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Toronto City Council and nuclear disarmament

Mayor John Tory and nuclear activist Setsuko ThurlowMayor John Tory and Toronto City Council honoured Setsuko Thurlow for her peace activism on behalf of nuclear weapons abolition on November 7, 2017.

For Mayor Tory's and Setsuko Thurlow's remarks, see https://1drv.ms/f/s!AkIlIqmA2fk_iaJ3KyG2PfP27dXNVw

For an article from the Nikkei Voice, see: nikkeivoice.ca/toronto-city-council-honours-setsuko-thurlows-activism

The following day, Councillor Chin Lee moved, seconded by Mayor Tory, that “City Council reaffirm the City of Toronto's position as a nuclear weapons-free zone” and that “City Council request the Board of Health to hold public hearings on the dangers of nuclear weapons and radiation fallout.” This motion passed. See http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2018/hl/bgrd/backgroundfile-111804.pdf.

Hearing on nuclear weapons and radioactive fallout

The Board of Health held its public hearing on the dangers of nuclear weapons and radiation fallout in City Hall on April 16, 2018. The Hiroshima and Nagasaki Day Coalition tabled the Board of Health's 1982 document, "Public Health Consequences of Nuclear Weapons and Nuclear War," which made recommendations, subsequently adopted by Toronto City Council, for a detailed civic policy on the nuclear threat. For this and other original documents from 1982 and 1983, see http://hiroshimadaycoalition.ca/media#top.


The following presentations were made at the April 16, 2018 Toronto Board of Health public hearing:

(For a video link to these presentations see http://nikkeivoice.ca/victory-against-nuclear-weapons-in-toronto/ beginning at the 14:12 minute mark.

Setsuko Thurlow, Hiroshima Nagasaki Day Coalition: [file Setsuko Board of Health 2018]

Dr. Frank Sommers, Physicians for Social Responsibility: [file Sommers communications file 79606]

Dr. Vinay Jindal, Physicians for Global Survival: [file PGS submission to Board of Health]

Rosemary Keenan, Pax Christi: [file Pax Christi short Board of Health]

Lyn Adamson, Canadian Voice of Women for Peace: [file Voice of Women BoH submission]

Robert Acheson, Science for Peace: file [Science for Peace BOH submission]

Emma Hansen, Canadian Pugwash Group: [file Emma Hansen notes for 2018]

Presenter Zach Ruiter urged the Board to investigate the purchase of the GE uranium pellet plant on Landsdown by the U.S.-based nuclear weapons manufactuer BWX Technologies (see his article in NOW: https://nowtoronto.com/news/wmds-in-the-west-end-of-toronto/ . The Board agreed to further investigate the health consequences of this plant.

Written submissions

Following are written submissions to the Toronto Board of Health:

Cesar Jaramillo, Project Ploughshares: [file Project Ploughshares BOH submission]

Douglas Roche: [file Doug Roche BOH]

Dr. Gordon Edwards, Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility: [file Gordon Edwards Toronto Double Jeopardy]

Shawn-Patrick Stensil, Greenpeace: [file Letter from Greenpeace]

Dr. Frank Sommers, Physicians for Social Responsibility: [file Nuclear Bomb Impact] and [file Sommers Communications file 79565]

Phyllis Creighton: [file Phyllis Creighton HL26.1]

Andrê Michel, Les Artistes pour la paix: [file Artistes pour la paix letter] and [file Artistes pour la paix translation]

Katy McCormick, Ryerson University: [file Katy McCormick Ryerson]

Jonathan Somer, Canadian Red Cross: [file Red Cross statement nuclear weapons]

Barbara Birkett: [file Birkett BOH submission]

Prof. Taro Shibahara: [file Taro Board submission]

Janet McNeill, Durham Nuclear Awareness: [file Durham Nuclear Awareness]

Sidney Ikeda: [file Sidney Ikeda submission to Toronto]

Sister Mary-Ellen Francoeur, Pax Christi: [file Pax Christi Statement to Board of Health]

Edeltraud Neal, Provincial Council of Women of Ontario: [file HL.26.122 Edeltraud Neal]

Alex Pereklita, Wada Ji Sangha Buddhist Temple: [file Alex Pereklita BOH submission]

Prof. Metta Spencer [files Metta Spencer BoH submission and Mayors for Peace List of Activities]

Anton Wagner [file Anton Wagner BoH submission]

See the notification from Julie Lavertu, Secretary, Board of Health: [file HL.26.1 Letter to Interested Persons].

After receiving these in-person and written submissions, the Toronto Board of Health voted unanimously on April 16, 2018 to recommend to City Council that it “Request the Government of Canada to sign the United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons” and “Expressed its support for the City of Toronto's reaffirmation of its position as a nuclear weapons-free zone.”

City Council passed the motion requesting the Government of Canada to sign the United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons on April 24.

On May 11, 2018 Julie Lavertu, Administrator, City Clerk's Office, sent the text of the City Council and Board of Health motions to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau [file: HL.26.1 Letter to the Prime Minister], the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chrystia Freeland [file: HL.26.1 Letter to the Minister of Foreign Affairs], and to the Minister of Health, Ginette Petitpas Taylor [file: HL.26.1 Letter to the Minister of Health].

For a complete listing of submissions to the Board of Health public hearing, see http://app.toronto.ca/tmmis/viewAgendaItemHistory.do?item=2018.HL26.1

For a summary of this City Council lobbying effort, see "Toronto City Council Endorses UN Ban Treaty," http://peacemagazine.org/archive/v34n0p02.htm.