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LETTER: Langley City council lauded for anti-nuclear weapons stance

Money spend on weapons should be spend on health and education, peace advocates say

Dear Editor,

On behalf of Langley residents, we applaud Langley City council for passing a resolution on Nov. 23 in support of the recently ratified UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

Council committed to support the Mayors for Peace Appeal and will write to the government of Canada calling on it “to break the unacceptable status quo regarding a tolerant nuclear weapons policy by taking decisive steps toward the global elimination of nuclear weapons of war.”

The resolution noted that:

The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) is a landmark global agreement calling for national and local governments to abandon nuclear weapons of war;

The TPNW global agreement was adopted in 2017, and the Nobel Peace Prize Committee has acknowledged this initiative as providing the best pathway towards a world without nuclear weapons;

  • Nuclear weapons threaten every nation’s security and would cause catastrophic humanitarian and environmental harm;
  • Cities are the main targets of nuclear weapons, municipalities have a special responsibility to their constituents to speak out against any role for nuclear weapons in national security doctrines;
  • Municipal governments form a close and active link with their constituents and local social movements;
  • A national awareness is needed to advance the standard determined by the TPNW against nuclear weapon states and their military alliances with countries that have nuclear weapons;
  • The time has come to end decades of deadlock in disarmament and moving the world towards the elimination of nuclear weapons;
  • There is no winner in an exchange of nuclear weapons.

• READ MORE: Doomsday Clock moves closest to midnight in 73-year history

Langley City council is to be commended for its encompassing vision of responsibility which includes the pursuit of peace. We thank Mayor van den Broek and Councillors Storteboom and Wallace for meeting with Dr. Mary-Wynne Ashford during the summer to learn about the nuclear weapons treaty and for acting in the best interest of humanity.

We hope this action by Langley City council will inspire our community and other municipalities to speak for non-violence. Going forward now we should not allow the government of Canada to quietly purchase 15 warships at a cost of $70 billion dollars and 88 jet bombers at probably a similar lifecycle cost.

We must demand that government spend our money on public health and education, jobs that build rather than destroy and on other real needs of Canadians such as a just transition to renewable energy for those involved in the fossil fuel industries.

We want Canada to once again be known as a peacekeeper and to shift our tax dollors from the war economy to a green and just recovery for all.

Brendan Martin and Marilyn Konstapel,

World Beyond War, Vancouver Chapter Members,

Langley

.

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