2014 has not been a good year for peace.
- Canada is directly involved in two international wars ‒ Iraq and Ukraine ‒ and indirectly in at least one other ‒ Palestine-Israel.
- Canada has jumped from the 15th to the 12th largest military exporter in the world.
- Canada is the world’s 2nd largest producer of uranium. All of Canada’s uranium comes from Saskatchewan, accounting for 20% of world uranium production.
- Regina high schools, both public and Catholic, are about to start offering courses in military training for credit and money.
- Regina is the murder capital of Canada.
What can we do for peace?
WHAT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT CAN DO FOR PEACE
- The Canadian government can stop being one-sided in its view of conflicts.In each of the conflicts in which it is currently involved, Canada has demonized one of the combatants: ISIS in the case of Iraq, Putin in Ukraine, and Palestine in the Israel-Palestine conflict. The other side is idealized‒identified with freedom and democracy. ●Such a good-versus-evil scenario lays the groundwork for war by creating a culture of hate and fear. ●There are few, if any, totally good guys or bad guys in any of these conflicts, just many varying shades of gray. ●For example, ISIS has killed a number of westerners by beheading them. Undoubtedly, they were, as Prime Minister Harper said, “brutal and barbaric” acts. But are they any worse than dropping bombs on people? The 2003 US “shock and awe” campaign in Iraq, done in the name of non-existent weapons of mass destruction, killed 7,500 Iraqi civilians. ●Let’s work for peace by being fair-minded and even-handed!
- The Canadian government can work through the UN for a political solution to conflicts, rather than rushing off to war.Canada has been endlessly at war since 2003. Afghanistan, Libya, Ukraine, Iraq, Syria: Canada has been or is there making war. ●Which got shipped out faster: military equipment to Iraq or medical supplies to Sierra Leone to treat Ebola? ●Let’s give peace a chance!
- The Canadian government can sign the Arms Trade Treaty, a treaty aimed at restricting the global arms trade. Nearly 70 countries signed the treaty in June of last year, but not Canada. Let’s stand for peace, not for selling weapons!
WHAT THE PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT CAN DO FOR PEACE
- The Saskatchewan government can place a ban on uranium development, as have three other provinces: Nova Scotia, BC, and Quebec.Saskatchewan uranium is the initial source of much, if not all, of the depleted uranium (DU) currently being used by the US military for the production of DU weaponry. A form of low-level nuclear warfare, DU weapons are classified as weapons of mass destruction under international law. ●Let’s work for peace by leaving Saskatchewan uranium in the ground.
- The Saskatchewan government can reverse its decision to introduce military training into Regina high schools. Should we be turning our high schools into military recruitment centres? ●Do we want weapons handling to be part of our education system? ●Let’s introduce a high school course for credit in Peace Studies.
WHAT THE CITY OF REGINA CAN DO FOR PEACE
- The City of Regina can work to reduce inequality in our city. Study after study has shown a strong connection between inequality and violence. Regina’s boom has been a bust for many, especially those living in rental housing, which has become increasingly unaffordable. City Council could address inequality by developing a program to build 100 new units of affordable rental housing a year. Let’s work for peace by working for justice.
3 THINGS YOU AND I CAN DO FOR PEACE
- We can sign the petition, NO MILITARY TRAINING IN SASKATCHEWAN HIGH SCHOOLS. We have copies of the petition with us at the vigil. Petitions can also be downloaded from facebook.com/PeacequestRegina
- We can let Premier Brad Wall know we don’t want our schools used to program young people to accept war as normal: 306-787-9433 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- We can see JOYEUX NOEL, a film about peace. Nominated for an Oscar in 2006, Joyeux Noel (“Merry Christmas” in English) tells the story of the First World War 1914 Christmas truce in the trenches, as experienced by Scottish, French, and German soldiers. ►Showing at Regina Public Library Film Theatre, 2311 12th Avenue
7 pm, Thursday December 18 and Saturday December 20
9 pm, Friday December 19 and Sunday December 21
Let’s work for peace!