nuclear weapons have not again been used in conflict. In the early years of the Cold War came the concept of mutual assured destruction, developed as a defence policy during the Kennedy administration. MAD essentially involves the United States stockpiling a huge nuclear arsenal, which in the event of a Soviet attack would have provided the U.S. with enough nuclear firepower to survive a first wave of nuclear strikes and to strike back at Russia and its Warsaw Pact partners. The resulting enduring theory of nuclear deterrence to this day meant that it would be unthinkable for either side to launch a first strike because it would inevitably lead to its own destruction.

Toward the end of the Cold War, 1987 to be exact, Margaret Thatcher said:

A world without nuclear weapons may be a dream but you cannot base a sure defence on dreams. Without far greater trust and confidence between East and West than exists at present, a world without nuclear weapons would be less stable and more dangerous for all of us.

Prime Minister Thatcher then offered a quote by Winston Churchill, and again this goes back to the period just after the Second World War when Churchill said, “Be careful above all...not to let go of the atomic weapon until you are sure and more than sure that other means of preserving peace are in your hands.”

Today, almost three decades after the Cold War ended, and despite the voluntary decommissioning of thousands of nuclear weapons, there are still more than 10,000 nuclear weapons of all sorts, bombs and warheads, worldwide. Eight countries have successfully detonated nuclear weapons: the United States, Russia, Britain, France, India, Pakistan, North Korea, and Israel. We know Iran is close to achieving nuclear capability. Five NATO member countries share nuclear weapons: Germany, Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands, and Turkey. The nuclear non-proliferation treaty, ratified by Canada decades ago, aims at “sharing the benefits of peaceful nuclear technology and the pursuit of nuclear disarmament and the ultimate elimination of nuclear arsenals”. However, North Korea left the treaty; Israel, India, and Pakistan have never joined; Iran did join decades ago but, surprise, was found to be in non-compliance and brags today about its dark nuclear intentions.

In the past decade, our previous Conservative government worked multilaterally to improve international nuclear security and to address the threat posed by nuclear terrorism. We worked with our international partners to prevent the acquisition of fissionable materials by any individuals, entities, or countries that might threaten Canadian national security, which brings me to the NDP motion before us. Conservatives do not disagree with paragraph (a) of the motion; we have no doubt of the catastrophic humanitarian consequences that would result from the use of atomic weapons. (1110)

At the same time, we in the official opposition agree with our democratic allies that possess nuclear weapons as a vital defence deterrent, the United States, Britain, France, and Israel; and our NATO partners that share them, Germany, Belgium, Italy, and the Netherlands, like Canada; which do not possess nuclear warheads. These countries all disagree with the talks to ban nuclear weapons, talks aimed at achieving total nuclear disarmament, which have absolutely no chance of success.

Russia and China, both nuclear powers, both veto-wielding permanent members of the Security Council, are not part of the democracies boycotting group, but they too see no reason to participate in the nuclear weapons ban talks. The Russian foreign minister has said that the 120 countries that are participating in the talks are trying to coerce nuclear powers into abandoning nuclear weapons, and he said it is absolutely clear that the time has not come. As well, President Obama during his presidency held essentially the same opposition to participation in the nuclear ban talks. That is because the world today is arguably in a much more dangerous place than it was during the Cold War and MAD. It is not because of the several hundred Russian and American weapons that are still on what is called hard alert, ready for launching within minutes of a perceived attack, but because of the nuclear weapons in the hands of a belligerent North Korea, because of the nuclear weapons still in development in Iran and that regime's continuing commitment to one day make a nuclear strike on Israel, and because of nuclear weapons at the ready today in Pakistan and in India, not to mention the fissionable material salvaged from Soviet era weapons believed to be accessible to international terror organizations.

While we Conservatives share with the NDP and peace-loving people around the world the dream of a nuclear weapons free world, while we agree that there are a couple of elements in the 2008 UN Secretary-General's five-point proposal that are still today worth pursuing—such as the call for the establishment of a central Asian and African nuclear weapons free zone treaty, the proposal for greater accountability and transparency by nuclear weapon states in documenting the size of their arsenals and weapons stocks, and continued efforts against other weapons of mass destruction—we in the official opposition do not believe that there is any benefit to participating in a marathon, wishful-thinking talkathon. There are more meaningful ways to work for greater peace and stability, fundamental human rights, and opportunities for those in the developing world and undemocratic states.

While we recognize the idealism of the NDP motion, we do not believe that the current precarious state of the world justifies Canada's engagement in these specific UN disarmament talks to ban nuclear weapons.”

Ms. Linda Duncan (Edmonton Strathcona, NDP)

June 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“... was unanimous support, to move toward negotiating this very treaty.

There are already 17,000 nuclear weapons in the world, as the member has pointed out. It is very clear that the fissile material ban treaty has very little opportunity of success. The member has repeated what the Liberals are saying, which is “That is a waste of time, they are just sitting around talking, and we should do credible actions like negotiate fissbans”. However, what they are not telling this place is that the very ones who hold the nuclear weapons are refusing to sign on and are very unlikely to sign on to the fissban treaty. So much for concrete action.

Surely the member does not believe that a sound reason to refuse to participate in the ban negotiations is that Russia feels threatened by these nations who are in fact threatened themselves by the fact that these nuclear weapons continue to proliferate.”

Hon. Peter Kent

June 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...a symbolic motion. It was a motion that supported the dream we all share of a world one day free of nuclear weapons, but it is unrealistic to expect today.

Not to trivialize this matter, but the reason our democratic allies are refusing to lay down all their nuclear weapons today, the reason our historic adversary, Russia, will not lay down its, is the unpredictability of the new nuclear states and the nuclear rogue states. It comes down to the rather trite saying, “You don't bring a knife to a gunf...”

Mr. Kevin Lamoureux (Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Lib.)

June 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...a played a leadership role with 159 other countries in bringing forward a UN resolution that brings nuclear powers to the table to work pragmatically toward disarmament through a fissile material cut-...”

Hon. Peter Kent

June 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...f the former Soviet republics, such as Ukraine, Belarus, and others, voluntarily relinquished their nuclear weapons, laid them down. Our previous Conservative government worked to achieve those same ends.

These talks will continue, I regret to say, for years, I believe, but there is no reason to not continue with meaningful talks with our nuclear-possessing democratic allies, and the others, in the enduring hope of one day having a nuclear-free world.”

Mr. James Bezan

June 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...ow that there are many bad players out there today. We have worked for a long time to try to reduce nuclear weapons, but an all-out ban, which the conference in the motion the NDP has brought forward is calling for, is unattainable.

The Conservative government worked hard over its 10 years to reduce the number of nuclear weapons in the possession of foreign governments and other international actors. It worked to prevent not just nuclear weapons but chemical weapons and biological weapons because of the traumatic effect they have on the lives of the innocent.

There have not been nuclear weapons on Canadian soil since 1984, and that goes back to the work done by Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and the Conservative government of the day to make sure that nuclear weapons were no longer stored on Canadian soil. Since then, government after government, Conservative and Liberal, have signed treaties and international agreements at the UN and with a number of organizations, including NATO, the G8, the International Atomic Energy Agency, and the Conference on Disarmament, to reduce the number of nuclear weapons available in the world.

We definitely need to work on stopping proliferation, but that is not happening. We need to work at reduction. That worked for a while between Russia and the United States, but now we are seeing the number of nuclear weapons increase.

Of course, we all want their eventual elimination, but this is not Shangri-La. We have to continue to drive ahead to try to reduce nuclear proliferation and to make sure that fissionable materials are not there for rogue states and terrorist organizations to get their hands on to produce nuclear warheads. The reality is that we cannot do it through an all-out ban. That is why the agreement the NDP is asking the government to support is unrealistic. Our NATO allies, western democracies, and the major UN nations that possess nuclear warheads are not participating in these talks. What is the purpose of it, then?

I am a member of Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament, an organization that represents more than 800 parliamentarians from 80 countries. It is something I am proud to belong to. However, it is about stopping proliferation, and that is not happening.

As I mentioned, the threat environment is still there. Not only is North Korea continuing to test its ballistic missiles with nuclear warheads but Iran still desires to produce its own nuclear warheads, and of course, aim them at the state of Israel, the United States, and other western allies. We know that the Iranian regime has the ability to ramp up its nuclear production, nuclear testing, and ballistic missile development in a very short period of time. The P5+1 agreement that was signed, which released all the cash held in escrow by the international community against the Iranian regime, did not take away Iran's ability to produce nuclear warheads. All it did was pause it, and Iran mothballed 85% to 95% of its production capacity. It can very quickly ramp up its testing, development, and ultimately, the use of a nuclear warhead. (1125)

I also have to point out what is happening in terrorist organizations. All we have to do is look not just at the proliferation of nuclear warheads but the proliferation of cruise missiles. In the conflict we see today in Yemen, the Houthi rebels are fighting the Yemen government that is supported by Saudi Arabia. They came into possession of cruise missiles. We are talking ballistic cruise missiles that have the capability of carrying nuclear warheads. They fired a cruise missile at a U.S. destroyer, not once but twice, and the U.S. navy was able to take out the truck from which they launched it.

People need to realize that we need the ability to defend ourselves. When our major partners, the United States, France, Great Britain, and Israel, possess these nuclear warheads and the ability to shoot them down, then we have to be aligned with them. As was pointed out by the member for Thornhill, other members of NATO also hold the same position.

We also have to look at the threat environment because of President Vladimir Putin from Russia. The Russian state continues to rattle its nuclear sabre. Putin has been bragging about having the most nuclear warheads in the world. He has also said that he wants to move nuclear warheads into areas where he wants to protect the Russian population. In 2016, he said, “We need to strengthen the strategic nuclear forces”. He wants to put them in Crimea. He wants to put them in the Baltic states in the Russian oblast of Kaliningrad, which is nestled right in there with Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia. We are putting our troops into Latvia as part of our NATO mission. He said that he would do it, that he had talked with colleagues and told them that it was their historic territory, that Russian people lived there, they were in danger, and they could not leave them. He is going to put in nuclear warheads to do that.

That is one of the most telling factors of why we need to have deterrence measures, not just by putting troops in Latvia, not just by providing air policing, not just by having more NATO members spend more money on national defence and our collective security. It means that some members of the NATO alliance need their own nuclear weapons so it does not become a one-sided fight.

If the western democracy and NATO allies took away all of our nuclear weapons, as the member for Thornhill said, “You don't take a knife to a gun fight”, it is more like what we would call surrender. We need like power and the ability to defend and deter, first and foremost. That is what nuclear weapons were used for in the Cold War and in the recent past.

There was success under the Reagan administration to reduce the number of nuclear weapons. Ukraine of course gave up all of its nuclear warheads. Unfortunately, Russia today, under Vladimir Putin and his oligarchs and his kleptocrats, continues to move forward with investments in developing more nuclear warheads.

As has already been pointed out, nuclear powers like the United States, France, the UK, South Korea, Turkey, Russia, China, and almost 40 other countries have boycotted the negotiations for such a treaty because it is naive and it is unattainable. It is also at a time when North Korea continues to try to launch its own ballistic missiles with the capability of carrying nuclear material.

Ballistic missile defence has matured. The technology is great. It is effective to deal with North Korea, or Iran, or a non-state actor firing up a ballistic missile. However, it cannot deal with a bombardment of nuclear weapons from China or Russia. For anyone who thinks there is a shield out there that can protect North America from incoming nuclear weapons from Russia or China, I am sorry to say that it is not possible. There are not enough interceptors in the U.S. arsenal or in the arsenals any of our allies to shoot down that many warheads. It becomes a situation where we need the deterrents and our own potential of threat by our allies to possess these nuclear warheads.

I will close with this quote from the U.S. ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, who said this about these talks:

We would love to have a ban on nuclear weapons, but in this day and time we can't honestly say we can protect our people by allowin...”

Mr. Pierre-Luc Dusseault (Sherbrooke, NDP)

June 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...ention.

I have a question for my colleague regarding his highly pessimistic arguments about a nuclear-weapons-free world. It is strange to be insulted as being too idealistic and wanting an ideal world. My question is about agreements similar to the one on chemical weapons, which are regulated by several international agreements.

In the case of chemical weapons, my colleague supports preventing their proliferation and use. There are consequences for countries that use them, such as Syria.

When it comes to nuclear weapons, why would it not be possible to sign similar agreements in order to prevent their u...”

Mr. James Bezan

June 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“Madam Speaker, biological, nuclear and chemical weapons have similar effects. They are all weapons of mass destruction.

Main states within the UN Security Council already have agreed to reduce, eliminate, and ban chemical and biological weapons. Our problem has been with the minor state actors, like Bashar al-Assad and Syria and how he has used chemical weapons. Even the Russians denounce it whenever that has occurred, although they often try to deflect and blame other people for using those chemical weapons.

When the main world powers are in agreement, things become a lot easier. We do not have that with nuclear weapons. We have a situation where China and Russia, in particular, continue to build up their arsenals, not reduce them. There needs to be a balance there.

The nuclear option must be the last resort in any national defence talks, and only be used when all else fails. I pray that never, ever happens. As Canadians, as a government, whether it is Conservative or Liberal, we will have to do what we have always done in the past, which is use diplomatic means to assist world powers in the de-escalation of conflict and work with our allies and partners on the non-proliferation of nuclear arms to ensure they are effective, safe, and responsibly used.”

Ms. Kamal Khera (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Revenue, Lib.)

June 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...e hon. member for highlighting the importance of engaging with our partners and allies that possess nuclear weapons. That is the only way to work toward nuclear disarmament. Could the member please explain what consequences could take place from failing...”

Mr. James Bezan

June 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...y that the NDP wants Canada to sign on to is absent of our allies, is absent of powers that possess nuclear warheads. There can be no discussion or dialogue when they are not at the table.

We can do a lot of things, such as the Sergei Magnitsky law. That can be brought in and there can be sanctions. There is global isolation on those state players and individuals that are responsible for the proliferation of nuclear warheads. There is the opportunity to continue to work through the G7, to work through NATO,...”

Ms. Cheryl Hardcastle (Windsor—Tecumseh, NDP)

June 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...t Canada stands on principle for human rights and human security issues, whether it be development, nuclear armament, disarmament, environmental protection, and the advancement of human rights, Canada has never attempted to impose a solution. The crux of the argument today is this. The way to impose solutions is not a hard stance approach. It is to work creatively and publicly to bridge conflicting positions so solutions emerge collectively. In the international community, that is of the utmost importance. People who are elected and placed in the highest of these positions have a role and responsibility to fulfill those kinds of responsibilities. That is why they get paid the big bucks.

The exertion of ideas strengthens the notion that together we can create what has been called a middle power. The idea that we can work and build on the elements of soft power versus hard power needs to be finessed. It is being dismissed over time because might is right.

I will take the rest of my time today to talk about how we restore a human rather than a mechanistic response to the instruments of mass murder. Nuclear weapons are just that.

The idea of nuclear weapons or human rights is a values debate. I hear this idea being brought up today. It is being turned into a very simplistic debate about might versus right. One member even quipped in his speech “you don't bring a knife to a gunfight”. This indicates to me that I need to spend more time talking about the crux of the matter and the importance of engaging in treaty obligations, being active participants, not sitting on the sidelines. That way, we play a key role in the future. By saying we do not want to have to sit and pay attention and do some of the nuancing and finessing required to be active members of this exclusive club, which is now emerging, because it is too much trouble, and we will just dismiss it as Shangri-La, is concerning. It would be funny if it were not so poignantly disastrous. We need to think about what really happens with nuclear weapons.

We are having a values debate that civil society has already had and is being very persistent about. There is a way that we can be aggressive with this insistence for placing human rights first. How can all of us reconcile our moral and spiritual values for human rights, knowing that the horrible consequences of such weapons are at the very crux of whether we are active participants in our treaty obligations? That means sitting and participating in discussions.

We need a reminder every so often of exactly what a nuclear weapon does. Earlier a member quipped “the NDP are idealistic” and “you don't bring a knife to a gunfight”. This is alarming. (1140)

There is a clear and utter lack of comprehension about what we are talking about. To suggest that we should not trouble ourselves with partaking in international treaty obligations because there is no Shangri-La, as one member stated, is naive. That is actually unattainable.

I am going to segue into another aspect of my speech, and at this time, it is appropriate for me to stress again that I will be splitting my time with the member for Sherbrooke.

To equate this issue with bringing a knife to a gunfight, to me, suggests that there is a need in this place for an unvarnished understanding of nuclear destruction, nuclear famine, nuclear winter, and nuclear mass murder. Unless nuclear weapons are abolished, these are the realities we are talking about.

Rather than using finesse, rather than developing our relationships and building bridges, rather than tapping into diplomacy and the art of consensus, rather than understanding and using our soft power, and there is a lot of talent for soft power here in this place so we know we have the capability to use it, to suggest that, instead of doing that, we would not partake in discussions because somebody else has a nuclear weapon that they might use is such a false logic that it is very saddening for humanity.

It was Carl Sagan who first coined the term “nuclear winter” decades ago. This was when people were starting to describe the unvarnished descriptions of the devastation and destruction of a nuclear weapon. We have to thank astounding and exemplary advocates like Setsuko Thurlow, who was here yesterday, a Hiroshima survivor. People talk about the incredible waves of heat and that people drop instantly like flies and then some of them writhe like worms that are still alive. These are actual descriptions. I am paraphrasing the actual wording of people who have given testimony on nuclear destruction.

However, a lot of people do not realize that the term “nuclear famine” talks about the aftermath because it is not just in that moment. Nuclear famine refers to the starvation that would ensue after a nuclear explosion. Even a limited nuclear war in one region, for example, would result in millions of deaths, firestorms with soot rising up into the troposphere, cooling temperatures, and a significant decline in food production.

Now we would have a famine. We would have mass migration, civil conflict, and war, not only because of resources that are being destroyed but because what resources are left are being competed for.

A “nuclear ozone hole” describes another consequence of nuclear war. Soot from burning cities in a nuclear war would severely damage the Earth's protective ozone layer. Large losses of stratospheric ozone would permit more ultraviolet radiation to reach us, with severe consequences, such as skin cancers, crop damage, and destruction of marine phytoplankton. The effects would persist for years.

My point is that the ripple effect of nuclear destruction has only been talked about in very distant terms. We need to bring the humanity ...”

Mr. Pat Kelly (Calgary Rocky Ridge, CPC)

June 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...cy.

We on the Conservative side, and I hope all of us, are deeply concerned with the issue of nuclear proliferation: the proliferation of delivery systems, the proliferation of fissile material, and the proliferation of the capacity to build a bomb. I would like the member's comments on that. I would like to know what she thinks of the current government's response so far to this threat, particularly with regimes such as North Korea and Iran, which have expressed their intention to acquire nuclear weapons for use against other people in the world.”

Mr. Kevin Lamoureux (Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Lib.)

June 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“... active and proactive. Canada has led 159 countries in bringing forward a UN resolution that brings nuclear powers to the table to work pragmatically toward disarmament through a fissile material cut-off treaty. That is being proactive and taking a tangible action and moving forward. We are very much concerned about it, and we are seeing actions taken by this government.

What time frame does the member across the way believe we are in with respect to a nuclear-free world? When does she believe that will take place?”

Ms. Cheryl Hardcastle

June 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...inst, and absence from, initial rounds of negotiations for a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons”.

That being said, expressing that disappointment means that we see that the...”

Mr. Pierre-Luc Dusseault (Sherbrooke, NDP)

June 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“Madam Speaker, I am very pleased to rise today in the House to speak to the important issue of nuclear disarmament and the nuclear issue in general. This issue is important to all members no matter what they have said about it. There seems to be consensus for a world free of nuclear weapons. However, there seems to be a divergence of opinions among Conservatives and Liberals on how to achieve that.

This is a fine example of how we can work constructively as members in the House. I was elected to do constructive work.

I am pleased to take part in this debate and support the motion moved by my colleague from Laurier—Sainte-Marie. The hon. member for Edmonton Strathcona and my colleague worked hard to move this motion today. I thank them because this is a good example of constructive work by the opposition; we are proposing something instead of always opposing things. This is a good example of the good work that the NDP does to advance ideas and propose tangible measures, in this case on the nuclear issue.

In my opinion, this is one of the most important issues for humanity. This is about the survival of our species and that of every other species on earth. This is a sensitive topic for me given all the many victims nuclear weapons have claimed around the world in the past—a not so distant past, at that. One victim would have been too many, but tens of thousands of people were affected and continue to be affected. The fallout from these weapons can still be felt years, generations after they were deployed.

I cannot begin to fathom why states and governments continue to fund nuclear weapon development, on top of defending the notion that this is a question of self-defence and, as such, countries should be able to keep stockpiling these weapons and fighting fire with fire. Amassing even more nuclear weapons is not really the way we want to go.

The current narrative seems to almost encourage nuclear proliferation. Countries produce nuclear weapons in the hopes of protecting themselves, fearing one will be used against them. That does not make sense to me. Continuing in that direction is much too dangerous. I am not an expert on the topic, but I assume that states with these weapons have adequate means of protecting them.

There is nonetheless a risk that these weapons could fall into the wrong hands. Some could decide to use them in the near future. Knowing that those weapons could fall into the hands of very ill-intentioned people is a major concern for our country, for the entire world, and for me.

Clearly, one has to be of ill intent to use nuclear weapons. There is no way to use such weapons for good, but some might use them anyway. These weapons falling into the wrong hands would certainly put humanity in jeopardy. The danger is real, as we have seen other types of weapons fall into the hands of terrorist groups. That is why the possibility of nuclear weapons falling into such hands is so worrisome. (1155)

I am also very surprised today to see the Liberals using the same argument the Conservatives used regarding international agreements to fight climate change. They claimed that these agreements would be of little to no value without the participation of major powers like China and the United States. That was the argument used by the Conservatives on climate change. That was also the reason we withdrew from the Kyoto protocol. They claimed it would be ineffective without the major players.

Today, the Liberals are using the same argument. They say some people like to sit around the table to discuss important topics and dream, but that, in the end, it changes nothing. If we had had the same attitude about climate change, we would never have had an agreement like the Kyoto protocol, much less the Paris accord.

We will never make any progress by constantly saying that we will wait for someone else to start the work before joining in. That is a very disappointing attitude from the Liberals. They wait for others to do the work and for the biggest players to sit at the table and, in the meantime, they leave the real power in the hands of the other powers.

As a country, we can work constructively on negotiations. That is why we propose that Canada return to the table to do constructive work that will finally show results. That is what we did with climate change, and we are all happy that that worked and led to the Paris accord.

We must have the same vision and work together, as we did on climate change. We were able to bring almost all powers to the table, and that actually gave results.

I would also like to point out that there are other types of treaties, such as those on chemical weapons. The Conservatives and Liberals say that an agreement on nuclear disarmament would never work, while the chemical weapons treaty shows that the work was quite effective. We can therefore draw on the work done in that negotiating forum to ban the use of chemical weapons and punish those who use them.

I humbly propose that the House examine this issue and draw inspiration from what has been done on that file. We were able to bring the major powers to the table and they agreed to ban chemical weapons. That is certainly something that the members can draw on.

The Minister of Foreign affairs said that Canada wanted to engage anew in multilateral and international forums, naming almost all of them, and go against the approach of the Conservatives, who primarily favoured bilateral relations. Well, today, she has the opportunity to engage in multilateral negotiations on nuclear disarmament. (1200)

Now we are told that it is not necessary and that it will not wor...”

Ms. Kamal Khera (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Revenue, Lib.)

June 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“Mr. Speaker, our government is strongly supporting concrete efforts toward nuclear disarmament. We are taking meaningful steps toward achieving it .

In 2016, for the first time ever, Canada rallied 159 states to support and pass a resolution calling for the fissile material cut-off treaty. With the support of the nuclear and non-nuclear countries, Canada is chairing this high-level group to help phase out nuclear weapons. That is real action that will have a positive impact towards nuclear disarmament.

We need all our allies and all our partners at the table to make this happen. The immediate ban is an empty process that excludes essential players and may actually set back nuclear disarmament. Would the hon. member not agree?”

Mr. Pierre-Luc Dusseault

June 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...ike Canada, played an important role.

In this case, Canada could again become a leader on the nuclear weapons file, tackling another important problem for humanity. We currently see that the Lib...”

Mr. Francis Scarpaleggia (Lac-Saint-Louis, Lib.)

June 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...ther adults, were experiencing. Fortunately, a terrible Armageddon was avoided, but tensions around nuclear weapons continued throughout the Cold War. During the 1980s, for example, children, and I believe my own wife, in fact, when she was in high school, protested against nuclear weapons. Films like The Day After impacted individual and collective psyches as well.

Today we are in a very different situation, but there are nuclear tensions with rogue states like Iran and North Korea. Therefore, the permanent goal, if we are ever to have global peace of mind, is the elimination of nuclear weapons. However, it is a daunting task, which to many may seem unattainable. It is a daunting task because the nuclear powers also happen to be the permanent members of the Security Council, for example. When we think of the U.S., Russia, Britain, France, and China, they are all among the first nuclear powers, and they are the permanent members of that international decision-making body.

The challenge, however daunting it may be in the short term, does not deter activists and proponents of disarmament, like Judith Quinn, one of my constituents, Judith Berlyn, another Montrealer, or the late Joan Hadrill, who was a constituent of mine. Many years ago, she created a very small organization called WIND, West Islanders for Nuclear Disarmament. Joan Hadrill's favourite maxim was drawn from Margaret Mead, the cultural anthropologist: “Never doubt that a small group of...committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” Joan Hadrill had that printed on her business card.

Earlier this week, we heard a visionary foreign policy speech from the Minister of Foreign Affairs. She emphasized the importance of international law for maintaining a stable and peaceful international order. She also mentioned that, as a middle power, Canada's greatest influence is not through economic or military might, but through the pursuit and application of legal instruments which provide small powers a measure of equal protection with larger ones, even superpowers.

Nowhere is the pursuit of legal international instruments perhaps more crucial than in the area of nuclear arms control. As a middle power with a strong humanitarian tradition and track record, Canada is well placed to be a moral voice and practical advocate for a world that is free of nuclear weapons, and to work for that goal through international legal arrangements. Let us not forget the role we played in bringing the land mines treaty to fruition. It is also true that as a principled and ambitious middle power, we can contribute to the attainment of meaningful international objectives, including in the area of peace and security. We can do that if we act wisely and strategically, among other things to maintain credibility with the actors whom we wish to influence toward a good and noble end. Indeed, this is how we are acting on the nuclear weapons front.

We are acting concretely to advance the disarmament agenda. In 2016, Canada rallied 159 states to support and pass a resolution calling for the establishment of a fissile material cut-off treaty expert preparatory group, which is an essential step towards a ban treaty. (1210)

We have also rallied the support of 166 states to pass a resolution creating a group of government experts to carry out an in-depth analysis of treaty aspects. This is important groundwork. We also supported Norway's initiative to create a group of government experts on nuclear disarmament verification. Verification, as we all know, is one of the most challenging obstacles to disarmament. All of these things that we have done in the international sphere in attempting to eliminate nuclear weapons in the long term are crucial steps. They are building blocks. We could say that Canada is helping to engineer and build the foundation of a nuclear weapons ban treaty.

There are a number of benefits to a fissile material cut-off treaty. I will read four very briefly. First, restricting the quantity of fissile material available for use in new nuclear weapons programs or for existing ones would be a significant tool for combatting horizontal proliferation, which means the spreading of nuclear weapons technology between countries, and vertical proliferation, which means the advancement of existing nuclear weapons technology in an already-nuclear state.

The second benefit of such a treaty would be limiting the pool of available fissile material, to reduce the risk that terrorist groups or other non-state actors could acquire these materials, thereby enhancing global nuclear security and preventing nuclear terrorism. Third, the fissile material cut-off treaty would also advance nuclear disarmament by providing greater transparency regarding the fissile material stockpiles of states possessing nuclear weapons. A future multilateral nuclear disarmament agreement will require a baseline of fissile materials by which nuclear disarmament efforts can be measured. By establishing this necessary baseline, the fissile material cut-off treaty would be the critical foundation of future multilateral nuclear disarmament agreements.

Finally, the FMCT would promote non-discrimination in non-proliferation and disarmament. In particular, and this is very important, a prohibition on the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons could apply equally to the five non-proliferation treaty nuclear weapon states, the 185 non-proliferation treaty non-nuclear weapon states, as well as the four states that remain outside the NPT framework. Those are the benefits, the concrete tangible benefits, of a fissile material cut-off treaty.

If we wish to maintain influence in the international community, we must work with allies and Security Council members like the U.K. and France, who at this point are not part of current negotiations toward a nuclear weapons ban. Perhaps Canada can slowly lead these nations in that direction over time. Could we do more? The Prime Minister has repeatedly said that better is always possible. I encourage Canadians like Judith Quinn and Judith Berlyn, inspired no doubt by the example of the late Joan Hadrill, to continue to advocate and push the government to work toward a nuclear weapons convention that would ban nuclear weapons.

At the end of the day, in a democracy, true to Margaret Mead's maxim, persistent public attention and pressure on any given issue is the only way to move that issue forward. It is important that committed and concerned Canadian citizens continue to draw public attention to the need for progress on nuclear disarmament and continue to remind our government of its duty to work toward this vital objective. We must keep this issue alive in the newspapers and in communities across the country. I do not think it is an exaggeration to say that the nuclear disarmament debate, unfortunately, is not front and centre in the media these days, but that should not stop Canadians, especially committed Canadians, from taking part in assiduous efforts to keep the issue burning. (1215)

Meanwhile, our government must pursue a focused, step-by-step, realistic, concrete strategy within international institutions to create the building blocks and the foundation that are necessary if we are, in the long run, to achieve a nuclear weapons ban treaty.”

Ms. Linda Duncan (Edmonton Strathcona, NDP)

June 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...ith the resurgent drift back to Cold War era positions, including the rhetoric about the utility of nuclear weapons, and is concerned about arguments to shelve discussions on nuclear disarmament until the climate improves. She says it lacks credibility. She is saying that it is not a vague hope or aspiration but a concrete contribution to a safer, more secure world, to come forward and participate in these negotiations.

No one on this side of the House, in my party, is disrespecting the actions taken by the government on the other aspects of the nuclear proliferation treaty. What we are saying is that the government is refusing to come to the t...”

Mr. Francis Scarpaleggia

June 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...rgy and environmental issues.

No one is suggesting that discussions should not go on toward a nuclear weapons ban treaty, and I do not think the reason Canada is not participating in those discussions at that level in that forum is a financial one. We can always afford to send somebody to be part of those negotiations.

Canada is taking a strategic approach here, which is that as a middle power we want to build relationships and credibility, especially with those nuclear powers that are we are going to need to bring into a nuclear weapons ban treaty in the future.

There is some merit, in terms of building credibility and building Canada's image as a credible and effective middle power, to having a focused approach, which at the moment should be on the fissile materials cut-off treaty. We gain a lot of credibility by focusing our energies and our efforts and working with the nuclear powers in that context.

Obviously the ultimate goal is to have a nuclear weapons-free world. We want to be part of that process. The step-by-step approach has merit ...”

Mr. David Sweet (Flamborough—Glanbrook, CPC)

June 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...r. Speaker, I did not hear any mention of Iran in the member's speech. One of the best ways to stop nuclear proliferation, to make sure that we march one day to disarmament, is prevention.

I am not in agreement with the government's position on how it is dealing with Iran right now. However, in the government's conversations with the Iranian regime, one of the most tyrannical regimes there is, with regard to human rights and exportation of terror, is it pressuring the Iranian regime to stop its nuclear program, to make sure Iran is not added to the list of countries that have nuclear capability and can harm others?”

Mr. Francis Scarpaleggia

June 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...oblem, of course, in many regards. The world has been seized of the danger of that regime acquiring nuclear weapons.

I am not privy to the diplomatic discussions that go on between Canada and Iran. I do not think it was particularly constructive to pull our consular officials out of Iran. We saw that the previous U.S. administration worked very hard to have a constructive dialogue with the aim of preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

At the end of the day, dialogue must always be a part of any strategy for dea...”

Mr. Francis Scarpaleggia

June 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“Mr. Speaker, the hon. member brings up a good point. While the focus today is on nuclear weapons, there are other weapons of mass destruction that are actually causing havoc today in certain conflict zones. There are weapons like chemical weapons, which to our horror, have been used in the Syrian conflict.

A global strategic approach to the nuclear weapons issue would have as a corollary a need to focus on all weapons of mass destruction, ...”

Ms. Sheri Benson (Saskatoon West, NDP)

June 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...ents to move forward and get to a time in the world, which I have not lived in, where the threat of nuclear war is absent.

I was disappointed yesterday when the Prime Minister referred to the talks at the UN, of folks around the table, around a treaty to ban nuclear weapons, as sort of useless. That term is not helpful. There are more than 120 countries aro...”

Mr. Francis Scarpaleggia

June 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...ussion about all issues, and whether we are part of the more than 100 nations that are discussing a nuclear weapons ban, or whether we are not, I am certain that our officials and NGOs are very present at the international level in discussions of all kinds around a nuclear weapons ban.”

Ms. Sheri Benson (Saskatoon West, NDP)

June 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“... for peace for the past 60 years. Their efforts, a lifetime of dedication to peace and particularly nuclear disarmament, were recognized and honoured in our city when the couple were awarded the 2014 Joanna Miller Peace Prize.

The Joanna Miller Peace Prize in Saskatoon was established in 2013 to honour the late Joanna Miller for her years of activism, for peace, both within the Saskatoon community and globally as well. She was the president of UNICEF Canada, an active member of Project Ploughshares, and of particular note, because of the conversation we are having today, a special adviser on disarmament to the Canadian delegation to the United Nations.

Both John and Betsy were veterans of World War II. Because of this shared experience, they realized we must work for peaceful resolutions to world conflicts. They were longtime active members of the Saskatoon branch of Veterans against Nuclear Arms.

Betsy no longer has John by her side. John died at the age of 92 this past Christmas. The Saskatoon community will miss John and his thoughtful, well-researched letters to the editor in the Saskatoon StarPhoenix. I know Betsy and many others in my community will continue to work for peace and disarmament in his honour. Therefore, it is a privilege for me to rise today to have an opportunity to speak to the opposition day motion and of course support it wholeheartedly.

I am sure my colleagues in this House have noticed that all around us, frantic preparations are under way for the big Canada Day party that will be held on Parliament Hill in a couple of weeks. As Canadians celebrate our nationhood and the country we call home, it behooves us to also reflect on our role on the world stage, past, present and future. It is a matter of immense pride to Canadians that we have worked for peace, an end to apartheid, and disarmament, no matter the party in power.

It is true that Canada has lost some stature over the last decade or so. With the election of the Liberals in 2015, we heard the claims that Canada was back. Sadly, it does sound like another piece of empty rhetoric. Canada cannot be back if we continue to boycott the talks for a nuclear ban treaty.

In the much-anticipated “reveal” of Canada's new foreign policy direction, the Minister of Foreign Affairs stood in the House and trumpeted that Canada would chart its own course, no longer in lock-step with the United States, and in defiance of President Trump's wishes if it went against the best interests of Canada.

The Minister mentioned the United Nations last after mentioning nine other multilateral forums the Liberals would support. There was absolutely nothing about the threat of nuclear weapons in her entire speech. Is this really how the government intends to win on the UN Security Council?

If Canada is to get a seat on the UN Security Council, we need a campaign that is bold, global and pertinent. Leading a global effort on nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament should be a cornerstone of that campaign. Instead, there has been a deafening silence and a refusal to attend negotiations for a nuclear ban treaty.

The need to act on nuclear disarmament is clear. Nuclear weapons threaten our collective existence, especially in the hands of non-state actors, such as Daesh, also known as ISIS or ISIL, and belligerent countries, such as North Korea. The financial cost to build, maintain and refurbish nuclear weapons is totally unsustainable. The proliferation of nuclear weapons also raises the risk of false alarms that could lead to inadvertent use. (1230)

In the late 1980s and 1990s, incredible global progress was made in the reduction of nuclear weapons, leading to a period of peace and prosperity, then the momentum was lost in the early 2000s following 9/11.

In 2007, there was a resurgence of optimism with a surprisingly idealistic op-ed by George Shultz, William Perry, Henry A. Kissinger, and Sam Nunn. Titled “A World Free of Nuclear Weapons”, this bipartisan offering pleaded with the world to get serious about nuclear disarmament. This was followed in April 2009, by President Obama's historic speech in Prague that echoed President Reagan's vision, and then UN Secretary Ban Ki-moon's five-point plan on the subject in August of that same year. Sadly, since that time we have seen very little, if any, progress.

The world needs leadership and action on nuclear disarmament and Canada more than any other country is well positioned to move things forward. It is important to remember the political and historical capital we have to make a significant impact on nuclear disarmament. As a country that has never developed nuclear weapon, we have some credibility. As a G7 nation and a member of NATO, the Commonwealth, and the Francophonie, we have global connectivity. We have some of the best experts in diplomacy, science, and verification of nuclear weapons. No other country can make these claims.

In the face of this challenge are we ready to put forward serious ideas that will allow Canada to take its place at the UN Security Council and contribute to a more stable world? I hope and think the answer must be yes.

Yesterday, I was honoured to listen to a survivor of Hiroshima, Setsuko Thurlow, speak and advocate for a world without nuclear weapons. We all know the powerful and destructive impact these weapons have. Every high school student studies the end of the Second World War, and every August, we remember the victims and events that led to the use of these devastating weapons.

We live in a world where nuclear arsenals are multiplying. Ninety-five per cent of nuclear weapons are held between the United States and Russia. Furthermore, other nations strive to obtain these weapons as a measure of strength. Nine nations, including our allies, hold over, as has been mentioned but it is worth mentioning again, 15,000 nuclear warheads. A single one can kill millions of people and destroy the surrounding environment for decades.

We lived through the fear that permeated the Cold War and now live in fear of non-state actors acquiring these weapons. Unregulated, uncontrolled, and unmonitored nuclear development leaves Canadians, leaves our world, vulnerable.

In 2010, Parliament unanimously passed a motion to seek a way to negotiate an end to nuclear weapons. The majority of countries in the world are really fed up with the foot dragging on disarmament and they are orchestrating an end run around the nine nuclear states. The UN negotiations are a long-sought breakthrough for the disarmament community and the countries that feel held hostage by weapons they do not possess.

Former parliamentarian Douglas Roche, like many in the Canadian disarmament community, said that there was only one thing wrong with the UN talks, “Canada isn’t taking part. “I see this exercise in very positive terms, and it’s shocking that Canada is not going to participate.”

The two greatest security threats in our world today are cyberwarfare and terrorism. The proliferation of nuclear weapons makes it all the more likely that somewhere, eventually, a country's system will be without the cyber-defence measures needed to protect it from attack. All the more likely is that a nuclear weapon will be lost or stolen and end up in hands that would choose to use it.

I am looking for the government to lead again in the world community towards peace and nuclear disarmament. If ever there were a time and a place for Canadian leadership, it is now, at the UN, at the table, negotiating a ban on nuclear weapons.

I implore all Canadians, the majority of whom believe in a ban, to contact th...”

Ms. Sheri Benson

June 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...timely remarks on the value of being at the table to work toward concrete actions around the ban on nuclear weapons.

We heard some Conservative colleagues talk about us being idealistic. On the ...”

Ms. Anne Minh-Thu Quach (Salaberry—Suroît, NDP)

June 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague for her very informative speech on the issue of nuclear disarmament, which is extremely crucial right now.

We know that there are over 17,000 nuclear weapons around the world and that they cause humanitarian, environmental and public health devastation. We cannot allow their proliferation, especially since Canada signed the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Treaty, which came into force in 1970.

How is it that the Liberals are now using the same arguments as the Conservatives, that we cannot get involved because the major countries are not there? I think the member just said it. This is not a valid reason. The United States withdrew from the Paris agreement, but Canada has shown leadership and said it will continue to press forward.

Why are the Liberals unable to stand up on this issue, when last year their own delegates voted for a resolution calling on Canada to take a stand, show leadership, and join nuclear disarmament negotiations?

We should remember that in 2010, the House unanimously voted...”

Ms. Sheila Malcolmson (Nanaimo—Ladysmith, NDP)

June 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...hts, then it needs to ensure that we are indeed walking the talk.

Canada was once a leader on nuclear disarmament issues. I honour the shoulders we stand on. When I was a young woman in Toronto, I was especially inspired by the work of Dr. Rosalie Bertell and Ursula Franklin, women with amazing minds who worked very hard to push Canada to take the important action we needed to on the world stage. However, the international community is now negotiating a nuclear weapons ban convention, and Canada is boycotting the process. It is a shameful position. With this, Canada has effectively removed itself from nuclear disarmament diplomacy.

We do not understand how Canada can “be back”, in the words of the Prime Minister, on the international scene when we are turning our backs on the most important international negotiations in years. Arguably, with the election of U.S. President Donald Trump, who has pledged to increase the nuclear arsenal in the U.S., and the troubling actions taken by North Korea, the threat of nuclear war is so present on the international stage right now that it is even more important that the international community work together at this time.

The world is watching Canada. This motion today gives the government an opportunity to reaffirm Parliament's support for nuclear disarmament. We certainly hope cabinet will follow, in line with the motion, to re-support Parliament in that initiative.

On the waterfront of Nanaimo, one of the communities I represent, there is an annual honouring of the anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing on August 6. Members of the Women's International League for Peace & Freedom, a long-standing activist organization across the country, with particularly strong roots in my riding of Nanaimo—Ladysmith, were talking about the UN vote that was coming up at that time on nuclear disarmament. They shared my optimism that given the campaign commitments the Liberal Party had made on peace, security, and restoring Canada's international reputation on the world stage, our Prime Minister was going to direct Canada to vote in favour of negotiations to end the nuclear weapons trade. We were all stunned when Canada voted against negotiations for a global treaty banning nuclear weapons. It was seriously a shock to all of us.

These negotiations have been called for by former UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon. Sixty-eight countries voted in favour of the motion, so Canada was completely outside the international consensus. The vote was called the most significant contribution to nuclear disarmament in two decades by one of the UN member countries, and Canada was not on board.

That vote by the Canadian Liberal government also flew in the face of a 2010 resolution of this House encouraging the Canadian government to join those negotiations. I will talk more about that in a few minutes. I want to say what a sad point it was that government did not follow through. Now that is has the power, why would it not carry through with that commitment? It would have made us all proud on the international stage.

We want to move forward in a more positive way, and there is even more United Nations consensus that Canada could move on theoretically.

Canada's responsibility in this area is particularly strong. At a session that two of my New Democrat colleagues hosted yesterday on the Hill, I was reminded of Canada's special responsibility with respect to nuclear weapons. The bombs that fell on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were made from uranium that was mined in Great Bear Lake in the Northwest Territories. It was refined in Port Hope. As well, Canada has sold CANDU reactors around the world, which have a unique design capability that makes them particularly susceptible to nuclear weapons uses. They are of course not designed for that. It is a design flaw and an unintended consequence. This is how Pakistan and India got the bomb. It was by using Canadian power-producing technology. (1250)

Our responsibility is deep. We are reminded by the CCNR, the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility, in the summary of a book written in the eighties, that:

Through its dealings with other countries, Canada has played a major role in fostering the proliferation of nuclear weapons [around] the world. This brief history concerns itself with Canada's involvement as a supplier of nuclear reactors and uranium, leading to both “vertical proliferation”—the ever-accelerating competition for bigger, better, faster and smarter bombs among existing nuclear powers—and “horizontal proliferation”: a more insidious process whereby dozens of national and subnational groups are slowly but surely acquiring a nuclear weapons capability.

CCNR has been raising the alarm on this for decades, and the danger is greater for us right now.

It is powerful to be reminded of the human toll when a nuclear bomb falls on a community. Yesterday we heard the testimony of Setsuko Thurlow, a Canadian citizen but a Japanese schoolgirl, age 13, when the bomb fell at Hiroshima. She said that there were mostly children, women, and elderly people who were vaporized, incinerated, contaminated, and crushed in the wake of the bomb at Hiroshima, again, that Canada was complicit in.

She described her four-year-old nephew transformed into blackened, melted flesh. She said the family was relieved when he died. It is an appalling image she has carried her whole life. She said they made a vow to their loved ones at that time that his death would not be in vain, that all the deaths in her community would not be in vain.

Now, as a Canadian citizen, she says she is deeply disturbed by the absence of the Canadian government at the negotiations. She said she felt betrayed by Japan, of course, but also by her adopted country of Canada.

We have a responsibility to honour Canada's complicity in this and also the opportunity we have to enter the negotiations and make ourselves proud again on the international stage.

As New Democrats, we have been asking the new Canadian government to participate fully in the nuclear weapons ban multiple times since September. It has consistently hidden behind the excuse that it is working on the fissile material cut-off treaty, which is important and related but is not a nuclear weapons ban. That is what we are holding out for, and this is what we have the opportunity f...”

Ms. Anita Vandenbeld (Ottawa West—Nepean, Lib.)

June 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...s a mischaracterization to suggest that anyone in the House is not completely opposed to the use of nuclear weapons. It is simplistic logic to say that because we do not support a full ban treaty, which none of the countries that have nuclear weapons are participating in the dialogue on, we somehow are not against nuclear weapons. We all want a world that is free of nuclear weapons, and that is why Canada has been leading the world. The fissile material cut-off treaty is something Canada is chairing. Canada is leading the world. We led 159 other countries to support this. That is going to prevent the availability of the explosive material in nuclear weapons.

We are focused on non-proliferation. We are working with our allies. None of ...”

Ms. Sheila Malcolmson

June 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“... argument that there is no point in Canada joining in negotiations without the participation of all nuclear states, Canada itself is not a state that has nuclear weapons, but that has not prevented it from being involved in other processes. All international negotiations worth their salt are difficult and have to bring members in. The Ottawa treaty on land mines took political will. The creation of the International Criminal Court had people outside and inside the process. Nevertheless, it prevailed. Work on the Kimberley Process took political will, and not all states participated in those negotiations, but we got results. Canada was proud to be a participant in all those processes. Canada, in every case, adopted an ambitious approach and took the lead on the international stage.

The process my colleague describes is one element, but it is not a nuclear weapons ban. That is the negotiation happening right now, and Canada, to our embarrassment, ...”

Mr. Pierre-Luc Dusseault (Sherbrooke, NDP)

June 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“... as the United Nations and so forth. On the other hand, a few days later, we hear that the forum on nuclear disarmament is not important and that Canada will not get involved in negotiations.

Co...”

Ms. Julie Dzerowicz (Davenport, Lib.)

June 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...government not supporting this NDP motion, it seems that the government is saying we do not support nuclear disarmament, that this is not an issue of great importance to the government. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The federal government, which I am proud to be a part of, is strongly supportive of taking concrete action toward nuclear disarmament. We are taking a leadership role and meaningful steps toward achieving a world that is free of nuclear weapons. The bottom line of why we are not supporting the motion is that we think the current discussions on this convention are premature. I will give more context over the course of the next nine minutes about why we are on the current path we are on today, and why engaging this draft convention is not the right step at this moment.

In 2008, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon outlined his signature five-point plan addressing the topic of security in a world that is free of nuclear weapons. I am going to outline those five points in his proposal, because we are largely following it. We believe it is the right step-by-step approach toward a nuclear arms free world.

The first point he outlined is that all parties to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, especially the nuclear weapons states, should fulfill their obligation to enter into negotiations on effective measures leading to nuclear disarmament. He suggested the negotiation of a comprehensive nuclear weapons convention. He circulated and updated a document called the “Model Nuclear Weapons Convention” to UN member states earlier that year. This model convention was 80 pages long, with 20 articles, and five separate indexes. It was quite extensive, and it outlined the use, possession, development, testing, deployment, and transfer of nuclear weapons. Most importantly perhaps, it would mandate the internationally verifiable dismantlement of nuclear arsenals.

In contrast, the draft convention on the prohibition of nuclear weapons, which is currently what we are talking about, and currently under negotiation at the United Nations, is a mere eight pages long. Unlike the comprehensive convention that I just mentioned, the proposed convention concentrates primarily on legal prohibitions. It contains no provisions to eliminate even a single nuclear weapon, or any verification measures. Moreover, as mentioned, no nuclear weapon states are participating in these negotiations, because they do not take into account the current international security context of Russian military expansionism, or North America's testing of nuclear devices and ballistic missiles, designed to threaten the whole Asia-Pacific region, including North America. Sadly, this convention is premature and will be ineffective in advancing tangible nuclear disarmament.

Let me be clear: Canada strongly favours the negotiation of a nuclear weapons convention or ban, but as the final step in a progressive step-by-step approach to nuclear disarmament. We believe that there needs to be three other steps first: the universalization of a nuclear non-proliferation treaty, entry into force of the comprehensive nuclear test ban treaty, and the negotiation of a fissile material cut-off treaty. We believe these are mutually enforcing steps and mutually enforcing instruments. This approach aims to halt the spread of nuclear weapons and nuclear explosive testing, reduce existing nuclear weapons and fissile material stockpiles, and build the trust and confidence to verifiably and irreversibly eliminate nuclear weapons.

This is why Canada, last year, led a very successful UN General Assembly resolution to establish a high-level expert participatory group, to clear the path for the eventual negotiation of a fissile material cut-off treaty, or FMCT, to ban the production of the explosive materials used in nuclear weapons. By pursuing the important technical work of a FMCT in the 25-member UN preparatory group that we chair, Canada hopes to be able to present the conference on disarmament with draft treaty provisions that will enable this body to commence negotiations on this important agreement. (1305)

The Secretary-General also identified the need for more investment by governments in disarmament verification research and development. I am pleased to let Canadians know that the Government of Canada has actively responded to this call by providing expert input to the International Partnership for Nuclear Disarmament Verification.

Officials and experts from Global Affairs Canada, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, and the Canadian Nuclear Laboratories are making important contributions to addressing the technical challenges of nuclear disarmament verification. This important work is aimed at building global nuclear disarmament verification capabilities. It is essential for the successful implementation of a comprehensive nuclear weapons convention and is a key element of our pragmatic step-by-step approach to disarmament.

I am also pleased to announce that Canada, through Global Affairs weapons of mass destruction threat reduction program, has just provided a financial contribution to help support the work of the international partnership over the next year. Not only are we saying that we are getting engaged, not only are we actively involved in it, but we are actually funding this commitment.

The second point of the Secretary-General's five-point proposal was his call for the nuclear weapons states to assure non-nuclear weapons states that they will not be the subject of the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons.

These assurances are also known as negative security assurances, NSAs. Canada has been a proponent of such guarantees. We are the leading participant in the 12-member non-proliferation and disarmament initiative, NPDI. We have worked closely with our partners to develop ideas in the form of papers, and to promote these assurances in the international arena, most recently in the 2017 preparatory committee for the 2020 nuclear non-proliferation treaty review conference meeting in Vienna in May.

The third point in the Secretary-General's plan is a very important one. It calls for existing nuclear arrangements and agreements, like the comprehensive nuclear test-ban treaty, CTBT, which prohibits the testing of nuclear weapons, for instance, nuclear weapons free zones, and strengthened safeguards, which need to be accepted by states and brought into force.

In support of this approach, the former minister of foreign affairs joined the ministerial meeting of the friends of the comprehensive nuclear test-ban treaty at the UN General Assembly in pointedly calling for the remaining eight states to ratify the agreement immediately to bring it into force.

For our part, we have passed legislation to implement the CTBT when it enters into force, and we have completed the installation of 16 monitoring stations as part of this agreement.

The fourth point that the Secretary-General made is on his call for nuclear powers to expand the amount of information they publish about the size of their arsenals, stocks of fissile materials, and specific disarmament achievements. Members will be pleased to hear that Canada has taken a leading role in promoting greater transparency by the nuclear weapon states in their reporting of their nuclear weapons stocks. Within the non-proliferation and disarmament initiative, Canada has developed a standard reporting form, which we are asking nuclear weapon states to use for their regular reports on the implementation of their nuclear disarmament obligations under the nuclear non-proliferation treaty.

We firmly believe that reporting is an effective instrument for increasing transparency on nuclear disarmament activities and for greater accountability. More needs to be done, of course, and Canada and our partners in the NDPI are committed to working with the nuclear powers to improve their reporting through concerted follow-up efforts.

The Secretary-General's final point is that in addition to nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament efforts, complementary measures are also needed. Such measures include the elimination of other types of weapons of mass destruction, for example, chemical and biological weapons. New efforts need to be undertaken to prevent weapons of mass destruction terrorism; limit conventional arms; and ban new types of weapons, including missiles and space weapons.

Canada is a leader in pursuing these types of efforts. The government is making good on its commitment to accede to the arms trade treaty, and investing $13 million to allow Canada to implement the treaty and further strengthen its export control regime.

Canada is firmly committed to achieving a nuclear weapons free world. In conformity with the UN Secretary-General's five-point plan, we are pursuing a pragmatic step-by-step approach aimed at building the necessary confidence and trust needed for nuclear weapons to no longer be considered necessary for security.

I am proud to be able to sa...”

Ms. Julie Dzerowicz

June 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...ister said the other day in question period, all Canadians strongly support concrete actions toward nuclear disarmament. We believe that the step-by-step approach where we are engaging with those states with nuclear arms is the best way forward for us to move toward a world that is free of nuclear arms. We are taking action. We are taking leadership. We are putting the proper amount of financing behind each of our actions. We feel that this is the best approach in order to move forward as expeditiously as possible. We are taking meaningful steps to achieve nuclear action. As we mentioned, we are doing the hard work of leading and rallying 159 different st...”

Ms. Kamal Khera (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Revenue, Lib.)

June 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“Mr. Speaker, I thank my friend for highlighting the importance of engaging our nuclear and non-nuclear partners toward nuclear disarmament. Can the member please elaborate to this House what consequences can take place if we do not engage our partners and allies in this discussion towards nuclear disarmament?”

Ms. Julie Dzerowicz

June 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...is venerable House, I wanted to make sure I was a part of it. I personally am very passionate about nuclear disarmament. I feel very proud when I read about the former UN Secretary-General's five-point plan and about Canadian leadership in each of the areas of the plan. That is not only our leadership, but steps we have taken, both in terms of our departments and of moving the game plan forward. It is important to make sure that we are engaging states who have nuclear arms to be a part of the conversation. We want to make sure that there is transparency, acco...”

Mr. Francis Drouin (Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, Lib.)

June 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to speak to nuclear non-proliferation and the comprehensive nuclear test ban treaty.

Since the advent of nuclear weapons, the international community has had various practical, multilateral instruments to try to stop their proliferation and help to eventually eliminate them. Global non-proliferation and disarmament regimes were designed to be the foundation for the careful management of nuclear weapons in the interests of international security.

The cornerstone of these regimes is the nuclear non-proliferation treaty or NPT. This treaty plays a fundamental role in guiding international mobilization on the most dangerous weapons in the world. The NPT outlines a three-part bargain: the nuclear weapon states commit to work toward nuclear disarmament; non-nuclear weapon states undertake not to acquire or try to acquire such weapons; and all state parties can continue to enjoy the benefits of peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

Canada maintains that these three key commitments are mutually reinforcing. The progress that has been made in nuclear disarmament, non-proliferation, and peaceful uses of energy support the NTP overall and help to create a dynamic in which the treaty's laudable goals can be achieved.

Canada continues to support concrete, practical efforts in favour of nuclear disarmament. As set out in article VI of the NPT, nuclear weapon states should continue to take concrete measures to reduce the number of strategic and non-strategic weapons and to reduce their reliance on them in their security doctrines.

We note that progress has been made in that regard in recent history. At the end of the Cold War, significant steps were taken to reduce the world's nuclear arsenal, particularly in the United States and Russia. The United Kingdom and France took additional unilateral reduction measures. The global number of nuclear weapons dropped from 80,000 at the height of the Cold War to about 16,000 today. This is not insignificant. We will continue to further reduce the number of nuclear weapons through bilateral, plurilateral, or multilateral measures. Canada remains engaged in various international forums to encourage and support additional progress in that regard, particularly through the NPT review cycle.

While we remain firmly committed to working towards building a world free of nuclear weapons, we recognize that disarmament cannot happen in a vacuum and that it must take the strategic context into account as well as the practical issues associated with that commitment.

It is crucial to ensure that states with nuclear weapons participate in international processes to reduce the number of nuclear weapons or eliminate them entirely. We must also maintain the mutual trust among the parties involved as they move in the direction of reducing and eventually eliminating weapons stockpiles, a process that includes nuclear disarmament verification. Canada is steadfastly committed to the goal of nuclear disarmament.

The second pillar of the NPT makes a vital contribution to the international safety framework by limiting the number of nuclear-weapon states and strengthening our ability to detect inappropriate activity on the part of non-nuclear-weapon states. Thanks to its impressive system of safeguards, the International Atomic Energy Agency, dubbed the “nuclear watchdog”, conducts a number of activities, such as on-site inspections, to ensure that states comply with their non-proliferation obligations. Canada applauds and actively supports the IAEA's efforts to keep its safeguards up to date and enhance their efficiency and effectiveness.

Here is a practical example of international nuclear non-proliferation action: Canada also supports the joint comprehensive plan of action, the JCPOA, an international agreement signed by Iran and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council—China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States—plus Germany in July 2015. (1315)

The JCPOA represents an important diplomatic achievement that helped in re-establishing the integrity of the global non-proliferation regime. As part of the JCPOA, Iran agreed to significantly curb its nuclear program and to comply with comprehensive international inspections. Canada continues to have serious doubts regarding Iran’s long-term nuclear ambitions given its history regarding nuclear proliferation and ballistic missile programs.

We join with our allies in supporting efforts to contain Iran’s nuclear program. Canada firmly supports the mandate given the International Atomic Energy Agency to conduct inspections. Furthermore, since 2015, Canada has made voluntary contributions totalling $10 million through Global Affairs Canada’s weapons of mass destruction threat reduction program.

A complementary element to non-proliferation is the right of all states signatory to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty to use nuclear energy in a peaceful manner. States that fully comply with their non-proliferation obligations can legally have access to specific applications of nuclear energy so as to promote sustainable socio-economic development. These include activities pertaining to human health, agriculture and food safety, water and the environment, energy, radiation technology, and security and safety. Canada is a world leader in nuclear energy and we will continue to expand our network of nuclear partners for mutual and beneficial co-operation.

We have made major voluntary contributions as part of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s Peaceful Uses Initiative, which supports the agency’s activities to achieve sustainable development and mitigation of climate change objectives.

The NPT remains the cornerstone of the non-proliferation and disarmament regime as well as the central element at the basis of Canada’s global commitment on these important issues. Through our commitment to the relevant multilateral fora, we will continue to strengthen each of these three pillars.

Whereas the efforts made internationally to curb the proliferation of nuclear weapons remain essential, we must work to eliminate nuclear tests forever through the signing of a legally binding treaty. Since being adopted in 1996, the comprehensive nuclear-test-ban treaty, or CTBT, has helped strengthen the de facto international standard on nuclear testing. Among other things, this treaty has helped put in place a solid verification system that makes it possible to gather evidence of nuclear tests conducted anywhere in the world.

In fact, the international monitoring system has made it possible to detect each of the nuclear tests conducted to date by North Korea. The CTBT still needs to be ratified by eight countries to come into effect. Canada continues to play an active role in efforts to get other countries to ratify the treaty so that it can come into effect and be universally enforced. During a visit to New York in September 2016, the former minister of foreign affairs implored the eight countries in question to ratify the treaty so that it can come into force.

Regarding direct aid, Canada continues to promote concrete programs in support of the CTBT organization's activities, including by providing airborne radiation detectors, on top of other financial contributions.

In February 2017, field testing in cold weather was carried out in Ottawa, Canada. This test also involved the use of the detector mentioned above. Canada is also working to construct, test and certify a radionuclide monitoring station as a contributing national facility to strengthen the capacity of the international monitoring system to verify compliance with the treaty.

Recognizing that nuclear weapons are a clear and real danger, the international community developed a set of practical measures that help to stop proliferation, limit nuclear testing and work toward the goal of eliminating nuclear weapons. Canada actively supports multilateral institutions established in support of achiev...”

Ms. Linda Duncan (Edmonton Strathcona, NDP)

June 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“.... We are discussing the fact that Canada has boycotted ongoing United Nations negotiations toward a nuclear ban treaty. It is important to keep in mind that, as the member is aware, as a party to the ...”

Ms. Kamal Khera (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Revenue, Lib.)

June 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“... I thank my hon. colleague for highlighting how our government is taking concrete action to achieve nuclear disarmament, such as rallying 159 states to support and pass a resolution calling for a fissile material cut-off treaty, ensuring a high-level group to help phase out nuclear weapons.

Would the member not agree that an immediate ban is an empty process that excludes essential players and may actually set back nuclear disarmament?”

Mr. Francis Drouin

June 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“Mr. Speaker, I have to say I agree with my colleague. What is the point of negotiating nuclear disarmament if the players are not at the table?

We are working with our allies on this and working with communities in the multilateral countries that actually have nuclear weapons so that we can create concrete action on these issues. I thank her for her important question. It highlights what Canada is all about. We are not about just talking at a table without the players. We want to make sure that when we propose concrete actions to disarm nuclear weapons, those who own them are actually at the table.”

Mr. Randall Garrison (Esquimalt—Saanich—Sooke, NDP)

June 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...ak in favour of this motion calling on Canada to support the draft convention on the prohibition of nuclear weapons. Some of the things I will say at the beginning of my remarks are well known.

There are more than 15,000 nuclear weapons in the world, and about 95% of those are owned by the United States and Russia, but there is good reason to believe that the U.K., China, France, India, Pakistan, North Korea, and Israel also possess nuclear weapons.

It is important to note the second thing that most people who are tuned into this topic are aware of, that nuclear weapons are the only weapons of mass destruction that are not explicitly prohibited by an international treaty. That is why I am both shocked and appalled, although that phrase may sound trite, by the attitude of the government on this question.

More than 120 countries are participating in the negotiations. Yesterday I sat here during question period and I heard the Prime Minister call the negotiations “sort of useless”. His reason for calling these talks “sort of useless” was that the states that possessed nuclear weapons are not participating.

How will we make any progress on this issue if we do not apply pressure from the rest of the world on those countries that hold nuclear weapons? How will we get any of them to understand the necessity of renouncing not only the possible use but the possession of nuclear weapons?

There are really only two threats right now to the existence of humanity on this planet. One of those threats is global warming, and we have participated and the government claims leadership. Canada has participated in all of the international conventions to attack this main threat to humanity's existence.

We have not said that we will no longer participate in the Paris agreement because some leader of a country close to us does not believe that we should participate. That would be the same logic the Prime Minister used for not participating in the draft convention talks for the prohibition of nuclear weapons. It makes no sense to me. It is also a cavalier attitude that treats this issue as trivial. I would submit that this is anything but trivial, because it is the second threat to the existence of humanity on this planet.

Thinking back to Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the use of nuclear weapons at that time, these were very small weapons in comparison to what exists today. We found out later that they were the only nuclear weapons in existence at that time There were no great stockpiles and, if they had not worked, there were not lots more to try to use.

Today, 15,000 nuclear weapons exist and there is no guarantee, with the proliferation that has already taken place, with the number of countries that already have access to this technology, that we are going to be able to control this. There is no guarantee that we will be able to stop these weapons from falling into the hands of groups at a sub-state level, groups that we might want to label as terrorist groups. Who knows who might get access to these weapons because of the broad distribution of the technology at this point?

It is incumbent on us to take every action we can to make sure that nuclear weapons are destroyed and no longer available for use by anyone on this planet. It is like firefighting. We train firefighters. We get them to work as hard as they can on fire prevention as well as putting out fires. Firefighters do not just go to fires and turn on the hose. They work every day to try to educate the public and to identify threats. In this case, it would be far too late if we waited until nuclear weapons were used to then say it was tragedy and we should have done something.

This is like fire prevention. This is like disease prevention. I cannot understand not just the Prime Minister but other members on the other side whom I've heard saying just recently that this is a waste of time. One of the things we are short of is time. We are short of time on climate change. We are short of time in banning nuclear weapons. We need to make the best use if whatever efforts we can to make sure these weapons are destroyed.

New Democrats have long held this position. It is not something new for us. Canada previously held this position, and Canada previously has been a leader in trying to work against the proliferation of nuclear weapons. Canada is part of the international treaties to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons. (1335)

It makes no sense to me that the government is not participating in these talks, and not just participating, but we should be leading the talks. We should be applying the pressure on those of our allies who have nuclear weapons, and we should be offering whatever support they need to make that decision. Is there some way, through this convention, that we can offer greater security to those who feel so threatened that they feel they need nuclear weapons? Let us have Canada stand up diplomatically and try to solve those problems, to provide the leadership on those problems so that countries no longer feel so threatened that they have to possess these weapons of mass destruction. Again, it is not just participating; it is being a leader. lt is putting forward the ideas through this treaty and through surrounding actions that will get us to a place where we no longer face this threat.

Yesterday, I had the privilege of standing with Hiroshima survivor Setsuko Thurlow, a Canadian citizen who, as a child growing up in Japan, was severely injured and lost many family members and friends as a result of that nuclear explosion. I am very proud of her and the campaign that she carries on. She received a standing ovation at the United Nations. I would challenge the Prime Minister to tell Setsuko Thurlow that her campaign is useless. I would challenge him to do that.

However, the government would not even meet with her. Liberals would not even show up when she was here to hear what she had to say. With her was Cesar Jaramillo, the executive director of Project Ploughshares, which has worked tirelessly against all kinds of weapons, but in particular against nuclear weapons. I challenge the Prime Minister to tell Cesar Jaramillo that the work he does for Project Ploughshares is useless work. It is beyond belief that we have a prime minister who was so cavalier about this issue in question period yesterday. It is beyond belief after the speech that the Minister of Foreign Affairs gave in the House saying that, given the instability of the world, it was incumbent on Canada to step up and take a leadership role and that, because the United States is withdrawing from its responsibilities, it is going to be a more dangerous world. A day after that the Prime Minister stood and said here is something we are not going to lead on; we are not going to lead on trying to get rid of nuclear weapons.

A day after that we had the new defence strategy released. I am a somewhat naive member of Parliament sometimes. Having heard the Minister of Foreign Affairs say we are are going to step up to take a leadership role, I actually expected to see that in our defence strategy. Instead, the defence strategy has not one new dollar for the Canadian military in this fiscal year, but promises for increased funding that are 10 and 20 years down the road.

The crises we face of international insecurity are now, not 10 years or 20 years down the road. Do not get me wrong. I have no complaint about a government that is going to plan for our future needs and equipment and that is going to cost those out properly. The problem I have is the gap between those promises and the reality we face every day in the Canadian military. We are about to take on a NATO mission in Latvia, which I and my party fully support. It is important to send a message to both Putin and Trump that the Baltics are NATO members and an attack on one is an attack on all. That is a very important mission for us.

We have also promised to take on a peacekeeping mission in Africa, another mission that I very much look forward to hearing about even though we are about six months late. How is the Canadian military going to take a leadership role in both those missions when its budget increase this year was less than the rate of inflation? We are asking it to take on new duties, which I am very proud of, with fewer resources than it had last year.

I am a bit confused about the government's real attitude to international affairs. What does it expect Canada to accomplish if we are going to leave the obvious avenues for leadership vacant? I call on all members of the House to think very seriously about the implications of Canada continuing to be absent from these negotiations that would lead to a treaty that would make nuclear weapons illegal and that would lead to a much safer and secure world. Yes, the task is hard,...”

Ms. Anita Vandenbeld (Ottawa West—Nepean, Lib.)

June 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“.... We are taking leadership and making sure that the very materials that can cause the explosives in nuclear weapons will not be used and there is no proliferation. What we are trying to do is realistic and will reduce nuclear weapons. Simply talking to those without nuclear weapons and saying there will be a ban is not going to get rid of one single nuclear weapon.

Would the hon. member please comment on the fact that what we are trying to do...”

Mr. Randall Garrison

June 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...spute that it is useless, as the government continues to say, to hold talks to ban weapons when the nuclear powers are not there. We will absolutely be able to do this if we bring the pressure of the entire world to bear on those seven countries and, as I said, if we provide additional leadership in trying to cool off the conflicts that make those countries so fearful that they have to possess nuclear weapons. It is not a question of doing one or the other or saying that, because we are doing...”

Mr. Garnett Genuis (Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, CPC)

June 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...s a big fan, by the way, as she was a strong female prime minister. She said:

A world without nuclear weapons may be a dream but you cannot base a sure defence on dreams. Without far greater trust and confidence between East and West than exists at present, a world without nuclear weapons would be less stable and more dangerous for all of us.

She said this in 1987. ...”

Mr. Randall Garrison

June 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...n their attitude to other countries, if the result of the negotiations was that one country gave up nuclear weapons, we would be one step closer to a safer world.”

Mr. Murray Rankin (Victoria, NDP)

June 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“... for failing to be part of this historic United Nations meeting that's considering the legal ban on nuclear weapons. Ms. Thurlow reminded me—and I confess I did not know this, but I looked it up and she is absolutely right—that the bomb that was dropped on her family and her neighbours in Hiroshima was fuelled by uranium from Great Bear Lake in the Northwest Territories and refined in Port Hope, Ontario, so Canada has been part of this story, sadly, from the get-go.

Nothing in the mandate letters of the former minister of foreign affairs or the current minister even talks about nuclear disarmament, even though we know we are leading the way with weapons of mass destruction. Be they biological or chemical weapons or the landmines treaty, Canada is right there. However, when it comes to nuclear weapons, what happened to Canada? What happened to that leadership I talked about before?

Mr. Murray Rankin

June 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...e element of courage.

Argument number three is that there is no point going ahead without all nuclear weapon states on board. That is my favourite.

The minister has suggested there is no point in negotiations unless we have all nuclear weapon states on board. That is ridiculous. Past international agreements, from landmines to conflict diamonds, to the International Criminal Court, were challenged as complex and not necessary, but again, there was leadership and others came along. As Canadians on the world stage, we were proud of the work that our representatives did in those contexts. Not this time, though, now we are embarrassed.

Argument number four of the top five is that there is no point, given the global security environment. Therefore, the only time we step up for peace is when we are singing Kumbaya all together. How silly is this argument? We know the world is challenged. There is Crimea, North Korea, Syria. It is as if somehow that is an excuse, given the current security environment, to not take a more bold approach to nuclear disarmament. That is never going to be the case. We are never going to make progress if we can say that.

The fifth and last argument is that a ban would be ineffective anyway.

How do we know? The landmines one was not. The landmines treaty was effective. We managed to make progress on a number of environmental fronts, from the Montreal ozone-depleting convention, to other areas. Nobody thought that would work, and it worked. That lack of courage, lack of boldness by our government, again, in the context of such great leaders in the past who I mentioned before, both of whom were Liberal, is shocking.

We could make progress. If it is true that nuclear weapons conventions would be ineffective, which is what people are saying, then why are weapon states opposed to them? There is a contradiction here. If it is ineffective, then why are they opposed? Why do they not say it is another paper UN exercise? Is there a logic gap? I certainly think there is.

In conclusion, John F. Kennedy, one of my heroes, said the following of similar challenges in a very different time, “Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate.”

That is what our motion today calls on Canada to do: to return to the table, to participate in good faith, as, by the way, article VI of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, which we signed, requires us to do. Let us do what we said we woul...”

Mr. Murray Rankin

June 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...en to Mr. Pierre Elliott Trudeau, the gentleman who went to Washington and Moscow to seek a halt to nuclear weapons. This is not the NDP way; this is the old Liberal way.

Second, to suggest that...”

Mr. Garnett Genuis (Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, CPC)

June 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...red progress if we lived in a world where the United States, Great Britain, or France no longer had nuclear weapons but Russia, China, and North Korea continued to have nuclear weapons? Would he regard that as an improvement to the situation we have right now?”

Mr. Murray Rankin

June 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“... change and disarmament requirements to restrict the expansion of the already enormous stockpile of nuclear weapons around the world. Why can Canada not be part of this, rather than watching from the ...”

Hon. Thomas Mulcair (Outremont, NDP)

June 8th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, I asked yesterday about the UN nuclear disarmament negotiations that included over 120 countries. The Prime Minister said, “There can be all sorts of people talking about nuclear disarmament, but if they do not actually have nuclear arms, it is sort of useless...”

The 1997 Ottawa treaty on landmines was initiated by...”

Hon. Navdeep Bains (Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, Lib.)

June 8th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, when it comes to nuclear disarmament, our goal has been very clear. We are taking great steps to achieve it. That means doing hard work to deliver something tangible.

As mentioned by the Prime Minister yesterday, in 2016, for the first time ever, Canada rallied 159 states to support a resolution calling for the fissile material cut-off treaty. This is a concrete step toward a phasing-out of nuclear weapons and, crucially, including both nuclear and non-nuclear countries. This is real action that matters to Canadians.”

Hon. Thomas Mulcair (Outremont, NDP)

June 8th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“.... Speaker, in 2016, in August in fact, the Liberals voted for the first time in our history against nuclear disarmament.

In the words of Pierre Elliott Trudeau, “Political leaders will decide whether or not a nuclear war actually takes place, yet politicians act as if peace is too complicated for them.”[Translation]

Those words are all the more meaningful as the Liberals and Conservatives attack the NDP's motion on nuclear disarmament.

Do the Liberals not understand that what the current Prime Minister is sa...”

Hon. Navdeep Bains (Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, Lib.)

June 8th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr Speaker, let me be clear. We strongly support efforts toward nuclear disarmament. However, what the member opposite is proposing is a negotiation of a nuclear weapon ban treaty without the participation of states that possess nuclear weapons. This is posturing, not practical diplomacy that can make a real difference.

Our position is consistent with our allies, Germany and Norway just to name a few. We are driving real action by working with nuclear and non-nuclear countries to achieve our ultimate goal, which is nuclear disarmament.”

Mr. Kevin Lamoureux (Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Lib.)

June 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...e:

(a) recognize the catastrophic humanitarian consequences that would result from any use of nuclear weapons, and recognize those consequences transcend national borders and pose grave implications for human survival, the environment, socioeconomic development, the global economy, food security, and for the health of future generations;

Let there be no doubt of the consequences, and we have seen this take place. It was not that long ago, during World War II, when communities such as Nagasaki, Japan, experienced it first-hand, and the horrific results of what had taken place. Weapons of mass destruction have always been a very real and tangible concern.

I had the opportunity to serve in the Canadian Forces for just over three years, and we would participate in parades. This would be in the early or mid-1980s, and we would have a good number of veterans in the parades who had participated and were engaged in World War II. I recall that as we would go to the Legion afterward or as we were concluding the march, there would be many comments and stories about the horrors of war. Let there be no doubt about how horrific it was.

There is no glory in being on that field, being shot at, having bombs dropped out of the skies, and the devastation that follows. I do not think there is anyone in a society who values life who sees war as a positive thing. We would like to be living in a society where war is nonexistent, but unfortunately that is not the reality of today. Unfortunately, there are countries at war. There are different sectors at war for a multitude of different reasons.

At the end of the day, we as legislators in the House of Commons in Canada have a role to play. W must demonstrate strong leadership on that world stage, something of which we should all be very proud. As a country of 36 million people, Canada carries a great deal of weight at the international level. We do have a considerable amount of influence.

This is a government that is not scared to use that influence to be connected with the superpowers, or those countries that do have access to nuclear weaponry. From what I understand, there are nine countries that were listed off earlier: North Korea, Pakistan, Israel, India, China, France, United Kingdom, Russia, and the United States. There are thousands of weapons of a nuclear nature out there that would cause devastation if in fact they were ever used.

When I think of the nuclear weapons and the potential devastation that could be caused, I like to believe that it is a deterrent that does keep the world safe. I would like to think that there will be a point in time when they will not be necessary. It concerns me at times when we hear from some people who would say, “We can get rid of them, we just need those good countries to disarm.” If all the so-called good countries were to disarm, it would be wrong to give an impression that we would have a safer world. Nothing could be further from the truth. At the end of the day, we need to have that balance. (1545)

I was not quite born yet when we had the Cuban missile crisis back in 1962, but I have seen the videos and documentaries. This is a very serious issue. Presidents of the U.S. and other world leaders, and countries like Canada, have been put into positions where we need to contribute our capable and able minds to address this issue. We all hope and pray, and give thought to what we can do to prevent it from happening.

I look at what we have been able to accomplish in a relatively short time span. One of the things that is most encouraging is with regard to the fissile material cut-off treaty. That is definitely noteworthy, and members need to be aware of it. It was Canada that led the initiative that would ban the production of fissile material that provides nuclear weapons with their explosive power. While the FMCT negotiations have stalled for almost 20 years, last fall Canada led with a resolution at the UN, with co-sponsors Germany and Netherlands, that created a high level FMCT expert preparatory group aimed at elaborating the elements of a future treaty. Our resolution was supported by 159 countries. This was a historic development. Canada is chairing the process, and most states possessing nuclear weapons will participate.

This is where we see a significant difference. With what the NDP is proposing, not one nuclear state is getting engaged with it. Here, under this process, the Government of Canada is working with two other nations, pushing and getting others onside. It is something that is tangible. It is happening, and it brings people, in particular some of those who have nuclear arsenals, to the table. That is very encouraging and positive.

I started off by saying...”

Mr. Richard Cannings (South Okanagan—West Kootenay, NDP)

June 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...e way mentioned programs to reduce the spread of weapons of mass destruction. Would he not consider nuclear warheads as the very definition of a weapon of mass destruction?”

Mr. Kevin Lamoureux

June 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...is psychological or physical. It has killed so many.

Weapons of mass destruction are not just nuclear. We need to recognize that, because as much as we want to diminish the number of nuclear arsenals out there, let us not just focus on that. There are other areas where weapons are used for mass destruction, and Canada, much like it does on the nuclear side, can play a leadership role on other instruments of war that cause mass destruction.

I am very proud, for example, of what Lloyd Axworthy and Jean Chrétien, the former Prime Minister, did on the land mine treaty. These are initiatives that really make a difference.

In many ways the NDP will dream about things. They will say, “This is what we want”, but the reality is that we cannot necessarily have things the way we might ideally want to see them overnight. It takes time. It means working with the many different world partners. As I say, it was not easy, but Canada led 159 nations, bringing that group together to assist in dealing with issues related to nuclear weaponry.”

Ms. Elizabeth May (Saanich—Gulf Islands, GP)

June 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...t the table.

The United States and Russia were not at the table. They plan to modernize their nuclear weapons regime. I was a watcher during the Cuban missile crisis. I remember it. We do not want our children to have nuclear nightmares. We must negotiate at the UN for nuclear disarmament. I hope the Liberals will reconsider.”

Mr. Kevin Lamoureux

June 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...ssue, as I have indicated. Canada led 159 countries in bringing forward a UN resolution that brings nuclear powers to the table to work pragmatically toward disarmament through a fissile material cut-off treaty. The fissile material is the explosive stuff. That is what causes the reactions. This is Canada playing a leadership role on the important file where we have nuclear power states at the table with us. We can all be proud of that fact.”

Mr. Matt DeCourcey (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lib.)

June 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...s on the importance of Canada's role in multilateral institutions, but I will begin by being clear. Nuclear disarmament is our goal, and we are taking important steps to achieve it. It is this government's view that we want a world free of nuclear weapons for our children and grandchildren.

In 2016, for the first time ever, under our government, Canada rallied 159 states, including states with nuclear weapons, which all supported and passed a resolution calling for a fissile material cut-off treaty, a substantive step toward global disarmament. This is a concrete step toward the phasing-out of nuclear weapons, and crucially it included both nuclear and non-nuclear countries.[Translation]

The world is evolving at an incredible pace and rapid innovation has become a global imperative.

Global interconnectedness and interdependence mean that no country can face the world’s challenges or contribute to the promotion of international opportunities alone. Given that climate change knows no borders, and neither do pandemics, cash flows, the movements of migrants and refugees, terrorism or organized crime, the countries of the world need to come together to manage their joint responsibilities and take the necessary collective action to work toward a more peaceful world that is more prosperous and sustainable.

Multilateral institutions, both at the international and regional levels, are the forums that will allow us to come together to determine the immediate actions to be taken and to pave the way to the future.

Canada is proud of its history and its contributions to multilateralism, as can be seen in our involvement in multilateral organizations such as the United Nations, the G7, the G20, the Francophonie and the Commonwealth, NATO, the Organization of American States, APEC, the WTO, the Arctic Council and international financial institutions. Evolving global dynamics foster a growing interest in leadership that is based on the values espoused by Canada.

At the recent G7 meetings in Italy, the Prime Minister reaffirmed Canada’s national and international commitments and urged member states to work toward a consensus on climate change, rules-based multilateral trade and the benefits of a properly managed immigration system.

Next year, Charlevoix, Quebec will play host to the world's most influential political leaders, so they can discuss world issues that matter most to Canadians. Drawing inspiration from Italy's presidency in 2017, Canada will use the event as a platform to promote our priorities, which are to build a solid middle class, advance the cause of gender equality, fight climate change and promote diversity and inclusion.

Each multilateral forum gives Canada the chance to make its presence felt in the world. Ahead of our G7 presidency and thanks to our campaign to get a non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council for the 2021-2022 mandate, we have a unique opportunity to highlight Canada's value proposition, which is to be a fair, inclusive, innovative and dynamic unifying force within multilateral institutions and defend fundamental principles. We have a lot to offer and a lot on which to draw. (1600)

When we think of international co-operation, the United Nations immediately comes to mind. Whether it is a question of establishing global health standards, maintaining peace and security, stabilizing financial markets, enforcing aviation rules, standing up for human rights, sharing reliable meteorological and climate data, helping refugees, regulating the use of outer space for peaceful purposes, taking action to address climate change or increase agricultural capabilities, the United Nations has a significant impact on the lives of ordinary people around the world every single day.

Canada is proud to be a long-time supporter of the United Nations, and this includes being one of its founding members in 1945 and one of its major financial contributors. With its 193 member states, the United Nations is the most inclusive and legitimate forum for establishing global standards, intervening on global issues, and promoting global action.

The key sustainable development goals of the 2030 agenda for sustainable development illustrate how the United Nations can convince the entire world to work together towards a common goal.

Canada’s increased commitment to international human rights has not gone unnoticed. The promotion and protection of human rights is an integral part of Canada’s constructive engagement in the world. We see human rights as universal, indivisible, interdependent and interrelated. There is a growing need for Canadian leadership on issues such as respect for diversity and the rights of girls and women.

Moreover, Canada works with other countries to establish new multilateral coalitions that are looking to adopt innovative approaches on emerging issues. For example, Canada is one of the founding members of the Freedom Online Coalition, a multilateral coalition of 30 governments whose objective is to increase awareness on human rights online and Internet freedom, as well as establishing standards in this respect.

Canada is also a member of the Community of Democracies, another multilateral coalition of 30 countries dedicated to strengthening democratic institutions and associated standards. In addition, Canada will co-chair the Equal Rights Coalition, a new international forum that advocates for the fundamental rights of LGBTQ2 people. (1605) [English]

Clearly, there are growing opportunities for Canadian leadership at multilateral tables. To take advantage of them, we need to continue to demonstrate innovative, dynamic, and timely thought leadership.

Our view is that the next step toward a world free of nuclear weapons is the negotiation of a fissile material cut-off treaty. This is an initiative led by Canada that would ban the production of fissile material. Last fall, Canada led a historic UN resolution, with co-sponsors Germany and Netherlands, that created a high-level FMCT expert preparatory group aimed at elaborating elements of a future treaty. This was supported by 159 countries in the UN General Assembly.

To close, ultimately Canada believes that we are one people sharing one planet and that our collective peace and prosperity can only be achieved through diverse and meaningful partnerships. When it comes to a ban on nuclear weapons and all other matters, we look toward our multilateral allies to help us in this eff...”

Ms. Hélène Laverdière (Laurier—Sainte-Marie, NDP)

June 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...tem. I have two questions for him.

First of all, is my colleague aware that article VI of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, of which Canada is part, requires that Canada participate in good faith negotiations on nuclear disarmament? It would follow, then, that Canada is in breach of a convention it has ratified...”

Hon. John McKay (Scarborough—Guildwood, Lib.)

June 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...text in which this debate does take place.

As an example, the Russians are refurbishing their nuclear capabilities with both bombers and missiles, and we are not even able to get them to co-operate on Syria. Similarly, China at the present time is not a particular nuclear threat, but it cannot seem to get its client state, North Korea, to back off on literally threatening the world with nuclear weapons. That is the context in which this debate takes place.

I would be interested i...”

Mr. Wayne Stetski (Kootenay—Columbia, NDP)

June 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“..., also known as the Quakers, continues to be one of Canada's most active communities on issues like nuclear disarmament. We have a large Quaker community in Argenta, on the north end of Kootenay Lake. The list of famous Canadian Quakers includes Dorothy Stowe, who co-founded Greenpeace, and Muriel Duckworth, founder of the Nova Scotia Voice of Women for Peace. Both fought for nuclear disarmament, and the Quakers in Argenta are well known for their pacifism and actions for both peace and the environment.

A number of my constituents in the West Kootenay are disenfranchised Americans who chose peace over the Vietnam War. In 2016, Selkirk College graduated its first-ever class of civilian peacekeepers, ready to work around the globe to broker peace. World peace has long been a priority for the people of Kootenay—Columbia.

In 1930, Canada ratified the Geneva protocol banning gas and bacteriological weapons. We ratified the nuclear non-proliferation treaty in 1970. We have adopted bans on nuclear weapons testing, bans on weapons in outer space, and hosted the 1997 meeting that led to the Ottawa treaty, which aims at eliminating anti-personnel landmines. As recently as 2010, the House unanimously passed a motion calling for nuclear disarmament.

Perhaps Canada's greatest contribution to peace was from former Liberal prime minister, Lester B. Pearson, whose creation of our peacekeeping forces won Canada immense international respect and earned “Mike” Pearson a well-deserved Nobel Peace Prize. I hate to imagine what Pearson would say if he could see today's Liberal government renounce nuclear disarmament.

All this leads me to wonder how far we have fallen. The Liberal foreign affairs minister, this week, renounced the U.S. administration's failure to take leadership on such issues as open trade and climate change. However, the Liberals continue to follow the Americans on their approach to nuclear weapons.

Canada, which has aspirations to the UN Security Council, is boycotting the current UN progress toward nuclear disarmament. The Prime Minister, this week, said that the process and the motion we are debating today are useless because the major countries that possess nuclear weapons are refusing to participate.

This is an unacceptable change in direction for Canada. At one time, Canada would stand up to nuclear powers and declare our opposition to proliferation. We did not accept being bullied. Instead, we engaged in leadership. By saying that Canada's intervention in this critically important matter is useless, the Prime Minister is saying that Canada has no influence on the world stage.

Former prime minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau addressed the same issue, on February 9, 1984, but with the opposite conclusion to our current Prime Minister.

He said:

We have done more than look to our defences, Mr. Speaker. We have addressed the causes of insecurity and instability, particularly in the Third World. East-West and North-South are the four points of the political compass of our modern age. The problems of the South cannot be solved in the absence of progress on global security. Massive military expenditures are distorting economic policies and diverting resources away from global economic development. This in turn is worsening Third World instabilities that ensnare East and West and add to the insecurity of us all.

He went on to say:

Canadians, therefore, have earned the right to speak. They are telling us, the Members of this House, as people everywhere are telling their own leaders, that the danger is too near. They want their leaders to act, to accept their political responsibility, to work to reduce the nuclear threat.... Nuclear weapons exist. They probably always will. And they work, with horrible efficiency. They threaten the very future of our species. We have no choice but to manage that risk. Never again can we put the task out of our minds; nor trivialize it; nor make it routine. Nor dare we lose heart." (1615)

I reject the current Prime Minister's assertion that Canada is without influence. I reject his belief that working for peace and disarmament is useless. By failing to participate in the UN's work against the proliferation of nuclear weapons, we diminish our role on the global stage and we repudiate our history as peacemaker...”

Hon. John McKay (Scarborough—Guildwood, Lib.)

June 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...mmediate regional nations, and then Iran is vigorously pursuing the ability to create and deliver a nuclear weapon certainly within the region of the Middle East.

If those nations are not prepar...”

Mr. Wayne Stetski

June 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...en we are not speaking as we do when we are. In this case, by not taking a very active role against nuclear armament and supporting nuclear disarmament, we are setting a bad example for the rest of the world.”

Mr. Alexandre Boulerice (Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, NDP)

June 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...Liberal government is obviously trying to hide behind the fissile material treaty, which may reduce nuclear weapons proliferation or make it harder to acquire nuclear weapons, but that treaty should not prevent the federal government from participating in talks about nuclear disarmament. The two are not mutually exclusive. On the contrary, they go hand in hand. The ...”

Mr. Wayne Stetski

June 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“Mr. Speaker, absolutely, we need to be working on every possible front when it comes to nuclear disarmament. We need to show leadership by being at the table speaking against nuclear armament and for nuclear disarmament.

I agree that hiding behind the fissile argument does not do Canada much g...”

Mr. Wayne Stetski

June 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...Going even a little further than that, Mr. Speaker, back in 2010 the Liberals were in favour of a nuclear ban when they were in opposition. They voted for the ban both in the House and in the Senate. They followed that up at their policy convention in Winnipeg in 2016 by reaffirming their commitment to nuclear disarmament.

When we look at what is happening right now, the only conclusion I can co...”

Mr. Alexandre Boulerice (Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, NDP)

June 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...d foremost, I would like to thank my colleague from Laurier—Sainte-Marie for raising the issue of nuclear disarmament in the House. Though the topic may not make the front pages, it is essential given its seriousness and potential consequences.

On August 6, 1945, and on August 8, 1945, humanity realized that it was capable of destroying itself with its own creations, with the weapons that it was able to manufacture. In my opinion, that was a turning point in the history of warfare because, until then, we were able to exterminate, to massacre, to make war, but not to the point of destroying all of humanity. Unfortunately, since 1945, we have had that collective ability, and things have not improved since.

There is no government in the world whose greatest responsibility is not to the safety of its citizens. They carry out this responsibility in many ways, through military and police forces, so we can live in the safety of our communities, with the least amount of violence possible, and where peoples' physical safety is not threatened.

However, if that is all we do and if international tensions mount to the point of all-out nuclear war, domestic security will be of little importance; we will have forgotten one part of the equation, international relations, the ability of states to make war and the types of weapons that can exist or be used.

At the risk of sounding old, I admit that I was born in 1973. My childhood and early teen years were spent in an era that no longer exists and that younger people can only imagine, the Cold War. There was the eastern bloc, a wall and the U.S.S.R., that was always looking for babies to eat and was threatening the world order.

I come from Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, where there was a military base with hundreds, even thousands of soldiers, which was quite impressive. There was also an arms factory that made armoured vehicles near the town, making it a potential target. The military base had sirens that could sound the alarm in the event of an attack. I still remember, as a child, being terrorized by the sound of those sirens, which could be set off during exercises in the evening and even at night. The threat was more tangible at the time; watching the news, we could begin to make sense of the international context in which we were living.

Then came the collapse of the Soviet bloc, something no one saw coming. We believe that we have since enjoyed greater international security, but I believe it was a false sense of security. The dangers of nuclear proliferation are real. We would not want more countries to have this terrible weapon that can wipe out hundreds of thousands of people, even entire regions, not to mention the known medium- and long-term effects of radioactivity.

We also do not want to go back to the time of the balance of terror, as it was called. There is a theory in political science that any power that has enough weapons to completely destroy another several times over would never dare to launch an attack, fearing mutually assured destruction. To date, that theory has proven to be true. The problem is that, if it should one day cease to hold, there will be no more political scientists left to figure out what went wrong.

I have always found the term “balance of terror” to be problematic because it implies that our lives and our societies are hanging by a thread and that, on the day the thread breaks, there goes all hope of any future political theory. (1630)

On a bit of a lighter note, I remember that, in the 1980s, peace activists had a bumper sticker that said, “One nuclear bomb can ruin your whole day”. It does not take many bombs to ruin a day.

I think it is important that we fully participate in the worldwide effort to come up with an international convention that focuses specifically on nuclear disarmament. That is everyone's responsibility, especially Canada's, because we used to be a leader in that regard. I think that the current Prime Minister could learn from some of the prime ministers of the past, one of whom he must know quite well, to find the inspiration needed to make the right decisions about Canada's role in these talks.

After spending decades playing a leadership role in nuclear disarmament, the fight against nuclear proliferation, and the fight against other types weapons, such as landmines, Canada should be ashamed of coming off as the lapdog of the American government and the Trump administration.

Negotiations are taking place at the United Nations for a new nuclear disarmament treaty and Canada is not at the table. Canada is boycotting the talks. That is absolutely incomprehensible and I would like to hear my Liberal colleagues explain to us the strategy behind not taking part in such important discussions involving dozens of countries. Not only are we not taking part in the discussions, but we also voted last year against a United Nations resolution on nuclear disarmament. That is a complete contradiction of Canada’s traditional position—one it should keep, in my opinion.

There is neither precedent nor explanation for such a position. My Liberal colleague spoke of context earlier. The context is precisely that there are 15,000 nuclear warheads in the world, that nine countries have nuclear weapons, officially or otherwise, and that the current U.S. President wants to renew, modernize and reinvest in America's nuclear arsenal. That could launch a new arms race with other countries. To make matters worse, North Korea has officially lost control and is threatening its entire region, Asia. It has, or is trying to obtain, nuclear weapons and the ability to launch them over fairly long distances.

The urgency of the current context should compel us to get through these talks and negotiations as fast as possible and to work toward a plan to ban nuclear weapons. It has been a year since the NDP and my colleague from Laurier—Sainte-Marie asked the government to take part in these discussions. I think that today is an important day to tell all Canadians what the Liberal government’s position really is and to demonstrate its inaction, which is isolating us from the majority of countries around the world.

It does not make sense given our goal of having a safe and secure planet free from nuclear weapons. Moreover, from a policy standpoint, the Liberal government is looking to get a seat on the United Nations Security Council. We agree, but choosing to sulk in a corner instead of taking part and being content to simply follow the new American administration is not the way to get us the votes we need to obtain that seat, which we sadly lost in the past.

I would like to read an excerpt of a letter that was recently sent to the Prime Minister of the Liberal government. It is in English, so I will quickly read a few passages. (1635) [English]

REMEMBERING HUMANITY

In their famous 1955 manifesto, Albert Einstein and Bertrand Russell called on us to “remember our humanity and forget the rest”, so in that humanitarian spirit, we call on your government to...

Respect and support multilateral efforts to rid the world of nuclear weapons by ending Canada's boycott of the current UN General Assembly negotiations of a treaty to ban all nuclear weapons and by joining the next session of talks.... [Translation]

That letter wa...”

Mr. David de Burgh Graham (Laurentides—Labelle, Lib.)

June 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...ws, I come from the riding of Laurentides—Labelle. In the northern part of the riding is a former nuclear base with silos for Tomahawk missiles. The nuclear issue is real. Canada was a nuclear nation in a sense because it housed U.S. missiles. I completely agree that the world should get rid of nuclear weapons.

I have a question for my colleague: how does he plan to force North Korea, Russia, and the United States to get rid of their nuclear weapons?”

Mr. Alexandre Boulerice

June 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...ue for the question.

What is the NDP's plan to get Russia and North Korea to get rid of their nuclear weapons? It is simple. Canada needs to get involved in the talks, the negotiations, and the drafting of a new international nuclear disarmament convention. We are not going to come up with a solution by staying in our corner...”

Ms. Elizabeth May (Saanich—Gulf Islands, GP)

June 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“... from the United Nations for work on the Ocean Conference. The subject of Canada's absence in these nuclear disarmament talks came up. I was asked by other delegates why Canada was not participating, ...”

Mr. Alexandre Boulerice

June 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...ing this treaty is fine. However, the negotiations on banning the production, possession and use of nuclear weapons are not a substitute for the efforts needed to achieve nuclear disarmament.

It also seems as though the Liberal government is hiding behind Canada’s membership in NATO, and right now it is giving in to pressure from the United States, which told its NATO allies to oppose the negotiations.

Canada has no reason to follow President Trump on this issue. Canada’s membership in NATO does not mean that it must vote only with the nuclear states.

Canada should learn from the Netherlands. They also belong to NATO, but they a...”

Hon. Kevin Sorenson (Battle River—Crowfoot, CPC)

June 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“....

Make no mistake. All of us in the House wish that we could live in a world that was free of nuclear weapons. Facing the reality of the Cold War, the former British prime minister, the late Margaret Thatcher, said, “a world without nuclear weapons would be less stable and more dangerous for all of us.” She said that during the Cold War.

Is the world today even more unstable than in Margaret Thatcher's era? Today we have jihadi terrorism all around the world. Today we have rogue nations, like Iran, trying hard to build themselves nuclear weapons. There are terrorist groups that want nuclear devices to commit heinous acts of mass murder. It is believed that North Korea has nuclear weapon capability and is working diligently to develop missiles that will deliver a nuclear arsenal. We see every week a new test from North Korea. South Korea is concerned about what is happening in North Korea. The world is concerned about what is happening in North Korea.

Many countries around the world are vulnerable: Israel, South Korea, Ukraine, and many more. However, many nations continue to thrive and survive, because their enemies know that nuclear retaliation would follow an assault on any of these states.

During the Cold War, the former Soviet Union was assured that any nuclear assault it committed on the western world would have resulted in a nuclear weapon response from the west, and not necessarily equal to what they sent to the west. Undoubtedly, a larger attack would have been unleashed. This was known as mutually assured destruction, or as many have referred to it, MAD. The MAD doctrine not only worked to deter the initial use of nuclear weapons but was designed to limit the continued use of nuclear weapons, should they ever be used in a conflict.

Dr. Henry Kissinger, the former secretary of state in the Nixon administration, always insists that the United States' nuclear weapon arsenal and the MAD policy has provided the world with more decades of continuous peace than any other time in recorded history. Kissinger maintains that a greater proportion of the world has been engaged in conflict throughout history than we have had since the end of the Second World War. There continue to be conflicts, of course, and in fact there are wars going on right now, yet the longest period of world peace for the greatest proportion of humans has existed since the end of the Second World War and the introduction of nuclear weapon capability. This is the cold reality. It is a peaceful time for the world in this respect, yet the thought of the destructive capability of nuclear weapons is much of what keeps the peace. In fact, it brought an end, some would argue, to World War II.

The motion the NDP has brought forward has six parts. The first part reads:

(a) recognize the catastrophic humanitarian consequences that would result from any use of nuclear weapons, and recognize those consequences transcend national borders and pose grave implications for human survival, the environment, socioeconomic development, the global economy, food security, and for the health of future generations;

The Conservative Party does not disagree with that statement. In fact, we kept that in mind for the last three parliaments we governed.

Second, the NDP motion says that we should:

(b) reaffirm the need to make every effort to ensure that nuclear weapons are never used again, under any circumstances;

Well, we have heard a few people use the word “utopian” today. This clause, most believe, is unrealistic, given the reality of nations possessing or trying to acquire nuclear weapons. Iran and North Korea continue to develop their nuclear weapon capacity even today. India and Pakistan achieved the development of nuclear weapon capability. North Korea, Iran, India, and Pakistan have all stated clearly the circumstances under which they would use their nuclear weapons. Therefore, “under any circumstances” in the NDP motion, we believe, is unachievable. (1645)

Third, the NDP wants the House to recognize previous motions passed by the House or by the United Nations. The motion reads:

(c) recall the unanimous vote in both Houses of Parliament in 2010 that called on Canada to participate in negotiations for a nuclear weapons convention;

The House is aware of that motion from 2010, yet the current international negotiations, we believe, will not lead to a nuclear weapons convention, because Russia, the United States, and China are not participating. They are not talking the talk.

The NDP also wants the House to:

(e) express disappointment in Canada’s vote against, and absence from, initial rounds of negotiations for a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons;

This is where we also disagree with the motion. There is no point in commencing negotiations leading to a convention to prohibit nuclear weapons without including the nations that actually have those nuclear weapons. It is a waste of time, money, and effort.

The final part of the NDP motion asks the House to support the initial draft of the convention prohibiting nuclear weapons. Again, the nations that have nuclear weapons have already made it clear why they have them, and until the threats they live under are eliminated, these nations will keep their weapons. Some of these nations are Canada's allies, and they are, in some cases, protecting Canada as well.

The question is what we can do. It is one thing to say whether we agree or disagree with the Liberal approach, but what can we do?

Our previous Conservative government worked to achieve further decommissioning of the still huge arsenals of nuclear weapons that exist in Russia and the United States. The official opposition recognizes the government's action to contain fissionable material. Meaningful talks continue with our nuclear weapon possessing democratic allies and others in the enduring hope of one day having a nuclear free world.

The coercive exercise the NDP is calling for Canada to participate in is not a good way to work toward a nuclear weapon prohibition. Our Conservative government worked hard over our 10 years as the government to reduce the number of nuclear weapons in the possession of foreign governments and other international actors. We worked to prevent not just nuclear weapons but chemical weapons and biological weapons, weapons of mass destruction. We worked with our allies.

Conservative and Liberal governments have signed treaties and international agreements at the UN and a number of organizations, including NATO, the G8, the International Atomic Energy Agency, and the Conference on Disarmament, to reduce the number of nuclear weapons available in the world. We continue to work toward reducing nuclear proliferation and making sure that fissionable material is not available to rogue states and terrorist organizations to produce nuclear warheads.

The reality is that an all-out prohibition is not on the horizon in the foreseeable future. Supporting the NDP motion is unrealistic, when our NATO allies, western democracies, and other major UN nations that possess nuclear warheads are not participating in these talks. When the main world powers are in agreement, then there can be a prohibition, but we do not have that agreement when it comes to nuclear weapons. We have a situation where China, and Russia in particular, continue to build up their arsenals, not reduce them.

As Canadians, we must continue to do what we have in the past. We must always use diplomatic means to assist world powers in the de-escalation of conflict. We must work with our allies and partners in the non-proliferation of nuclear arms to make sure they are effective, safe, and responsibly used. We can work toward a prohibition of nuclear weapons that will be accomplished, we hope, in the future. However, arbitrarily trying to coerce nuclear weapon states into giving up these arms we know does not work.

The NDP is asking Canada to sign up for negotiations that do not include our allies. These negotiations do not include the powers that possess nuclear weapons. There can be no discussion or dialogue when they are not at the table.

We can do things, including the enforcement of a Sergei Magnitsky law. We can have sanctions and global isolation of those state players and individuals that are responsible for the proliferation of nuclear weapons. (1650)

There is opportunity to work within the G7, to work through NATO, to...”

Hon. John McKay (Scarborough—Guildwood, Lib.)

June 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...ve the hon. member's threat assessment would be very similar to my own, which is that the threat of nuclear capability is actually increasing rather than decreasing, whether it is cruise missiles, ICB...”

Hon. Kevin Sorenson

June 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“... can have a dirty bomb or something that can even be carried in a suitcase. Russia and China—both nuclear powers, both veto-wielding permanent members of the Security Council—are not participating in the nuclear weapon ban talks.

The Russian foreign minister has said that 120 countries are participating in the talks, and are trying to coerce nuclear powers into abandoning nuclear weapons, but as the member asked in his question, is there a greater risk? Yes, and it is no...”

Ms. Elizabeth May (Saanich—Gulf Islands, GP)

June 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...s of negotiation would bring in those countries that are now, as he said himself, modernizing their nuclear weapons and endangering our entire world.”

Mr. Tom Kmiec (Calgary Shepard, CPC)

June 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“... reasonable person here would disagree with. We all know the consequences and dangers of the use of nuclear weapons, including the humanitarian consequences. There will be no disagreement from me or from others in the House.

Subsection (b) states, “reaffirm the need to make every effort to ensure that nuclear weapons are never used again, under any circumstances.” The principle and sentiment behind it is absolutely reasonable, but it is simply unrealistic, especially in an age where there are many more rogue nations that possess nuclear weapons, along with the proliferation of the technology and knowledge, and the ability to track them being very difficult.

Subsection (c) states, “recall the unanimous vote in both Houses of Parliament in 2010 that called on Canada to participate in negotiations for a nuclear weapons convention.” I do not think the motion binds the government today to undertake any talks, or any type of negotiation at the international level. That was seven years ago now. In my case, I was not a member of the House then, and I do not think parliaments are bound by such motions that direct a particular parliament's intent or will.

Subsection (d) states, “reaffirm its support for the 2008 five-point proposal...” It is not that it is pointless, but simply put, we are supporting allies in the NATO military alliance. I have many more comments about NATO's policy document, where it talks about what its nuclear deterrent will and will not do.

Subsection (e) states, “express disappointment in Canada’s vote against, and absence from, initial rounds of negotiations for a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons.” I do not agree with that particular subsection. It is not egregious, I just disagree.

Finally, subsection (f) talks about the release on May 22, 2017, of the Draft Convention on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. I disagree with that mostly because of the other subsections leading up to it. I just do not think it would be all that useful.

There is a Yiddish proverb, which states, “The world is big, its troubles still bigger.” Since 1945, we can all agree that the world has faced many troubles. One of the leading ones was nuclear proliferation, and the dangers of an all-out nuclear war between the two superpowers at the time, until the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989.

I grew up in Poland. When I was very little, my parents were able to come to Canada and take us away from there. My parents would not talk about it as a point of discussion, but they remembered the drills they would have at school, which they would talk to us about. They would tell us what they had to do in case of a nuclear war.

There were these funny infomercials on Polish television telling people to cover themselves with newspapers in the case of nuclear war. The thinking was that the initial flash would burn the paper, but not skin, and people were somehow supposed to crawl somewhere. Polish people have very macabre, dark humour, and would say that after that moment, people could crawl to the cemetery. Dark humour is very common in Poland. It is still common today among Polish expats, but it gives the feeling that people had about it. This imminent danger that people felt was quite common.

I have a specific point on why some of the subsections in the motion are quite troublesome. NATO, on deterrence and defence, says in its policy document listed on its website, “Collective defence is the Alliance’s greatest responsibility and deterrence remains a core element of NATO’s overall strategy...” It goes on to list what is being defended: liberty, democracy, human rights, the rule of law. It goes on to state, “NATO’s capacity to deter and defend is supported by an appropriate mix of capabilities...” Then it goes on to list them. It concludes, “Nuclear, conventional and missile defence capabilities complement each other.” This is a core part of what NATO provides in its military alliance to all members who participate in it. Through article 5, Canada ensures our own sovereignty and national protection, but also that of our allies. (1700)

Although Canada is not in possession of nuclear weapons, our allies are. It forms what I would call a complete package of protection. That is what NATO says here. It continues, “NATO also maintains the freedom of action and flexibility to respond to the full spectrum of challenges with an appropriate and tailored approach, at the minimum level of force.”

As always, western powers, western countries, liberal democracies have never been the ones to threaten nuclear war. We have never been the ones to say that this should be the first line, that it should always be used as the first response to all types of aggression. It is always “use minimum level of force required”.

Many countries, if not most or all NATO countries, see nuclear weapons the way the population does, which is absolute last resort, preferring that under no circumstances should they be used.

In the British House of Commons, on January 2015, the secretary of state for defence, Michael Fallon, said, “It is Faslane that is truly Britain’s peace camp. Whether we like it or not, there remain approximately 17,000 nuclear weapons globally. We cannot uninvent those weapons.”

I think it speaks to the reality we live in today. The simple fact is that these weapons were invented, produced, manufactured, deployed, and now they sit as part of the nuclear deterrence that many countries use. This is not to say that the sentiment behind the motion is not appropriate. It is not to say that the principle, the thought, the idea is not something shared by many members of the House, and hopefully all members of the House.

I did say at the beginning of my intervention that I would be bringing up a lot of Reagan quotes, because Reagan was a nuclear abolitionist. I see members on the opposite side starting to smile.

On November 17, 1982, Reagan said, in an address to the nation on strategic arms reduction and nuclear deterrence, “I intend to search for peace along two parallel paths: deterrence and arms reductions” He goes on to say, “I believe these are the only paths that offer any real hope for an enduring peace.”

Reagan's example, thoughts, and his active participation in attempting to abolish nuclear weapons through different means is an example. The motion actually speaks to that sentiment as well. Again, when I read it, I immediately thought Reagan's activism.

In 1984, in an interview, he expressed the following sentiment, “I just happen to believe that we cannot go into another generation with the world living under the threat of those weapons and knowing that some madman can push the button some place.” It goes on. Again, he expresses the sentiment, the principle that New Democrats have encapsulated in their wording with some problematic kind of “what would we do with that sentiment” and “how do we make that a reality”, and then not really addressing today's reality.

Reagan was a nuclear abolitionist, but he was also a clear-eyed realist who accepted that the world was as it was. He was an unapologetic supporter of the strategic defence initiative, also known as Star Wars, and he went as far as he could. With his partner, the Soviet Union, he did what was possible.

I will just mention another idea from Reagan. With these considerations firmly in mind, he said, “I call upon the scientific community in our country, those who gave us nuclear weapons, to turn their great talents now to the cause of mankind and world peace: to give us the means of rendering these nuclear weapons impotent and obsolete.” Again, the same type of principle, the same type of sentiment behind the motion. He just believed that the reality we lived in required us to act upon it.

On some of the sections that we have in this motion, where it talks about an agreement and talking at the United Nations, Reagan said in his 1982 UN address on disarmament, “Agreements on arms control and disarmament can be useful in reinforcing peace, but they're not magic.” Therefore, we should not confuse talking at UN cocktail dinners or the signing of agreements with solving and resolving problems.

The paper castle suggested by talk shops the world over are blown away, typically by lax enforcement and aggressive rogue regimes.

Reagan never abandoned what some authors have terms as his hatred of nuclear weapons and his desire to eliminate them. If we look at Reagan from his first term to his se...”

Mr. Richard Cannings (South Okanagan—West Kootenay, NDP)

June 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“..., Doug Roche said that the current government was showing irresponsible leadership for skipping the nuclear ban negotiations at the UN. Could the member comment on that?”

Mr. Tom Kmiec

June 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...d the sentiment of the motion was shared by President Ronald Reagan. He actually worked actively on nuclear abolition.

This is a quote that I did not include in my remarks. In his 1984 state of the union address, Reagan admitted that, “The only value in our two nations possessing nuclear weapons is to make sure they will never be used.” It is valuable to the discussion to reme...”

Mr. Michael Levitt (York Centre, Lib.)

June 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...o dealing with these issues.

Participating in an agreement that brings none of the holders of nuclear weapons to the table requires a pragmatic approach. Our government is taking the lead in bringing 159 countries toward a UN resolution for a fissile material cut-off treaty. Do you not feel this approach will require pragmatism, working with the countries that are involved in holding nuclear weapons and showing leadership in the international community, with the hope of one day brin...”

Mr. Tom Kmiec

June 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...tries most implicated in either the pollution or water problems, and the same for the possession of nuclear weapons used as a deterrent, have to lead the charge.

In the 1980s and early 1990s, th...”

Mr. Richard Cannings (South Okanagan—West Kootenay, NDP)

June 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“... House could have heard her very moving words.

Setsuko has devoted her life to advocating for nuclear disarmament to ensure that her experience will never be repeated. She also reminded us of Canada's role in the bomb that destroyed her city. The uranium was mined at Great Bear Lake and refined at Port Hope, Ontario.

When I was young, the names Hiroshima and Nagasaki were relatively recent reminders of the horrors of nuclear warfare. In the climate of fear in the depths of the Cold War, people worked hard for nuclear disarmament and hoped against hope that this could never happen again. Ironically, 60 years after Hiroshima, we are closer now to nuclear warfare than we were when I was growing up in the late 1950s and 1960s.

Like many kids in that era, I grew up with school air raid drills that taught us what to do if an atomic bomb was dropped on our town. Penticton, British Columbia had a population of 10,000 at that time. I am not sure why we thought we were a target, but like schools across Canada, North America, and likely much of the world, our town had an air raid siren and practised our air raid drills. There was, I admit, a U.S. air force base not too far south of us. I remember that feeling of vague dread whenever I saw a B-52 flying overhead en route to airspace over northern Canada and Alaska. There were B-52s overheard every day, every one of them laden with nuclear warheads.

Some would say that it was that threat of mutually assured destruction that kept worldwide conflict at bay through the Cold War, but the risk to the planet was, and remains,incalculable. We came so close to nuclear disaster many times, not just during the Cuban missile crisis but other events brought on by sheer accident, human error, and human folly.

Therefore, we would think that the world would have come to its senses over the past 60 years since Hiroshima and Nagasaki. However, even now, 25 years after the end of the Cold War, there are more than 15,000 nuclear warheads in the world.

Canadians have long recognized the threat of nuclear proliferation and have long called for nuclear disarmament. In 2010, the House of Commons unanimously passed a motion that called on the government to, among other things, address the progress of and an opportunity for nuclear disarmament; endorse the 2008 plan for nuclear disarmament of Ban Ki-moon, then Secretary General of the United Nations; and deploy a major diplomatic initiative to increase the rate of nuclear disarmament. The Liberal Party of Canada just last year adopted a resolution at its Winnipeg policy convention that urged its Liberal government to comply more fully, both with its international treaty obligations under the nuclear non-proliferation treaty and play a proactive role in achieving a nuclear weapons free world and emulate the Ottawa process, which led to the banning of landmines, by convening an international conference to commence negotiations for a nuclear weapons convention that would ban nuclear weapons. However, the government's actions in the past year go completely against that resolution.

I would like to back up and talk briefly about the Ottawa process, in which Canada truly led the world to a ban on landmines. This was Canada at its best on the world stage. It was difficult work, but it was the right thing to do. I am proud Canada did the heavy lifting. It was done without the main players on the stage. The United States was not there, yet we went ahead because it was the right thing to do. We need to do the same thing with nuclear disarmament.

The international community, involving over 130 countries, is currently carrying out negotiations on the convention on the prohibition of nuclear weapons, just as the Liberal Party resolution asked for. The problem is that not only is Canada not leading this process, but it is boycotting it completely. Canada is not back on the international scene. It is backing away from its traditional leadership role in promoting a more peaceful world and backing away under pressure from the United States and other nuclear powers. (1715)

It is ironic that we are debating this point only two days after the government proudly rolled out a shiny new foreign policy that tried to paint Canada as taking a path independent from the United States, when in this process we are meekly following the Trump administration.

The Netherlands is the only NATO country standing up for sanity and taking a strong role in the negotiations. These negotiations for nuclear disarmament are still going on at the United Nations, and Canada could join the process and take a real role in this important and essential project.

Instead, the government hides behind its actions on the fissile material cut-off treaty. If successful, this effort would stop the production of plutonium and highly enriched uranium, the basic elements of nuclear weapons. While this is a laudable goal, it will do absolutely nothing to bring about nuclear disarmament. It is not nuclear disarmament at all.

As I said at the start, there are more than 15,000 nuclear warheads in the world, and the nuclear powers have huge stockpiles of fissile materials. They do not need any more plutonium or highly enriched uranium to keep building, for years to come, more weapons that could incinerate the world several times over. The fissile material cut-off treaty will not stop that.

Canada is in a unique position to be a leader in nuclear disarmament. I want to point out that my riding has a long history of peace activism focused by the strong Doukhobor community with its dedication to peace and toil, and the Mir Centre for Peace at Selkirk College in Castlegar.

My predecessor in this place, Alex Atamenenko, tabled a motion asking the government to create a department of peace, and I have tabled that same motion here in this Parliament. This would create a minister responsible for promoting the non-violent resolution of conflicts at home and abroad. It would speak volumes to the high priority that Canadians place on a peaceful world.

Opponents to negotiating a nuclear ban treaty say that disarmament must happen step by step and that the time is not right for these negotiations. The world is not secure enough for the treaty. We have reached the edge of this cliff step by step over the last 60 years. The world will never be fully secure. We cannot wait for better conditions. We cannot afford to wait at all.

Yes, the nuclear powers will always oppose nuclear disarmament, but we must not bow to their wishes and blindly take their viewpoint. We need to radically change the world view of the nuclear powers. It will not be easy and it will not happen overnight, but we must be bold, live up to our convictions and our moral duty, and work tirelessly for a nuclear weapons free world.”

Mr. David de Burgh Graham (Laurentides—Labelle, Lib.)

June 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...o recover and we ended up with the Bomarc missile, which made us a temporary and not very effective nuclear power. I find it very consistent with the position we are hearing today, that nuclear weapons are essential for world peace, which is a position I do not necessarily agree with.

I am wondering what my colleague in the NDP thinks of that position and if he thinks the obvious logical conclusion we are hearing from the Conservatives is that, if every country had nuclear weapons, there would be world peace.”

Mr. Richard Cannings

June 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...e with today. I have heard all day both from the Liberals and the Conservatives how we cannot start nuclear disarmament treaty negotiations because there are more and more nuclear weapons in the world every day, and more and more countries have them. We cannot start a negotiation under that situation. If we do not start it under that situation, when are we going to start it? It is not going to happen on its own.

We are not going to have the nuclear powers at the table perhaps at the start, but we can talk among the countries in the world that are concerned. There are 130 of them talking right now. We could join them and help lead that and start a process that would work toward nuclear disarmament. I do not think the world is a safer place when there are more nuclear weapons. We have 15,000 of them now, so let us get back to the table and start working toward a nuclear free world.”

Mr. Pat Kelly (Calgary Rocky Ridge, CPC)

June 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...the government is doing, or what it ought to be doing, to assist in preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons?”

Mr. Richard Cannings

June 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“Mr. Speaker, I agree that we should be working toward reducing nuclear proliferation as well as working toward nuclear disarmament. They are two somewhat different things. We do not have to stop one to do the other.

The government has been talking about its fissile treaty that it is leading. That is a laudable action, but it is not the same as nuclear disarmament. The world's nuclear powers are at the table probably because they would love to stop the production of fissile m...”

Ms. Elizabeth May (Saanich—Gulf Islands, GP)

June 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...hepard described what Ronald Reagan had done as though he was happy with incremental work to remove nuclear weapons from the world.

I had the honour of working with Mikhail Gorbachev. He related a personal story to me of the moment he got frustrated with the pace of negotiations. He picked up the phone and told his staff, “I want to call the president of the United States.” Ronald Reagan personally took his call. Mikhail Gorbachev asked him, “Mr. President, do you want to get rid of nuclear weapons? I do.” Ronald Reagan replied, “Yes, I do.” Gorbachev said, “I'm afraid all our negotiators are going to do is drink vodka forever and just talk, but we need to do this.” They intended to do it.

The world's political leadership have dropped the ball. It is time for us to pick it up.

The speech given by the member for South Okanagan—West Kootenay said what I am about to ask him, but I would like him to reiterate. Why on earth is Canada not at the table with nations like the Netherlands, a NATO ally, working to raise the political momentum towards getting rid of nuclear weapons?”

Mr. Daniel Blaikie (Elmwood—Transcona, NDP)

June 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“... the planet, we need to get smart and start working toward disarming ourselves when it comes to our nuclear arsenal, and Canada should be a leader in that effort. Canada has been a leader in that effort in the past. In fact, the Liberal Party of Canada has been a leader on that file in the past. It is disappointing to see a government say it is bringing back traditional Canadian foreign policy but leave out a really vital component of Canadian foreign policy, which is to work toward nuclear disarmament.

The only other threat to the planet on that scale that we see right now is climate change. However, climate change does not have the same kind of stark and immediate catastrophic consequences that we would have if we were to deploy the world's nuclear arsenal.

Canada should be at the table. We have heard a lot in the House today, and we heard yesterday what I thought was a genuinely shocking comment from the Prime Minister that Canada going out in the world, providing leadership, and trying to rally people around the cause of nuclear disarmament was useless. I was frankly shocked that was the word he would use to describe a kind of diplomacy that Canadian governments, Liberal governments, of the past have used, whether it was on the international landmines treaty or the International Criminal Court. All great diplomatic efforts start with some kind of opposition.

Yes, it is a challenge that the major players, when it comes to our nuclear arsenal, are not at the table. However, that does not mean it is useless or meaningless to rally other countries around the world to tell those holders of nuclear arsenals that we want a world where we do not live under the threat of a nuclear holocaust.

Presumably, when the Liberals say they are proud of pursuing their fissile material cut-off treaty and they try to make it seem as if somehow we could not do that in tandem with pursuing a nuclear disarmament treaty, it is because someone is telling them that they will not get the one if they support the other. Presumably, it is the United States telling them that, if they want to make progress on the one, they cannot on the other. That, to me, says that Canada's position does matter, because the United States would not care to try to get us off the scent of pursuing a nuclear disarmament treaty unless it thought that Canada's leadership mattered. That is proof positive, I think, that the Liberals are failing Canadians who want to see a nuclear free world, and they are failing the planet.”

Hon. Thomas Mulcair (Outremont, NDP)

June 7th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...omb wiped most of her city and most of her family. She has made it her life's work to fight against nuclear arms.

Canada is a signatory to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, article VI of which mandates that we must fight to avoid nuclear proliferation in the world. Last August, to our great shame, the Liberals voted against nuclear disarmament, and last March we were absent from these talks in New York.

It is not too...”

Right Hon. Justin Trudeau (Prime Minister, Lib.)

June 7th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, all Canadians strongly support concrete efforts towards nuclear disarmament.

We are taking meaningful steps to achieve nuclear disarmament. That means doing the hard work of actually achieving results. In 2016, for the first time ever, Canada rallied 159 different states to support and pass a resolution calling for the fissile material cut-off treaty. With the support of nuclear and non-nuclear countries, Canada is chairing this high-level group to help phase out nuclear weapons. Canada continues to lead in the fight for nuclear disarmament.”

Hon. Thomas Mulcair (Outremont, NDP)

June 7th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, that is so Orwellian.

Canada voted last August against nuclear disarmament. We refused to take part in March. Those talks are starting again at the United Nations in a couple of weeks. Will we be there or are we going to get talking points that contradict the bare reality that the Liberal government is doing nothing on nuclear disarmament?”

Right Hon. Justin Trudeau (Prime Minister, Lib.)

June 7th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...What the member opposite is talking about is an initiative that actually does not include the nuclear states. There can be all sorts of people talking about nuclear disarmament, but if they do not actually have nuclear arms, it is sort of useless to have them around, talking. It is well-meaning, as the NDP often are, but we are actually taking real, tangible, concrete steps that are going to make a difference in moving towards a nuclear-free world.”

Ms. Hélène Laverdière (Laurier—Sainte-Marie, NDP)

June 6th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...ll proud of that, obviously, but at the same time, Canada refuses to take part in negotiations on a nuclear weapons convention.

We can talk about human rights, but what is happening with Raïf B...”

Hon. Chrystia Freeland

June 6th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...evelopment will speak more about those this week.

She also spoke about the United Nations and nuclear disarmament. On this issue, we may not agree. I would like to note that our goal is nuclear disarmament and that we are taking the necessary steps to achieve that. That means working hard to implement something tangible. That is the question. In 2006, for the first time, Canada rallied 159 states to support and adopt a resolution for the fissile material cut-off treaty. That is a concrete step toward the elimination of nuclear weapons, both for countries that have nuclear weapons and for countries that do not but are concerned. On this issue, I think that we must...”

Mr. Garnett Genuis

June 6th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...reat of the Iranian regime to its own people and to global security. Negotiations to curtail Iran's nuclear ambitions are important, but it is striking that a nuclear deal supported by virtually every country in the west is actually opposed by virtually every country in the Middle East not directly controlled by Iran. It is not just the Israelis who oppose the nuclear deal. The Saudis, the Emirates, and many others express concerns along similar lines.

...”

Ms. Hélène Laverdière (Laurier—Sainte-Marie, NDP)

June 6th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“....

The problem with that is, for example, this month the UN is negotiating a convention to ban nuclear weapons. Guess what? Canada is not there. Canada actually stepped down. The minister said th...”

Ms. Hélène Laverdière (Laurier—Sainte-Marie, NDP)

June 6th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...iamentarians.

In 2010, the Liberals supported a motion calling on Canada to work on promoting nuclear disarmament. In 2016, the Liberal party adopted a resolution calling on the government to launch a process to ban nuclear weapons.

In fact, the United Nations is drafting a convention on banning nuclear weapons and Canada is nowhere to be found. Why is that?”

Hon. Chrystia Freeland (Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lib.)

June 6th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, our goal is nuclear disarmament and we are taking the necessary measures to achieve that. That means we have to ...”

Hon. Pierre Poilievre (Carleton, CPC)

June 5th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...een bought from Quebec, which generates it for a couple of cents per kilowatt hour, or Manitoba, or nuclear production could have been expanded, which of course has no greenhouse gas emissions, and th...”

Mr. Mark Gerretsen (Kingston and the Islands, Lib.)

June 1st
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...nergy that the United States does. China's renewable energy production outpaces its fossil fuel and nuclear capacity right now. China sees the future, at least.

I accept the fact that the member...”

Mr. Brian Masse (Windsor West, NDP)

May 31st
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...er Generation just released another report to try to justify its dangerous plan to bury and abandon nuclear waste next to the Great Lakes. These lakes are already under threat and attack by President ...”

Mr. Xavier Barsalou-Duval (Pierre-Boucher—Les Patriotes—Verchères, BQ)

May 15th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“... affected thousands of families across Quebec.

Imagine if there had been a dumping ground for nuclear waste upriver when that flooding occurred. However, that is exactly what the government is p...”

Hon. Jim Carr (Minister of Natural Resources, Lib.)

May 15th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...and safety of Canadians and the protection of the environment are top priorities in relation to all nuclear activities in Canada. The proposed near surface disposal facility at the Chalk River site would house low and intermediate level materials to ensure they are safe in long-term storage.

The project is subject to review and licensing by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, Canada's independent regulator of the nuclear industry. I encourage all interested Canadians to share their views on the project through t...”

Ms. Monique Pauzé (Repentigny, BQ)

May 15th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ec. This sort of thing will become increasingly frequent.

We were just told that the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission is going to consider the proposal to build a nuclear waste dump in Chalk River, on the banks of the Ottawa River.

Quite frankly, that is a terrible idea. Drinking water, nuclear waste, and flooding are an extremely dangerous mix.

Will the government assume its res...”

Hon. Jim Carr (Minister of Natural Resources, Lib.)

May 15th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...g of Canadians and the protection of the environment are our top priority.

In relation to all nuclear activities in Canada, the proposed near surface disposal facility at Chalk River would house low-level and intermediate-level materials to ensure their safe and long-term storage. As members know, the project is subject to review and licensing by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission.

I encourage all interested Canadians to share their views on the pr...”

Brian Masse (NDP)

May 8th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...rnment is falling short of matching U.S. investments, and continues to consider storing radioactive nuclear waste on the shores of the Great Lakes.

U.S. legislators, like Senators Debbie Stabenow, Gary Peters, and Sherrod Brown, and Congressmen Dan Kildee and Paul Mitchell are some of the opposition leaders in the U.S. who vehemently expressed opposition to the plan.

Not only is it environmentally reckless, but it is an increasingly significant diplomatic irritant, with Canada developing a reputation as a “free rider” on the U.S. Great Lakes protectionist initiatives and investments.

Storing nuclear waste next to the Great Lakes should be scrapped. Millions of people, more than 200 municipa...”

Monique Pauzé (Bloc Québécois)

May 5th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...minister of sustainable development told the National Assembly that his department was working on a nuclear emergency plan in preparation for the implementation of the nuclear waste disposal project in Chalk River, which is located along the very banks of the Ottawa River. However, the Ottawa River is the source of drinking water for millions of Quebeckers and Ontarians.

Does the environment minister support the building of a nuclear waste disposal facility on the banks of the Ottawa River?”

Monique Pauzé (Bloc Québécois)

May 5th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...iamentary secretary mentions federal agencies, Madam Speaker, but we already know that the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission is examining this issue. That was not my question.

We know that the public consultations have not yet begun, but that is not what we want to know. The time to act is now. It is better to be proactive today than radioactive tomorrow.

Does the environment minister seriously think that it is a good idea to pile up mountains of nuclear waste and cover them with geotextile fabric?”

Kim Rudd (Liberal)

May 5th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“... delivers its mandate to a government-owned, contractor-operated model whereby the operation of its nuclear laboratories, including decommissioning and waste management work, is delivered by Canadian Nuclear Laboratories.

Under this model, AECL continues to own the land, facilities, assets, and liabilities, whereas the workforce, the licences, and all other aspects of running the site are part of Canadian Nuclear Laboratories' business. AECL today is a small crown corporation whose role is to oversee the contract with Canadian Nuclear Laboratories.”

Matthew Dubé (NDP)

April 11th
Hansard Link

Privilege

“...use that is not my business. What happened was that Republicans decided to use what they called the nuclear option. Instead of having the super majority that is normally required—60 votes to approve...”


The Senate

Hon. Daniel Lang

June 21st
Hansard Link

Pulse Attack Francophone Services

“... or a natural solar flare that could occur. To put it in simple terms, the author notes that when a nuclear explosion happens or there is significant solar flare in the atmosphere, it emits an electro...”

Hon. David Tkachuk

June 13th
Hansard Link

Non-Nuclear Sanctions Against Iran Bill Third Reading—Debate Adjourned

“...ies, including the execution of juveniles and members of the LGBT community has only expanded since nuclear sanctions were lifted under the JCPOA. As noted by our colleague Irwin Cotler, it is the President Rouhani who has overseen this massive execution binge. His regime executes one person every nine hours for any of the 80 capital offences in the new Iranian penal code, including the crimes of "corruption on earth" and "enmity with God." It is the same President Rouhani who has rewarded and promoted the worst of Iran's human rights violations and has presided over nine government ministries that are responsible for every manner of human rights abuse that the governing cabal in Tehran has chosen to inflict on its people.

(1930)

These same thoughts are more pointedly articulated by Terry Glavin, one of Canada's best columnists on international relations, who wrote that:

The regime in Tehran is now more confident, wealthier, more expansionist and belligerent than at any time since the bloody decade of the 1980s. Anyone who tells you otherwise is talking rubbish.

Glavin's perspective has been endorsed in the prestigious U.S. journal Foreign Affairs, where the author speculates on the future of Iran after the aging Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khameini passes. He is 77 and in ill health.

Here is what they write:

. . . those hoping for a kinder, gentler Iran are likely to be disappointed. Since he took power in 1989, Khamenei has steadily built an intricate security, intelligence, and economic superstructure composed of underlings who are fiercely loyal to him and his definition of the Islamic Republic, a network that can be called Iran's "deep state." When Khamenei dies, the deep state will ensure that whoever replaces him shares his hard-line views and is committed to protecting its interests.

Some of my honourable colleagues have suggested the bill would constitute Canada going along with its sanctions against Iran and that Canada should not be engaged, for any number of reasons, in unilateral actions of this sort, and this assertion is factually incorrect.

Both the U.S. and the EU maintain sanctions on Iran for terrorism, destabilizing activities in Syria and ballistic missile developments — in addition to human rights. In the case of the EU, in general, the ballistic missile sanctions are connected to its nuclear sanctions and will therefore be lifted in eight years. The United States differentiates between nuclear and ballistic missile sanctions and so there are a number of sanctions that will remain in place even as the nuclear deal moves forward.

But even if that were not the case, I submit to you that as Canadi...”

Hon. Dennis Glen Patterson

May 30th
Hansard Link

The Senate Motion to Strike a Special Committee on the Arctic—Debate Continued

“...ts and detailed information on sea ice decline and weather.

Meanwhile, Russia has built three nuclear icebreakers, including the world's largest, to bolster its fleet of around 40 breakers, six of which are nuclear. No other country has a nuclear breaker fleet, used to clear channels for military and civilian ships. Russia's Northern Fle...”

Hon. Daniel Lang

May 9th
Hansard Link

Study on Issues Related to the Government's Current Defence Policy Review Tenth Report of National Security and Defence Committee—Debate Adjourned

“...grid against an EMP threat is not political, it is common sense. We should also understand that the nuclear capabilities of North Korea have increased to the point where they pose or are beginning to ...”

Hon. Percy Mockler

April 11th
Hansard Link

Ministry of Finance New Brunswick Economic Growth—Sustainable Development

“...y to create better jobs and sustain a better quality of life. The first project is the expansion of nuclear energy through the construction of a second nuclear power plant; and the second project is the construction of the long-awaited Energy East Pipe...”


Active Bills

Bill C-30


An Act to implement the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between Canada and the European Union and its Member States and to provide for certain other measures
LEGISInfo Link

Bill Status: Royal Assent

“...e Act Customs Tariff Pest Control Products Act Transitional Provisions Consequential Amendments Canada Corporations Act Nuclear Energy Act Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act Competition Act Defence Production Act Federal Courts Act Public Servants In...”

“... 121 Nuclear Energy Act 122 ...”

“...otection issued under the Patent Act, R.‍S.‍, c. A-16; 1997, c. 9, s. 89 Nuclear Energy Act 1997, c. 9, s. 92 121 Paragraphs 10(1)‍(c) and (d) of the Nuclear Energy Act are replaced by the following: (c) with the approval of the Governor in Council, lease or, by purchase, requisition or expropriation, acquire or cause to be acquired nuclear substances and any mines, deposits or claims of nuclear substances and patent rights or certificates of supplementary protection issued under the Patent Act relating to nuclear energy and any works or property for production or preparation for production of, or for research or investigations with respect to, nuclear energy; and (d) with the approval of the Governor in Council, license or otherwise make available or sell or otherwise dispose of discoveries and inventions relating to, and improvements in processes, apparatus or machines used in connection with, nuclear energy, patent rights and certificates of supplementary protection acquired under this Act and collect royalties and fees on and payments for ...”


Bill C-41


An Act for granting to Her Majesty certain sums of money for the federal public administration for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2018
LEGISInfo Link

Bill Status: Royal Assent

“...   CANADIAN NUCLEAR SAFETY COMMISSION Commission canadienne de sûreté nucléaire ...”


Bill C-49


An Act to amend the Canada Transportation Act and other Acts respecting transportation and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts
LEGISInfo Link

Bill Status: Introduction and First Reading in the House of Commons

“...rroviaire de catégorie 1) radioactive material has the same meaning as in subsection 1(1) of the Packaging and Transport of Nuclear Substances Regulations, 2015. It includes a dangerous good with any of UN numbers 2908 to 2913, 2915 to 2917, 2919, 2977, 2978, 3321 to 3333 a...”


Bill S-219


An Act to deter Iran-sponsored terrorism, incitement to hatred, and human rights violations
LEGISInfo Link

Bill Status: Committee Report Presented without Amendment in the Senate

“...lations, emanating from Iran, the identification of Iranian officials who are responsible for such activities and the strengthening of Canada’s non-nuclear sanctions regime against Iran by (a) requiring the Minister of Foreign Affairs to publish an annual report on Iran-sponsored terrorism,...”

“... 1 Non-Nuclear Sanctions Against Iran Act ...”

“...ions of human rights; And whereas, while the adoption of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on July 14, 2015, calls for the scaling back of nuclear-related sanctions against Iran, terrorism and human rights violations emanating from Iran continue to occur and sanctions to deter such condu...”

“...he Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows: Short Title Short title 1 This Act may be cited as the Non-Nuclear Sanctions Against Iran Act. Interpretation Definitions 2 (1) The following definitions apply in this Act. ...”

“...r that paragraph: (b.‍1) being a person who (i) is listed in an annual report pursuant to paragraph 3(1)‍(c) of the Non-Nuclear Sanctions Against Iran Act as having been responsible for terrorist activity, support of terrorism, incitement to hatred, or serious human rig...”

“...The Minister may, on application by a permanent resident or foreign national listed in an annual report pursuant to paragraph 3(1)‍(c) of the Non-Nuclear Sanctions Against Iran Act as having been responsible for incitement to hatred, declare that the permanent resident or foreign national is not...”


Filed Regulations

Regulations Amending and Repealing Certain Canadian Food Inspection Agency Regulations (Miscellaneous Program)

May 19, 2017 SOR/2017-94
Registration SOR/2017-94 May 19, 2017 SEEDS ACT PLANT BREEDERS’ RIGHTS ACT HEALTH OF ANIMALS ACT PLANT PROTECTION ACT
Gazette Link

“...ection seed potatoes)

2 Subsection 47.11(4) of the Regulations is replaced by the following:

(4) A person who sells or transfers Nuclear Stock seed potatoes shall identify those seed potatoes with a seed potato tag or a certificate provided by an inspector that indicates that the seed potatoes are Nuclear Stock seed potatoes.

3 The portion of item 4 of the table to subsection 47.2(3) of the French version of the Regulations in column ...”

“...lted in the improper downgrading of the seed potatoes. As currently written, subsection 47.11(4) of the Seeds Regulations prohibits the sale of Nuclear Stock seed potatoes without a tag or certificate. The SJCSR has raised concerns that the provision lacks the required enabling authority from ...”

“...t of the sale of seed. The amendments to subsection 47.11(4) of the Seeds Regulations will continue to require a tag or certificate for the sale of Nuclear Stock seed potatoes; however, the requirement will come under the authority of paragraph 4(1)(h.1) of the Seeds Act, which authorizes the mak...”


Regulations Amending the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (Age of Dependent Children)

April 13, 2017 SOR/2017-60
Registration SOR/2017-60 April 13, 2017 IMMIGRATION AND REFUGEE PROTECTION ACT
Gazette Link

“...in with their parents for a longer period of time. Given the importance placed on education, it is not unusual for some children to remain with their nuclear family while pursuing higher education before entering the labour market. The current definition of “dependent child” in the Immigration a...”


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