Dear Prime Minister Trudeau: In the name of peace.

On Saturday evening, I was invited to address the crowd gathered at Civic Plaza to commemorate the devastation that rained down on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, 71 years ago. It was an evening to share our fears and hopes for nuclear disarmament, for peace on earth, for a future free of the fear of nuclear devastation.

It rained, hard, and still the people stood and listened and watched and when the moment was right, set their lanterns onto the surface of the reflecting pool and let them float into the night.

There were moments where I wanted to cry. To scream out, Stop this! Stop this suicide wish we have with our planet. We are killing ourselves and the world as we know it. Stop it.

A nuclear disaster is a real and present danger. It continues to grow in the darkness of our desire to not acknowledge it. It continues to fester in our silent voices refusing to call out for disarmament. To not stand up and demand we free ourselves from relying on war to make peace.

While Canada does not possess nuclear weapons, we have a long history of colluding with our super-power IMG_9133neighbours in fighting for the right to arm our military with weapons of mass destruction. In the name of national security we tell the Commissions and Tribunal’s when they gather to negotiate, “Our neighbours need them to deter other not so rational nations from using their weapons of mass destruction against them.” And so, in the shadow of our big brother, we do not insist they disarm. Instead, we tell ourselves the world is safer when we stand together with the nuclear super-powers and don’t make them back down from their continued demand to keep their arms and stay in the game of improving upon their prowess as creators of mass destruction.

The current presidential campaigns do not leave me feeling that safe living in the shadow of the US. I don’t feel so confident that some of the 1500 nuclear warheads they have on call will not be used indiscriminately under the misguided belief they will teach someone on the other side of the globe a lesson.

IMG_9139Fact is, there are over 15,550 nuclear warheads co-existing with us on this planet today. When the recent coup took place in Turkey, there was great concern over the safety of the airport. It is believed by many that the US has nuclear weapons stored there.

We think we are safe from the fallout. We are not.

It would only take 100 of today’s warheads, which are 20 times more powerful than the two dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, to create a cloud so dense it would block the sun for years. In the nuclear winter that would ensue, all plant life on earth would die. And so would much of life.

So this is my fervent plea, to Prime Minister Trudeau, to Premier Notley, to Mayor Nenshi who as a signatory to Mayor’s for Peace is calling for the total abolition of nuclear weapons by 2020. IMG_9151

Let’s Do It!  Let us disarm, disengage, disconnect the weapons of mass destruction and decide now to take the path to peace.


Let us choose peace.


In peace and the hope for a nuclear weapon free world.


To read the full text of my speech, please click 2016 Lantern Festival

8 thoughts on “Dear Prime Minister Trudeau: In the name of peace.”

  1. for every peace-nik among us there are risk-calculating hawks and military folks who will argue that keeping lunatics in check (i.e. North Korea) that strength is key to keeping the peace. India and Pakistan would argue ‘being nuclear’ keeps their country safe and their neighbour in their own yard. Solutions? As long as arms manufacturers make so much money, it strikes me that the best way for peace-mongers to hold sway is to buy stock, buy lots of stock … and then put their lobby-pressure on executives, on directors and use the laws of our lands to influence corporate policy. However, those dividends and lifts-in value are compelling for investors. A second, more achievable step, get on the board and/or influence the board of those massive pension funds with this message “don’t invest in any company involved in arms manufacturing” …..

    my two cents

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ‘ethical investing’ and ‘corporate social responsibility’ are just talking points for politicians and a lot of corporate types – but they are WORDS TO LIVE BY for most corporate directors, and absolutely powerful for board members at: banks, life insurance companies, pension funds … and that trio of industries represent about 90% of the investment market in Canada, U.S. and Europe … so, many trillions of dollars. If the decision makers on those boards said ‘we will not invest in tobacco businesses’ the wouldn’t. And mostly, they don’t anymore. If you, as Margaret Mead used to say ‘got a small group of committed folks’ applied to the task, how many letters would you need to write, how many cups of coffee would you need to share before you had an impact? There are so many good examples: WWF, Greenpeace etc … who have brought huge pressure to bear. I’m guessing that ‘ethical investing’ is at term you could find on the websites and in the mission statements of EVERY bank, EVERY life insurance company and EVERY pension fund – but unless someone is connecting the dots for their board members, they’ll likely not change much.

      Go, get started, connect some dots.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh Louise you’re so clear in your expression of these things which are so complex and scary at once. I was there that rainy night and the fallout was clean rainwater from the Rocky Mountains not a cloud nuclear waste Thank you for your moving words. I am brought to tears as I read them. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by the pain on this earth. And what I feel is nothing in comparison to what would be a world disaster if nuclear weapons were used again.

    What to do… I will send your letter far and wide. I will speak up whenever possible about this issue. I will take a deep breath or two every time I feel overwhelmed with the potential disaster at hand. And I will have faith that the human species will make the right choice when the time comes. I do believe there is a power for good running through every human being on this planet. So I will also daily send prayers to those who have the potential to discharge weapons and to those who have the potential to abolish them. It is through taking action that I can remain strong in my hope and belief.

    In hope for peace and trust in love, Judy

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you my dear friend. They are complex and scary all at once. you are so right. And it is our fear that will make them worse — so, sharing hope, grace, love, compassion — those are the things we must do. And prayers. Your prayers are such a gift to the world, as is your beautiful loving spirit and your drumming. And in our acting together to creating peace, hope, love, joy rise up for all the world to see.

      Much love my friend.


  3. Where is your decency?
    As I finish commemorating North and South Korea’s liberation from the slavery and sexual abuses of the Imperial Army of Japan. I wish you to remember the 40 million people who commemorate their liberation with Imperial Japan’s forced and quickened surrender made possible by the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It is immoral for you to forget the 100,000 innocent and unarmed men, women and children murdered everyday in August 1945. The numbers killed in Hiro and Naga does not even add up to 30 hours of Imperial Japan’s mass murders in Burma (Myanmar), Cambodia, China, Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Timor and a dozen more countries and territories.


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