With the American Empire assembling its forces for a nuclear assault on Iran, and children being born horribly deformed by the effects of depleted uranium in Iraq and Serbia, it was heartening to participate in the annual Lantern Ceremony in Winnipeg and hear MP Bill Siksay (NDP, Burnaby-Douglas) talk about the private members bill he and Liberal MP Jim Karygiannis (Scarborough-Agincourt) introduced last September calling for a Canadian Department of Peace.
Even if passed, this bill will not result in a Peace Ministry because private members’ bills cannot compel the government to spend money. That said, debating Bill C-447 could be educational; passing it would be highly symbolic of the desire that Canadians have expressed repeatedly for a government that promotes peace.
According to Bill Siksay, a major benefit of having a federal peace department would be the presence of a cabinet minister whose job would be to speak for peace at the cabinet table. While a little voice keeps telling me that we have environment ministers who don’t seem to care for the environment, health ministers who preside poorly over the nation’s health care system, and labour ministers who don’t give a damn about the working class, I still see his point. In our imperfect democracy, we need someone in government to utter the P-Word, forcefully and often. Watch the video and get some good talking points — then write your MP.