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April 13th, 2018

NDP MP Signs UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons

VICTORIA – Today, NDP Defence Critic and Vice-Chair of the Standing Committee on National Defence, Randall Garrison, signed the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons to demonstrate that Canada can, and must, take a leadership role in the movement for nuclear disarmament. To date, the Liberals have failed to sign the treaty, and their abstention from the negotiation process of this historic, legally-binding document has left Canadians feeling alarmed.

“Canada took a leadership role through the UN in the fight to eradicate landmines, and we have seen how successful that movement has been and how many lives it has saved around the world,” Garrison said. “As tensions rise around the world, Canada is well placed to take a leadership role in the high-stakes movement for nuclear disarmament. We need to take a new approach focused on de-escalation, and work towards disarmament. However, as of now, the Liberal government’s silence on the issue is putting Canadians, and people around the world, in danger.”

This Liberal government has taken no action to protect Canadians against nuclear war, despite the fact that the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists has rated our risk for catastrophic nuclear war higher than it has been since 1953. Doing nothing to prevent nuclear war is not an option, and the NDP will continue to call on the Liberals to finally show courage and step up to protect people around the world from the horrors that nuclear weapons can cause.

Last year, the Liberal government voted against a motion from the NDP asking Canada to sign the treaty. In October 2017, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), which included involvement from many Canadians, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. The NDP had hoped this would encourage the Liberals to change their position on the Nuclear Ban Treaty, but so far this does not appear to be the case.

"We know the nuclear threat is still very real. The Nuclear Ban Treaty is a step in the right direction to put pressure on the whole international community to act in light of this terrible threat," added NDP Foreign Affairs Critic, Hélène Laverdière. "Canada should join the more than 120 countries that have signed the Treaty."