Proclamations & Statements

2015 Press Releases and Statements

Are Americas Games a Nuclear Weapons Free Zone?

August 6, 2015​ For Immediate Release:

“Ground Zero to Global Zero: Hope After 70 Years” will commemorate the 70th Anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Every August the Hiroshima/ Nagasaki Day Coalition organizes commemoration events for the City of Toronto, through volunteerism and donations.

This year, with 41 countries involved in the Pan-American and Para-Pan Am Games in Toronto, it is important to note that all of the participating countries except 3 (Canada, USA and Bermuda) are part of a Nuclear Weapons-Free Zone (NWFZ). In this respect, Toronto 2015 is bringing peace to our city, and the Games can be considered a NWFZ as Toronto itself was declared a NWFZ in 1983 by City Council.

“Having 38 of the 41 countries in a treaty to be nuclear weapons-free is significant and it really gives an indication of the global push occurring across the globe to work toward nuclear abolition,” states Dr. Vinay Jindal, Chair of Toronto’s Hiroshima/ Nagasaki Day Coalition. “As people across the world speak with one voice, with one message- it will be much more powerful than any nuclear bomb.”

Today, Thursday August 6, 2015 at the Church of the Holy Trinity (10 Trinity Square, behind the Eaton Centre), Torontonians and their international visitors will join in hope and peace for a world free of nuclear weapons. Keynote speaker is Canadian Co-president of Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament, Paul Dewar, with performances by flautist Ron Korb, Taiko Drummers Raging Asian Women, the Pax Christi Chorale and the Raging Grannies.

The event is free and open to the public, community tables at 4:30 pm, commemoration ceremony starts at 6:30 pm, lantern ceremony at dusk.

Toronto Nobel Peace Prize Nominee Addresses the World

August 5, 2015​ For Immediate Release:

2015 Nobel Peace Prize nominee, Torontonian Setsuko Thurlow, will broadcast her message of peace around the world. A retired social worker with the Toronto District School Board, Ms. Thurlow is a Hibakusha, a survivor of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. A member of the Order of Canada, Ms. Thurlow shares her experiences to put a voice and a face to the powerful, destructive force of nuclear weapons. As an international peace activist, Ms. Thurlow has addressed the 2015 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference at the United Nations as well as the Humanitarian Consequences of Nuclear Weapons conferences in Mexico and Vienna.

The Hiroshima/ Nagasaki Day Coalition (HNDC) is proud of the vital contribution Setsuko Thurlow continues to perform in the name of nuclear abolition. This year, Setsuko will return to Hiroshima to mark the 70th Anniversary of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and speak to a gathering of thousands.

Toronto will participate in this international event with “Ground Zero to Global Zero: Hope After 70 Years” presented by Toronto’s Hiroshima/ Nagasaki Day Coalition(HNDC) on Thursday August 6th at the Church of the Holy Trinity. The event is free and open to the public, with community tables at 4:30 pm and the commemoration ceremony starting at 6:30 pm.

On her return from Hiroshima, Ms. Thurlow and the HNDC will host an event at Queen’s Park on September 22, 2015 to mark the 70th Anniversary of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and continue the quest for nuclear abolition. Ms. Thurlow will be available for interviews on September 21, 2015 (UN International Day of Peace).

Toronto Will Not Wait Until Three Minutes to Midnight

August 4, 2015​ For Immediate Release:

In 2015, the Doomsday Clock was moved forward 2 minutes to rest at 3 minutes to midnight, matching the nuclear threat to human existence that occurred during the height of the Cold War. From New York to Vienna, New Delhi to Geneva, cities around the world are commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki with a unifying voice for nuclear abolition. Toronto, declared a Nuclear Weapons-Free Zone by City Council in 1983, is joining in the global call for nuclear disarmament.

Toronto’s Hiroshima/ Nagasaki Day Coalition organized “Ground Zero to Global Zero: Hope After 70 Years” to acknowledge the new hope for nuclear abolition with the Humanitarian Consequences of Nuclear Weapons conferences, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) and the Humanitarian Pledge. After 70 years, there is a global imperative that negotiations for a Nuclear Weapons Convention push forward.

On Thursday August 6, 2015 at the Church of the Holy Trinity (10 Trinity Square, behind the Eaton Centre), Torontonians and their international guests will join to say “Not This City, Not Any City”. Canadian Co-president of Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament, Paul Dewar, speaks, with performances by flautist Ron Korb, Taiko Drummers Raging Asian Women, the Pax Christi Chorale and the Raging Grannies.

The event is free and open to the public, community tables at 4:30 pm, commemoration ceremony starts at 6:30 pm.

Hiroshima and Nagasaki Commemoration in Toronto August 6th, 2015

Japanese version below

July 2, 2015: For Immediate Release

Toronto’s Hiroshima/ Nagasaki Day Coalition presents “Ground Zero to Global Zero: Hope After 70 Years” to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki – Thursday August 6, 2015 (Hiroshima Day) at The Church of the Holy Trinity (west of Eaton Centre), Toronto. The commemoration starts at 6:30 p.m.

Paul Dewar MP, Co-President of Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament will give the key-note address.

Setsuko Thurlow says, “For us Hibakusha who remember and honour the countless perished citizens of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, we need immediate policy change on nuclear weapons leading up to their complete elimination. As abolitionists, we all must renew our commitment to this work.”

The event will welcome performances by the Yakudo Traditional Japanese Drummers, Flautist Ron Korb, the Pax Christi Chorale, and the Raging Grannies.

Everyone is welcome, doors open at 4:30 pm featuring tables from community partners. This event is free and open to the public.

For further information, please consult the Hiroshima Day Coalition

Website www.hiroshimadaycoalition.ca/

Facebook www.facebook.com/hiroshimadaycoalition

Twitter twitter.com/hiroshimaday

* Survivors of the Hiroshima or Nagasaki atomic explosions.

Press release (Japanese)

(PDF version also available)

2015年8月6日のトロントでの広島・長崎の慰霊・平和祈念会について (日本語版) 2015年7月15日 

広島と長崎への原子爆弾投下から70年目にあたるこの夏、トロントの「広島・長 崎記念日連合」(Hiroshima/ Nagasaki Day Coalition) は、“グラウンド・ゼロ (爆心地)からグローバル・ゼロ(地球上の核兵器廃絶)へ:70年後の希望” の標語の下に、2015年8月6日(広島の日)に慰 霊・平和祈念会をホーリー・ト リニティ教会(イートン・センター西側)において開催いたします。祈念会は午 後6時30分開始です。
今回は、「核兵器の非拡散と軍縮に関わる国際議員団」の共同代表をされている カナダの国会議員ポール・デュワー(Paul Dewar) 氏に基調演説をしていただき ます。
被爆者であり国際的な平和運動家であるサーロー・節子(Setsuko Thurlow) は、 「広島と長崎で亡くなった数多くの方々を思い起こし、核無き世界を願う私達 は、核兵器を非人道的兵器とし非合法化するように、核兵器に関わる国際政策 を直ちに転換させることが必要だと考えます。私達は一人一人、核廃絶へ自分が 出来ることを今改めて考えるべきでしょう」と述べています。
この祈念会では、「怒れるアジア系の女太鼓」 (Raging Asian Women Taiko Drummers) の和太鼓の響き、パックス・クリスティ・コラール(the Pax Christi Chorale)、「怒れるオバアチャンたち」(the Raging Grannies)の演奏などで皆 様を歓迎いたします。
祈念会の前、午後4時30分からは、後援する平和団体が各々のテーブルで様々な 情報を提供しますし、千羽鶴折りや平和を祈る灯籠作りのテーブルなどでお子様 も楽しめます。
また8月24日から8月30日まで、広島・長崎での被爆に関するポスターや被爆者に よる絵などの展示を、例年どおりトロント市庁舎(100 Queen Street West)の 円形ロタンダ・ホール(in the Rotunda)で行います。10:00 a.m.から5:00 p.m.までは担当者が展示の説明もいたします。
これらの行事への参加は自由で入場無料です。
「広島・長崎記念日連合」の詳しい情報は、以下で御覧下さい。

Website: www.hiroshimadaycoalition.ca

Facebook www.facebook.com/hiroshimadaycoalition

Twitter twitter.com/hiroshimaday

広報担当のサンドラ(Sandra Ruch at hiroshimaday@gmail.com or 416-716-4010) へ、或いは日本語で柴原 (Taro Shibahara at tettaro@gmail.com or 905-712-1510) へ、問い合せされても結構です。 「広島・長崎記念日連合」代表、医師ヴィネイ・ジンダル
  (Dr. Vinay Jindal for the Hiroshima/ Nagasaki Day Coalition)

2014 press releases and articles

Responses from Toronto's mayoral candidates

The following letter was sent to Toronto mayoral candidates in June 2014.

This year will mark 69 years since the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, destroying the cities and claiming hundreds of thousands of precious lives. To prevent any repetition of the A-bomb tragedy, the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki have continually sought to tell the world about the inhumane cruelty of nuclear weapons and have consistently urged that nuclear weapons be abolished.

In 1982, the Mayor of Hiroshima proposed a program to promote the solidarity of cities toward the total abolition of nuclear weapons, offering cities a way to transcend national borders and work together to press for nuclear abolition. This initiative became known as Mayors for Peace. Toronto joined Mayors for Peace in April 1983 and as of June 1, 2014, there are 6,084 cities in 158 countries and regions that are members. In 2003, Mayors for Peace launched the 2020 Vision Campaign with the goal to abolish nuclear weapons by the year 2020 while continuing to work on a broad range of issues that will contribute to a genuine and long-lasting world of peace. As future Mayor of Toronto, and thus responsible for its citizens, and as a member of Mayors for Peace, what steps would you take to work toward eliminating nuclear weapons?

Dr. Vinay Jindal
Chair, Toronto's Hiroshima Day Coalition
hiroshimaday@yahoo.ca

Please respond by July 15, 2014.

Responses may be made public or published on or around the Hiroshima Nagasaki Commemoration Ceremonies at Nathan Phillips Square this August 6, 2014.

Responses

Jeff Billard

“As the mayor of North America’s fourth largest city, I would first propose a resolution to be adopted by Toronto Council to explicitly support Mayors for Peace “2020 Vision” campaign”
— Jeff Billard, 2014 Toronto Mayoral Candidate

I’m proud of the fact that Canada has representation on many, many different international nuclear disarmament organizations. And definitely proud of Toronto being a member of Mayors for Peace.

As the mayor of North America’s fourth largest city, I would first propose a resolution to be adopted by Toronto Council to explicity support the Mayors for Peace “2020 Vision” campaign.

As mayor, I would also be an active participant in other mayoral coalition groups, such as the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, and ensure fellow members were aware of the goals of Mayors for Peace.

I’m not aware of our outgoing mayor’s focus on Hiroshima Day, or awareness around Mayors for Peace, but I know former mayor David Miller ensured various groups with similar goals could meet and discuss at city hall. I would be willing to do the same.

Most importantly, I’d meet with Toronto’s Hiroshima Day Coalition and other groups to understand the best way of prioritizing their objectives within the office of the mayor, and council at large. My knowledge is limited, but is greatly enhanced by people like you with the passion and vision of a better city, country, and world to provide advice

Olivia Chow

“As a member of Mayors for Peace, Olivia will continue active participation in the group including promoting The 2020 Vision. Olivia will also continue to honour the memory of victims of nuclear-weapons through public awareness of the Peace Garden at Nathan Phillips Square.”
— Olivia Chow Campaign for Olivia Chow, 2014 Toronto Mayoral Candidate

Thank you for this timely reminder about the importance of abolition of nuclear weapons. As you know, we have a long history of supporting efforts to eliminate nuclear weapons dating back to 1969 when council first engaged with the push for a more peaceful world. This was one of the crucial steps leading to membership in the Mayors for Peace initiative in 1983.

Olivia’s late husband, Jack Layton, was there at the beginning of the Peace garden and served on the city’s peace committee during the 1986 Year of International Peace. Three years earlier, he was part of a city council that voted to declare Toronto a nuclear-weapons-free zone.

As your new mayor Olivia, will continue the legacy of a nuclear-weapons-free city. As a member of Mayors for Peace, Olivia will continue active participation in the group including promoting The 2020 Vision. Olivia will also continue to honour the memory of victims of nuclear-weapons through public awareness of the Peace Garden at Nathan Phillips Square.

Thirty-one years have passed since Toronto declared itself a nuclear-weapons-free zone. In honour of Toronto Hiroshima Day, Olivia recommits to this principle, and remembers the deaths in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Thanks for your interest in our city,
Olivia Chow’s campaign

Matthew Crack

“My stance is firmly against nuclear weapons…When hate and fear get taken over by love and kindness, nuclear weapons will see their last day.”
— Matthew Crack, 2014 Toronto Mayoral Candidate

My stance is firmly against nuclear weapons. As Mayor of Toronto, I will promote peace and kindness in the way that I deal with City Councillors, in the way that I speak with citizens and in the way that I conduct myself. Change happens from the inside out. When hate and fear get taken over by love and kindness, nuclear weapons will see their last day.

Xiao Feng Huang (Charles):

“The use of atomic bomb in Hiroshima and Nagasaki marked a dark day in human history…
we must stand together as humanity, regardless of race and religion to eliminate the use of all weapon of mass destruction.”
— Xiao Feng Huang (Charles), 2014 Toronto Mayoral Candidate

The use of atomic bomb in Hiroshima and Nagasaki marked a dark day in human history. That day should never be repeated and we must stand together as humanity, regardless of race and religion to eliminate the use of all weapon of mass destruction.

Dewitt Lee

“I would first of all ensure that our neighboring nuclear plants are fully secure…secondly take a vocal and visible leadership role in supporting the 2020 nuclear free goal and push the Canadian government to stand boldly against countries attempting to secure nuclear weapons.
— Dewitt Lee, 2014 Toronto Mayoral Candidate

Thank you very much for including me in this most important moment as Toronto stands with the world to recognize a day that the world truly mourned together. The tragedy in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, marks the date we were all introduced to the true horror and devastating power of nuclear weapons. They will always be in our hearts. I applaud the Mayors for Peace initiative and your bold 2020 agenda and I’m very proud of Toronto’s long standing involvement.

In response to the question posed to mayoral candidate on what would we do if elected mayor, I would have to say that I would first of all ensure that our neighboring nuclear plants are fully secure and that emergency plans are in place and updated constantly to protect the safety of citizens who would be impacted by a leak or terrorist attack. I would secondly take a vocal and visible leadership role in supporting the 2020 nuclear free goal and push the Canadian government to stand boldly against countries attempting to secure nuclear weapons.

Erwin Sniedzins

“We must set up a stop nuclear weapons social media global network that is tied into all organizations…that are actively working to make this happen.
As Mayor of Toronto I will champion this type of global Mayoralty effort.”
— Erwin Sniedzins, 2014 Toronto Mayoral Candidate

Hiroshima & the elimination of Nuclear weapons

With about 19,000 A-Bombs stockpiled in the world we hear and watch Tyranny in North Korea & Iran racing to add to the potential destruction of our planet. It is hard to engage madness in a constructive dialogue to stop and help to reduce this stockpile of self-extermination let alone adding to our potential eradication. We not only need all the Mayors of the world to unite in one voice and one vision and mission to get rid of Nuclear weapons but all Heads of Countries as well.

We need more than dialogue. We need to use the power of the global people to their financial might to support the boycott of these new nuclear tyrants who are rushing to build A-Bombs. We must set up a stop nuclear weapons social media global network that is tied into ALL ORGANIZATIONS i.e. UN, VOW, etc., that are actively working to make this happen. We need 2 Billion people to join so that we can have our collective voices heard and acted upon. We need the Mayors to help spearhead this initiative and drive to make it so. Then it is incumbent on their people to elect officials in the 8 countries who will guarantee that once elected they will get rid of their nuclear weapon stockpiles. Right now it is fragmented.

As Mayor of Toronto I will champion this type of global Mayoralty effort.

Tibor Steinberger

“Nuclear weapons are bad and have done a lot of damage when used but at the same time has been responsible in giving incentive and urgency in bringing all parties to the table for peace negotiations.”
— Tibor Steinberger, 2014 Toronto Mayoral Candidate

Nuclear weapons are bad and have done a lot of damage when used but at the same time has been responsible in giving incentive and urgency in bringing all parties to the table for peace negotiations. Nuclear weapons are an insurance policy for peace and it is the country’s responsibility to keep it secure.

John Tory

“As Mayor of Toronto, I would encourage our City’s relationship with Mayors for Peace…I would work toward bolstering relations with the federal government, lobbying to them our firm stance against nuclear proliferation and a push for peace and common security.”
— John Tory, 2014 Toronto Mayoral Candidate

As Mayor of Toronto, I would continue Toronto’s strong stance against nuclear proliferation. I would remain committed to our vision that was enhanced through Mayor Lastman’s proclamation of Hiroshima Day in Toronto. I believe the revitalization of the Peace Garden, which will make it both larger and enhanced, will contribute greatly to bringing the city together in commemoration, and raising awareness of the dangers of nuclear weapons. Further, as Mayor of Toronto, I would encourage our City’s relationship with Mayors for Peace. I believe in their visions and efforts that uniquely allow cities from all over the world to stand together against nuclear proliferation. Finally, I would work toward bolstering relations with the federal government, lobbying to them our firm stance against nuclear proliferation and a push for peace and common security.

2013

March 1, 2013. The recent underground test of a nuclear weapon in North Korea is another vivid reminder of the supreme crisis which still faces humanity: the possibility of nuclear war.

Nine countries now possess about 19,000 nuclear weapons. If even a small part of their nuclear arsenals were launched in conflict or accidentally, no one on Earth would be safe. The ghastly, irreparable consequences for humanity and for our planet would last for generations, affecting even those who might still live.

Four survivors of atomic warfare and victims of nuclear weapons testing, now residing in different parts of the world, recently issued a statement. They include Mrs. Setsuko Thurlow, now of Toronto, who, as a schoolgirl suffered the bombing of Hiroshima. They urgently declare: “It’s time to act. The time to prohibit nuclear weapons is now.”

On March 4-5 representatives of more than 100 governments will gather in Oslo, Norway, together with civil society and UN agencies, for the first such meeting ever to concentrate on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons. Canada should speak there decisively.

Although Canada is not a “nuclear power”, it is committed to nuclear weapons through its membership in NATO, which reserves the right to use them, even pre-emptively. All nuclear weapons threaten humankind, all life, and Earth itself. Our country in the past was considered a leader in the pursuit of peace. If Canada wants to safeguard the future of Canadians, it must take a categorical position for the abolition of nuclear weapons.

If we—collectively—the people of the world do not succeed in this task of eliminating these weapons, we shall have failed our children and those who come after us: and for those who do survive, life will be, as described by philosopher Thomas Hobbes (in his book Leviathan), “nasty, brutish and short”.

We too say: “The time to prohibit nuclear weapons is now”.

2010

May 5, 2010. HDC hosted 50 A-Bombing Survivors & Peace Activists from the Japan Council Against Atomic & Hydrogen Bombs inside the Toronto City Hall Chambers with Keynote Mayor David Miller. The meeting resulted in a "Call for Solidarity & Action" representing millions of people. If your group wishes to endorse this statement, send us an email.

Call For Solidarity & Action

We, Japanese and Canadian peace activists gathered in Toronto City Council Chamber, on 5 May 2010, call for action in light of our history.

Remembering the terrible atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945, we share the longings and determination of hibakushas and peace loving people the world over: nuclear weapons must never again be used and the risk of nuclear holocaust must be ended.

We remember as well Toronto's history: in 1983 Toronto City Council officially designated Toronto a Nuclear Weapons-Free Zone (on 24 January), officially adopted the Inter-City Solidarity Programme proposed by the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, becoming a member of Mayors for Peace (on 7 March), and approved (on 12 December) the building of the Peace Garden on Nathan Phillips Square as"a lasting physical expression of our highest aspirations in our most public place," noting that "In symbolizing peace and a love for mankind, it will represent our continuing struggle to avoid the devastation of war."

Therefore, together, at this meeting, we call on the City Council of Toronto and on City Councils of cities around the world to increase their participation in Mayors for Peace, and to join actively in the global effort to abolish nuclear weapons.

We call on the Government of Canada and on the Government of Japan to endorse and support negotiations for a United Nations Convention on the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons, as proposed by the United Nations Secretary-General.

Supported by Millions from across Canada and Japan. Endorsing Organizations Include: