Hiroshima Survivor Setsuko Thurlow handed over an emergency appeal for Mayor John Tory at the August 6 Hiroshima Nagasaki commemoration at the City Hall Peace Garden. Over 300 people attended the event. The emergency appeal asks that the Mayor have the Board of Health hold a public hearing on the dangers to Toronto posed by nuclear weapons.
Thurlow presented the emergency appeal to City Councillor Chin Lee who read the Mayor's Hiroshima and Nagasaki Day proclamation in his absence.
In his proclamation, Mayor Tory recalled that Toronto has been a member of Mayors for Peace since 1983 and custodian of the Peace Garden since 1984.
"Each year on August 6, we remember the individuals who died from the immediate effects of the attacks and all those who suffered thereafter," the Mayor stated in his proclamation. "This day also serves as a reminder of the horrific effects of the use of atomic bombs, the need to find non-violent solutions for world issues and the call for the abolition and prohibition of nuclear weapons."
The emergency appeal to the Mayor was endorsed by the Hiroshima Nagasaki Day Coalition, the Canadian Voice of Women for Peace, Physicians for Global Survival, Science for Peace, Project Ploughshares, Peace Magazine, Toronto Article 9, the Toronto Area Interfaith Council, Soka Gakkai International Canada, Pax Christi, the Quaker Social Action Committee, the Ontario Clean Air Alliance, the Ontario Chapter of the Sierra Club and Greenpeace.
In her communication to Mayor Tory, Thurlow enclosed Elizabeth Renzetti's two-page profile of her published in the Globe and Mail the day before. https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/hiroshima/article35881700/
Thurlow has been lobbying City Council since founding Hiroshima Nagasaki Relived in Toronto in 1975. Referring to the appeal to have the Board of Health hold a public hearing on nuclear weapon dangers, she affirms, "We have the right to be heard."
July 26, 2017 (Toronto) Former Senator Douglas Roche, who also served as Canadian Ambassador for Disarmament, will be the keynote speaker at the August 6, 2017 Hiroshima Nagasaki Day commemoration at the Toronto City Hall Peace Garden.
Mr. Roche will deliver his keynote address, "New Action Now: Banning Nuclear Weapons," exactly one month after 122 countries approved the text of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons at the UN on July 7. Only Netherlands, a member of NATO like Canada, voted against. Under pressure from the U.S., Canada boycotted the negotiations and vote on the treaty.
The new UN treaty states that the "catastrophic humanitarian consequences" of nuclear weapons transcend national borders, pose grave implications for human survival, the environment, socio-economic development, the global economy, food security, and for the health of future generations. The ban treaty will enter into force after it has been ratified by 50 countries.
Douglas Roche served as a Progressive Conservative MP for Edmonton 1972-1984 and in the Senate 1998-2004. He was the founding president of Parliamentarians for Global Action in 1980 and was the Canadian Ambassador for Disarmament 1984-89.
Mr. Roche was also the founding chairman of the Middle Powers Initiative in 1998, a coalition of leading NGO's and middle countries dedicated to the world-wide reduction and elimination of nuclear weapons.
Mr. Roche was deeply concerned when U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Soviet Union President Mikhail Gorbachev came close to but then failed to abolish their nuclear weapons arsenals at their Reykjavik summit in 1986. "Suddenly, the two most powerful leaders in the world had put on the table precisely what we were struggling for: the end of nuclear weapons," he recalled." Then, just as suddenly, they had swept the vision away."
He has warned that while the US and Russia have reduced their nuclear weapons stockpiles, the total of 15,000 nuclear weapons still possessed by nine nuclear weapon states, all of which are in the process of modernizing their nuclear arsenals, is a monumental risk to humanity.
Despite Canada's boycott of the new UN ban treaty, Roche is encouraging Canadians to continue to work for the total abolition of nuclear weapons. "The worst mistake we can make at this juncture is to lose confidence in our ability to effect change." In his latest book, Hope Not Fear: Building Peace in a Fractured World, he affirms that "Peace builders, so long thwarted by the rich and powerful, are starting to influence the course of history. The peace building process is an act of hope we dare not give up."
The annual peace commemoration at the Toronto City Hall Peace Garden begins at 6:30 with live music by the Isshin Daiko Musical Ensemble and Grammy nominated flutist Ron Korb. The Pax Christi Chorale and the political satirical group, the Raging Grannies, will also perform.
Mayor John Tory's Hiroshima Day Proclamation will be read and the atom bomb survivor Setsuko Thurlow will read excerpts from the city of Hiroshima and Nagasaki Peace Declarations. At the close of the commemoration, Ron Korb will lead the audience to a lantern ceremony in the City Hall reflecting pool. Community information tables and Origami paper crane and lantern making will begin at 4:30 pm.
From August 3 to 9, the Hiroshima Nagasaki Day Coalition will also be holding a large exhibit of paintings by survivors and photographs of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombings inside the Toronto City Hall Rotunda, 100 Queen Street West.
For further information about the commemoration, visit the website www.hiroshimadaycoalition.ca
Contact Information: Hiroshima Nagasaki Day Coalition:
Anton Wagner, 416-863-1209; email@example.com
July 19, 2017 (Toronto) Two weeks after the UN ratified a treaty banning nuclear weapons that was boycotted by Canada, thirteen peace, faith and environmental groups have issued an emergency appeal to Mayor John Tory warning that the world is at the greatest risk of a nuclear catastrophe since the Cuban missile crisis. The organizations have appealed to Mayor Tory that he ask the Toronto Board of Health to hold public hearings on the ongoing threats to Toronto and its communities posed by nuclear weapons.
122 countries approved the text of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons at the UN on July 7. Only Netherlands, a member of NATO like Canada, voted against and Singapore abstained. Under pressure from the US, Canada boycotted the negotiations and vote on the treaty, which will enter into force after it has been signed by 50 countries.
The groups participating in the emergency appeal to Mayor Tory include the Hiroshima Nagasaki Day Coalition, the Canadian Voice of Women for Peace, Physicians for Global Survival, Science for Peace, Project Ploughshares, Peace Magazine, Toronto Article 9, the Toronto Area Interfaith Council, Soka Gakkai International Canada, Pax Christi, the Quaker Peace and Social Action Committee, the Ontario Chapter Sierra Club and Greenpeace.
With North Korea making rapid advances in its nuclear weapons and missile technology and an erratic American president in control of the US nuclear button, the groups say the Doomsday Clock stands at 2 ½ minutes to midnight. Russia and the US are modernizing their arsenals which hold the bulk of today’s 15,000 nuclear war heads and plan to retain nuclear deterrence and first strike policies indefinitely. Tensions and risk of military confrontation in Eastern Europe between the US and Russia are high. North Korea’s missile tests and threats, and the US installing of missile defences in South Korea and making military manoeuvres are destabilizing. Eighteen hundred missiles, Russian and US, are on launch-on- warning, threatening North American and Russian cities. The disarmament promised by the nuclear weapon states is at a standstill as all the nuclear weapon states are modernizing their arsenals. By accident, miscalculation, or design, nuclear annihilation looms.
"In the event of a nuclear blast, the first response and responsibility will lie with the municipal government and the Mayor's office," says Hiroshima survivor Setsuko Thurlow. "Torontonians will be looking to you for guidance and leadership in the most challenging situation that any government could face, greater than any Canadian Mayor has faced before. Thus it is imperative that you address this issue as the Mayor of Toronto."
Toronto maintains its Peace Garden on Nathan Phillips Square. "But what are City Council and Mayor Tory actually doing in the face of the increased nuclear weapons dangers? With humanity in peril, and cities long a target for nuclear bombing, this is an urgent issue," says Anton Wagner of the Hiroshima Nagasaki Day Coalition.
"It is unconscionable and in defiance of humanitarian law, according to the Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice (1996), to use these weapons," says Janis Alton, Co-chair of Canadian Voice of Women for Peace. "Even to threaten their use violates the spirit of the UN Charter which is to resolve inter-state conflict non-violently."
In 1982 the Toronto Board of Health accepted the findings of an international conference of experts entitled “The Medical Consequences of Nuclear Weapons and Nuclear War” held at the University of Toronto and made a series of recommendations to City Council. These recommendations included that City Council direct the Department of Public Health to develop a pamphlet on civil defence and the dangers of nuclear weapons for distribution to every household in Toronto. The Board also recommended that City Council accept its ongoing responsibility with respect to this danger to public health and that it develop a mechanism to ensure that the issue of nuclear weapons and nuclear war continued to be dealt with by the City of Toronto.
Toronto City Council accepted Toronto Board of Health recommendations at its meeting on 1 April 1982 and voted to hold a referendum on worldwide nuclear disarmament in the November 8 Municipal election. 78% of Torontonians voted yes to support nuclear disarmament by all nations to the ultimate goal of a world free from nuclear weapons. In 1983, City Council designated Toronto a Nuclear Weapons-Free Zone and approved the building of the Peace Garden on Nathan Phillips Square at a cost of $480,000 [over $1 million in 2017 dollars] to commemorate the City’s 150th anniversary.
Thirty-five years after its 1982 recommendations to City Council, the peace, faith and environmental groups are calling on the Board of Health to re-examine the current nuclear weapons dangers and to advise Council what the City can do to protect its citizens.
"No municipality is equipped to effectively manage the devastation of a nuclear explosion," says Dr. Vinay Jindal, President of Physicians for Global Survival. "Municipalities must stand together and effectively represent their citizens for a world free of nuclear weapons."
According to Cesar Jaramillo, Executive Director of Project Ploughshares, "Tired arguments over the purported value of nuclear weapons possession have been replaced by a renewed emphasis on the humanitarian imperative for nuclear disarmament. The catastrophic humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons use outweighs any and all alleged benefits. Hiroshima and Nagasaki could happen again."
The groups are waiting to hear Mayor Tory response to their emergency appeal to have the Toronto Board of Health hold public hearings on the dangers of nuclear weapons.
Setsuko Thurlow will read excerpts from the Hiroshima and Nagasaki peace declarations at the annual August 6 commemoration at the Toronto City Hall Peace Garden. The keynote speaker will be the Hon. Douglas Roche, former Senator, MP, and Canadian Ambassador for Disarmament. He is an Officer of the Order of Canada and has led hundreds of Order of Canada recipients to petition the Canadian government to pursue a treaty convention that would ban nuclear weapons.
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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
* 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。
広報担当のサンドラ(Sandra Ruch at firstname.lastname@example.org or 416-716-4010) へ、或いは日本語で柴原 (Taro Shibahara at email@example.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）
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
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.
“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
“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
“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.
“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.
“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.
“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.
“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.
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”.
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.
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:
Every year, cities around the world proclaim Hiroshima and Nagasaki Days. In Canada, Toronto has been following this tradition for over a decade, and this year's Toronto commemorations are detailed on our homepage. We invite you to submit information about Hiroshima and Nagasaki events in other cities and communities across Canada,which will appear on this page in the run-up to August 6-9.