Nuclear Weapons Ban Association of Canada logo
A call of the people of Canada in support of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons
"To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men."
-- Abraham Lincoln
"When the story of these times gets written, we want it to say that we did all we could, and it was more than anyone could have imagined."
-- Bono
"Canada's system of democratic representation is faltering if unanimous interest of majority of Canadians is utterly disregarded by their Government."
"One of the most fundamental responsibilities of a government is to ensure the security of its citizens."
-- Chief Justice B. McLachlin
"Under the Community Charter a municipal councillor must consider the well-being and interests of the municipality and its community."
'"Help! What on earth can I, just one person, do about this?" Take heart. That’s a sane response. It’s the basis for a whole new attitude to world problems, where change at the level of the individual is more and more recognized as essential to change in huge world systems.'
-- Scilla Elworthy
"If you don’t believe in the Future, unreservedly and dreamingly … then I don’t see how you can have children."
-- James Carse
"We are most alive when giving ourselves to something that brings hope-filled change to the world."
"One of the most calming and powerful actions you can do to intervene in a stormy world is to stand up and show your soul. Soul on deck shines like gold in dark times."
-- Clarissa Pinkola Estés
"By raising my voice I can help the greatest of all causes - goodwill among men and peace on earth."
-- Albert Einstein
"What we think so intensely with passion becomes reality."
"A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality."
-- John Lennon
"The world is more malleable than you think and it's waiting for you to hammer it into shape."
-- Bono
"Fight for what you believe in. This is the time to do it. You're the ones to do it… Like no other generation, you actually get to create the world that you can imagine."
-- Mark Ruffalo
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."
-- Margaret Mead
"When a great ship is in harbor and moored, it is safe, there can be no doubt. But … that is not what great ships are built for."
-- Clarissa Pinkola Estés
"One of the greatest feelings in the world is knowing that we as individuals can make a difference."
-- Jeff Bridges
"Change happens at the level of the individual."
-- Scilla Elworthy
"Greatest human power is to stand face to face to the challenge and lead it to the heights of success. To change the world, to make it a better place, is our ultimate challenge. We are the most powerful when standing upright amidst ultimate challenge."
"I have cast my lot with those who, age after age, perversely, with no extraordinary power, reconstitute the world."
-- Adrienne Rich
"First they came for the Jews and I did not speak out - because I was not a Jew. Then they came for the communist and I did not speak out - because I was not a communist. Then they came for the trade unionists and I did not speak out - because I was not a trade unionists. Then they came for me - and there was no one left to speak out for me."
-- Pastor Niemoeler
"If you have children, I don’t see how you can fail to do everything in your power to ensure that you win your bet, and that they, and their grandchildren, and their grandchildren’s grandchildren, will inherit a world whose perfection can never be accomplished by creatures whose imagination for perfecting it is limitless and free."
-- Michael Chabon
"It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope; and crossing each other from a million different centres of energy and daring, those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance."
-- Robert F. Kennedy
"Not everyone can be Gandhi, but each of us has the power to make sure our own lives count – and it’s those millions of lives that will ultimately build a better world."
-- Jeffrey Skoll
"The heart of a volunteer is not measured in size, but by the depth of the commitment to make a difference in the lives of others."
-- DeAnn Hollis

Why this Campaign?

Nuclear weapons represent an existential threat to everyone we care about. Outlawing nuclear weapons – the same way as we have outlawed slavery – is a responsibility held by each one of us, and is a cardinal obligation of those who sit in the driver's seat of our society. It is neither a liberal nor a conservative agenda: It is a humanitarian act.

The Government of Canada has declined1 to sign the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, while 93%2 of Canadians desire the abolition of nuclear weapons. This false representation of the people of Canada, to the detriment of humankind, is shameful. The Nuclear Weapons Ban Association of Canada and its CANADA TOGETHER campaign was formed to right this wrong.

"A civilization that puts its most creative minds to the sadistic work of building more and more destructive weapons needs a radical transformation from the heart outwards. It needs to outgrow and outlaw war just as in the last century it outlawed slavery." --Matthew Fox

Every Canadian is now presented with a question from the generations to come:

Q: “What did you do when we were threatened and the government neglected to ensure our security?”

A: "We did everything in our power to get Canada to sign the Treaty outlawing nuclear weapons."

Q: "Everything in your power? What did you do?"

A: "We participated in and supported a nation-wide campaign that inspired every Canadian to call upon their municipal council to pass a resolution formally requesting the federal administration to sign this Treaty. The sum of our municipal resolutions had the effect and power of a national referendum, with no cost to taxpayers."

  1 https://www.opencanada.org/features/will-icans-nobel-prize-impact-canadas-position-nuclear-disarmament/
  2 https://www.ipsos.com/en-ca/canadians-views-global-ban-nuclear-weapons

The Resolution

  1. The residents of our municipality desire to live their lives free from the threat of nuclear weapons. On behalf of our people, we instruct the Government of Canada to sign the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.
  2. Conscious of the magnitude of the destructive capacity of nuclear weapons, we recognize that our resolution would have little meaning on its own. We, therefore, appeal to our neighboring municipalities to make similar resolutions on behalf of the people they represent.
  3. The Clerk shall transmit digital copies of this resolution to neighboring municipalities and to our provincial and federal representatives. Copies shall be sent to resolutions@nuclearban.ca.
  4. Our Municipality supports this campaign with a donation in the amount of $…  . The Clerk shall deposit this amount to the Paypal account of the Nuclear Weapons Ban Association of Canada at contribute@nuclearban.ca.

How to Support the Campaign?

Simply, by sending the following request to the members of your municipal council: (There is no minimum age requirement to make this request. Your contact data will remain confidential.)

Dear Municipal Representative, I trust this letter finds you well:

A mere 5 percent use of the global stockpile of nuclear weapons would render Planet Earth uninhabitable. Most of the casualties resulting from the accidental or deliberate use of these weapons would be civilians. No government can protect us from the threat of these weapons towards our health, society, and environment, on which we all depend for our lives and livelihoods. Therefore, the adamant demanding of the prohibition of nuclear weapons is the sole protection which municipal governments can offer to its people.

Consequently, I am asking you to adopt the following resolution. [Text of the Resolution will follow.]

Best Regards,

[your name and municipality]

Contact your councillman

The Process

After you verify your contact data, your request is sent to members of your municipal council. Then the preparation for the hearing to adopt the Resolution begins. What this preparation includes depends on the receptivity of your Municipal Council. The elected officials, mayors, and councillors may be progressive, conservative, liberal, or somewhere in between. They may be open to new ideas or closed to changing the status quo. In some communities, it may be enough to just speak with the mayor and a few councillors in order to ensure passage of the Resolution.

Creating Community Awareness

Outreach sparks community dialogue and raises the visibility of the campaign. Social media is fantastic for doing just that, but do not forget the other forums available to you in your community. Is there an online community bulletin board? A physical community newsletter? An activity board in the library, community or legion hall? Other media outlets are local radio and TV station, high school or university newspaper. The cheapest form of communication with the public is letter to the editor. The more letters people send in, the more support they demonstrate for passing the Resolution through your municipal council.

Creating Community Partnerships

You may sway the unresponsive councillors by identifying influential organizations, and asking them to be your alias. Red Cross, Rotary Clubs, Kinsmen, Kiwanis, Optimists and Lion’s clubs, Canadian Legions, local environmental, peace, art, faith-based, women's, refugee-help groups and teachers associations can be very supportive to a cause which affects everyone. Many groups have regularly-scheduled membership meetings such as monthly brown bag lunches or breakfasts, and are looking for presentations that are supported by facts. The facts are readily available at http://www.icanw.org.

Getting Help from Students

can be vital in passing city council resolutions! Councils often appreciate hearing from young people. You don’t have to be old enough to vote to present to your local Council. Highschoolers can be a powerful voice. And for college students, it's okay if you’re not "from" the city where your school is; you are there now, and you are welcome to work with local organizations to pass a resolution in that city!

Displaying Public Support

Urge your supporters to attend the council meetings and to speak in favor of the resolution during the "public comment" period, as a physician in California did: "On November 18th, during public comments, I challenged the City Council to take a stand on behalf of the citizens of Ojai regarding the greatest public health threat we face. I advised the Council that as city leaders and first responders—they had a responsibility to protect the citizens of Ojai. I stated—as a physician—that there was no adequate response to a nuclear attack and that prevention by abolition of these weapons was the only response." https://www.psr.org/blog/2018/05/24/ojai-californias-nuclear-free-resolution-a-call-to-action/.

When the day for the vote arrives, pack the meeting room with your supporters to put pressure on the officials to adopt the resolution. It can be helpful to have "credible" figures, such as lawyers, physicians, and teachers to speak in support of adopting the resolution. Be aware that your city council can change the text of the resolution to suit their own preferences, so it pays to be strategic from the outset to ensure that what is passed is what you want.

Ballot Initiative

Another option available in some places is to ask your council to place the resolution on the ballot to be voted on by the people, rather than passing it through the Council. Passing a resolution through ballot initiative is a fabulous way to reach many more residents. If you choose this option, make sure to plan ways to educate the public before the resolution appears on the ballot.

Petition Drive

In some locales, organizing a petition drive and obtaining signatures may be the only way to get the council’s attention to pass the resolution. If your group determines that there is a need for a petition, there are several good sources of collecting signatures for petitions.

Attend meetings where the audience is likely to be receptive of your efforts. Come to the meeting with fact sheets. Ask ahead of time if you can have a minute to describe your effort and pass around a petition at the meeting.

Consider tabling at local businesses whose clientele are likely to be supportive of your efforts. For example health food stores, grocery stores, coops, farmers’ markets, post offices, or local organic food stores are good places to set up a table.

Perseverance

It is common for city councilors or mayors to require coaxing. A resolution might be tabled indefinitely, or it might fail when the voting does finally take place. Don’t allow your group to be discouraged. Assess the current situation, review the reasons the resolution didn’t pass, then try again.

Also, keep an eye on councillors up for re-election. This may or may not move things in your favor. Be humble, but firm. Your community leaders are elected by the community: their duty is to consider the well-being and interests of its community – they work for the you and for your neighbors!

Similarly, it’s important to know who your detractors are and what their arguments are likely to be. Try to anticipate as much as you can so you can plan how to minimize or marginalize your opposition or to respond to their arguments.

But mainly, don’t be discouraged, and don’t give up. You are doing the right thing. The most right thing any person living on this planet during these times can do. Be proud of being a light for the others. Because of people like you, the world will never be the same.



Our Campaign Consultants volunteer their time and expertise to help you find the best approach in your circumstances. You can reach a Consultant by sending your questions to info@nuclearban.ca.

Once you determine that you are ready to proceed, NuclearBanCA will schedule the hearing. The process of presenting the request to a council is concisely described in a City of Sault Ste. Marie web page:
http://saultstemarie.ca/City-Hall/City-Departments/Corporate-Services/City-Clerk/Community-Delegations.aspx

Further action

Be one of those who help Canada to outlaw nuclear weapons. Do what is in your power to inspire others to support the campaign, volunteer, and financially back the campaign. When we all do what is in our power to do, our dream of a significantly better world - a world without nuclear weapons – turns from a dream into reality.

Together, we’ll outlaw nuclear weapons!

Then, we outlaw wars.

Inspire Others to Support the Campaign

The way to increase your probability of having the Resolution passed is to inspire friends and family members to contact your councillors the same way as you did. The more requests they receive, the more they will understand the desire of their constituents to have the Resolution passed.

Volunteer

The campaign needs the support of many, and the help of a few. By volunteering your talent, expertise, and know-how, become one of those few who are moving Canada to the right side of history and humanity. Apply now! During these times, outlawing nuclear weapons is the most right thing a person can do.

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Support Campaign Financially

It is known fact that the success of any campaign largely depends on its financial backing. Please contribute what you can: In these times, there is no more pressing need than the need to avoid a civilization-ending nuclear holocaust. The world will not be the same when people like us stand up and make a difference.


 

©2019 Nuclear Weapons Ban Association of Canada
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