adapted from a photo by W. Lloyd MacKenzie, via Flickr
Dear Prime Minister Trudeau,
The Canadian Peace Initiative warmly congratulates you on the success of the recent election. We are delighted that, in your initial conversation with President Obama, you indicated your intent to end Canada’s combat mission against ISIL. Over the last ten years we have been very concerned by the move that Canada has taken, away from its traditional commitment to peacekeeping and peace diplomacy, to a belligerent role on the world stage.
There is currently no strategic focus for peace in government, and there has rarely been a greater urgency or a better window of opportunity to consider the creation of a Department of Peace in our country. This is one of the principle aims of the Canadian Peace Initiative. We see that Canada has an important role to play in the prevention of violence and the resolution of conflicts at home and abroad. Bill C-373, An Act to Establish a Department of Peace, passed First Reading in the House of Commons on November 30, 2011, and we have been diligently working on advancing it to Second Reading.
We recall your father’s courageous peace initiative, embarked on in 1983, when he said, “it is essential in my judgment to seek stability at a number of points along the downward trend line and to recognize that peace and security in the modern age are indivisible.” The Canadian Institute for International Peace and Security (1984-93) was established as a legacy of that initiative, by a unanimous vote of Parliament.
We feel confident that your vision for the country will include an expanded Canadian peace initiative. In the words of Nobel Peace Prize recipient and former Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson, “Of all our dreams today there is none more important – or so hard to realize – than that of peace in the world. May we never lose our faith in it or our resolve to do everything that can be done to convert it one day into reality.”
As you develop policy to reinvigorate peace building as a primary goal of Canada’s government, we would like to work with you.
Furquan Gehlen and Christopher Cutler,
National Co-chairs, Canadian Peace Initiative
The Canadian Peace Initiative is a non-partisan organization, interested in working with any party to increase federal peace-building capacities, in particular through establishing a federal Department of Peace.
To help voters in this 2015 Federal Election, we have summarized statements of four major parties:
Openly supportive & active The NDP have twice introduced Private Members Bills specifically for the creation of a federal Department of Peace. They proclaim in their current plan they will work “to earn a Canadian seat at the United Nations Security Council – an important step in rebuilding Canada’s role as a leader in democratic development, peacekeeping and peacebuilding.”
Openly supportive & active In the Green Party‘s vision statement, section 5.1, they pronounce their intent to “Create a Department of Peace and Security”. In 2011, Green Party leader Elizabeth May Seconded Bill C-373, an Act to Establish the Department of Peace.
Unknown The Liberal Party states on their website that they “will contribute more to the United Nations’ mediation, conflict-prevention, and post-conflict reconstruction efforts,” but we do not yet have specific statements for establishing a Department of Peace.
Opposed The Conservative Party‘s Hon. Jason Kenney (Minister of Defence) recently described in The Hill Times (reiterated on his website) that they are focused on increasing military capabilities. He opposed the Department of Peace concept, stating that “Instead of working with us to improve defence, the NDP co-sponsored a bill not long ago to create more bureaucracy with a ‘Department of Peace’?”
Profound appreciation goes to everyone who generously contributed to our recent crowdfunding campaign in 2015.
89 people contributed a total of $8,728. Details of the use of the funds will be posted here in 2016.
Thank you Adele Buckley, Alexandra Cleaver, Allison Dunn, Angela Bischoff, Angela Bischoff, Anita Hadley, Ann Mortifee, Anne Caza, Ashok Agarwal, Barbara Birkett, Bill Bhaneja, Bill Rathborne, Bruce Batchelor, Bruce Rosove, Carol Zhong, Chris Cutler, Christina Mills, Christopher Bowers, Claire Charron, Colleen Ring, Denis Farling, Diane Rae, Donald Woodside, Doreen Hunter, Enid Blackwell, Gordon Breedyk, Iman Ibrahim, Inger Hansen, Jane Keeler, Janice Mumford, Jean Cassidy, Jeff Gould, Joanna Wilkinson, John Grogan, Judie Diamond, Katherine McGinnis, Katherine Putt, Kevin Dunn, Kirsty Dunn, Larry Kazdan, Laura Fellman, Lorna Rennie, Lyn Adamson, Lynda MacLean Woodward, Maria McAdam, Marian Pape, Marilyn Goode, Marlyn Bennett, Mary Lunney, Mary-Ellen Francoeur, MC Lessard, Michael Coon, Michael Nickerson, Morgan Callison, Nicole Charron, Paul Maillet, R & D Daniels, Rizwan Gehlen, Sandy Mayzell, Sheila Poole, Stan Olsen, Steve Christie, Susan Gingell, Susan Koncan, Suzanne Laroque, Suzanne Stocker, Tanis Moore, Tara Leduc, Yao Daniel Konan, Yvonne Haist. Some chose not to have their name recorded here, but they are nevertheless profoundly thanked.