Category SfP Bulletin July 1997

Highlights from the 1997 Annual General Meeting (AGM)

In his report, outgoing President Peter Nicholls remarked on the many activities undertaken during his term. For example, a dialogue was initiated with Minister Axworthy and the Dept. of Foreign Affairs and International Trade about the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruling on the question of the legality of nuclear weapons, about NATO expansion and nuclear war-fighting doctrines. His report touched on research activity of Walter Dorn, Senior Research Officer, the Science for Peace section in Peace Magazine, the Coalition Opposing the Arms Trade conference on defence conversion, and the Physicians for Global Survival conference on the ICJ judgement. He also mentioned the unfinished debates within Science for Peace about AECL’s proposal to burn weapons-grade plutonium in Canadian reactors and about the Canadian sale of CANDUs to China. A copy of the complete report is available in the office.

One of Peter Nicholls’last tasks as President was to confirm the appointment of Anatol Rapoport as Honorary President of Science for Peace. He read the following statement:

The 1997 Annual General Meeting of Science for Peace herewith confirms the decision of the Board to elect you Honorary President of Science for Peace. This is in recognition of your many contributions not only to Science for Peace itself, but to the development of general ideas concerning the possibility of securing peace in the world.

Accepting the honour, Anatol Rapoport spoke at length about the motto “Science for Peace.” His remarks will be mailed to all members of Science for Peace.

The Science for Peace Executive Committee members for 1997/98 are:

  • L. Terrell Gardner: President
  • Eric Fawcett: Vice-President
  • Phyllis Creighton: Secretary
  • Maureen Kapral: Treasurer
  • Patience Abah: Member at large
  • Brydon Gombay: Member at large

Highlights from the AGM: The Financial State of Affairs

by Ian Russell and Maureen Kapral

The financial statement for the year ending March 31st, 1996, was recieved by the AGM.

SfP’s operating expenses for the year were $52,098, slightly exceeding operating revenues of $51,190. While this left a deficit of $908 for the year, it is small considering the total volume of transactions. The total of SIP bank accounts, excluding the Blumenfeld Fund account, was a fairly healthy $19,342. The Blumenfeld Fund account had a surplus of $2,225 which increased its balance to $57,367.

A draft financial statement for the year ended March 31st, 1997, was circulated at the AGM. (A financial statement will be prepared once all figures are in.) The level of activity was higher than the previous year with revenues and expenses each in the range of $130,000. An operating deficit of several thousand dollars is projected. This can be accounted for by the substantial expenditure on the publication of Good Taxes, late in the fiscal year. This expense should be offset by revenue from sales and will appear in the 97/98 year end statement. Bank account balances at the end of the year, taking into account projected expenses, will be slightly less than the healthy balances of a year ago.

The Evolution of World Order: Building a Foundation for Peace in the Third Millennium

This Interdisciplinary Conference, attended by over 150 participants from many groups, took place on June 5-7 at Ryerson Polytechnic University, with a Roundtable Session on June 8 at the Caledon Centre for Culture and Education of Soka Gakkai International (SGI-Canada), who together with Science for Peace were principal sponsors.

Reports on some of the papers presented are available in the current July/August issue of Peace Magazine (see the list of contents in the Peace Magazine section of the Bulletin), and plans to publish the Conference Proceedings are well advanced.

THE CALEDON DECLARATION: Recommendations for Action by Participants in the Interdisciplinary Conference on the Evolution of World Order will be mailed to all members of Science for Peace.

Science for Peace Meeting on Issues

A meeting to hear Reports from SIP working groups and to consider other issues was held on April 26, 1997. It was chaired by Patrick Boyer, Chair of the Pugwash Park Foundation and member of the Canadian Pugwash Group. Presentations were given on the following topics: Abolition of Nuclear Weapons, Climate Change, Energy, Human Rights, Aboriginal Rights, Scientific Co-operation with Cuba, Genetic and Reproductive Issues, U.N. Reform, High Altitude Auroral Research Project, Unemployment and Technology Video Documentary, and Effectiveness of SIP in its Interactions with Government.

Following are some of the recommendations from the presenters and working groups:

Climate Change** (Adele Buckley): What can SIP offer toward the climate change programme?

  1. technological innovation;
  2. draw attention to:
    1. communication between different levels of government and
    2. development of a sustainable society.

Energy Working Group (EWG) (Helmut Burkhurdt) recommends:

  • that the EWG undertake a broad study of Ontario’s energy options in the national and global context;
  • that the EWG facilitate a consensus statement of the SIP EWG, or of SIP as a whole, on what it considers a socially, politically and environmentally feasible application of nuclear science and technology;
  • that the SIP EWG, or SIP as a whole, develop a consensus statement of the local and global pro’s and con’s of burning plutonium in Canada’s nuclear reactors, and disseminate the results to the general public, industry and government;
  • that the EWG look at the question of phasing out or extending the lifetime of aging nuclear reactors;
  • that the EWG develop a clear position and make a recommendation to SIP on joining other NGOs in the legal action against the Canadian government on the issue of CANDU exports to China;
  • that the EWG develop a campaign to promote environmentally friendly energy options including conservation, efficiency of energy systems, and application of renewable resources.

High Altitude Auroral Research Project (HAARP) (Rosalie Bertell) urges:

  • that SIP and Pugwash get involved in this issue.
  • that SIP co-sponsor an international conference at the University of Oregon on HAARP (SW could help identify key people and help fund participation).

Unemployment and Technology Documentary (D. Jenkins): urges SIP members to help in the completion of this video documentary project. Copies of the reports are available from the SIP office.

Proposals for new Working Groups should be made to the co-ordinator, Derek Paul.

Franz Blumenfeld Peace Foundation

The Franz Blumenfeld Peace Foundation was established by the late Hans Blumenfeld to commemorate his brother, Franz, whose death in the trenches of the First World War motivated Hans to undertake a life- long campaign for peace. The Foundation is administered by Science for Peace, which receives applications for financial support for initiatives in peace education.

In accord with Hans Blumenfeld’s wishes, financial awards are made for projects, whether of organizations or individuals, which are likely to be of value for general peace education. Blumenfeld Fund awards are drawn from interest on capital and do not typically exceed $1,000. The fund assets are $50,000 in bonds and $5,940.50 in cash, and total fund equity is $57,400.35. In fiscal year 1996/97 awards were made for the following initiatives:

  • $1,500 to SIP for its conference on the Lessons of Yugoslavia ($500 was repaid).
  • $1,000 to Peace Fund Canada for their landmines media campaign.
  • $500 to the Toronto Board of Education to help send students from the Ursula Franklin Academy to a peace conference.
  • $220 to D. Jenkins to prepare a documentary film on peace and technology.
  • $1,000 to SIP for a workshop on peace issues.
  • $1,000 to W. Dorn for a conference on the Evolution of World Order.

CANDU Sales to China

The Chrétien government’s CANDU negotiations with China and its subversion of the public consultation process should have been an election issue. The Sierra Club of Canada has made it a legal issue and intends to challenge the Canadian government in Federal Court.

On November 26, 1996, Prime Minister Chretien signed a contract with China for the sale of two CANDU reactors, a project worth 4 billion dollars. To finance Canada’s portion of the project, the government announced it was lending China 1.5 billion dollars, the largest single loan in Canada’s history for an overseas project. On Nov.6, prior to signing the contract, the federal cabinet met in a hastily arranged special session to make changes to the Environmental Assessment Act. The government changed regulations under the Act so it would not have to do a review. Under the Act, all federal government-funded projects on foreign soil must undergo complete environmental review at home if one is not required by the recipient country. The government argues that projects undertaken and funded by Crown corporations, such as the Export Development Corp., are already exempt from the Environmental Assessment Act. The government claims the new regulations “clarify” the law and that the loan is being provided by the Export Development Corporation (EDC). Apparently the loan is being administered by the EDC but is not lent by them for the simple reason that the EDC doesn’t have that kind of money to lend at this time:

In their legal challenge Elizabeth May of the Sierra Club will argue that the government triggered the Environmental Act when it passed legislation in March 1996, authorizing payment of up to $1.5 billion to finance the CANDU deal. She argues that the new regulations, which were passed into law on Nov. 7, are too late to exempt the government in this case. Moreover, she argues that the federal cabinet does not have the power to pass regulations that effectively destroy part of an important piece of environmental legislation, without any public or parliamentary debate.

At this point, the courtis hearing preliminary motions related to various aspects of the case. The Sierra Club forwarded a second motion to have several key government documents related to the sale released. The trial itself is not expected to begin until fall.

To help fund the Sierra Club’s legal challenge to force the federal government into subjecting the CANDU reactor sale to a full environmental assessment, please send as generous a donation as you can to the Sierra Club at 1 Nicholas St., #420, Ottawa ON, K1N 7B7. The Canadian Environmental Defence Fund, (CEDF), which helps to raise funds for citizens’ groups’ legal challenges is also accepting donations. They can be reached at: PO Box 15021 STN BRM B, Toronto, ON, M7Y 2Y1.

Peace Magazine: Science for Peace Section

All members of Science for Peace should have a subscription to Peace Magazine as this is now our regular vehicle for communication of ideas. Canadian subscriptions (including GST) are $17.50/ 1 year and $30/ 2 years. There are six issues per year. Listed below are the articles that have appeared recently in the Science for Peace section of Peace Magazine during 1997. Back issues are available from Peace Magazine at: 736 Bathurst St.,., Toronto ON, M5S 2R4. Tel: 416-533-7581.

May/ June 1997:

*The Lessons of Yugoslavia Conference:

  • “Bosnia’s Uncertain Future” by Timothy Donais (the new republics have a long way to go before peace in the broader sense of the word, reigns).
  • “Islands Of Civility and Resistance,” by Ken Simons (civil society and pockets of peace exist in the midst of conflict, and with them hope).
  • “Why did Yugoslavia Break Up?”
    Metta Spencer interviews Mitja Zagar (Mitja Zagar is a specialist on international law and constitutions, and ethnic relations at the University of Ljubjana, Slovenia).

July/ August 1997:

  • The World Order Conference: “De-Militarizing Language”
    Is the use of military metaphors innocuous or cause for concern? By Davis Smith.
  • “The Evolution of World Order”
    The conference in June covered several issues, including spiritual values. By Cheshmak A. Farhoumand.
  • “Technology Against Poverty”
    For the first time, modern technology makes it possible to overcome poverty in most remote villages. Shall we do it? By Morris Miller.
  • “Male and Female Parliaments”
    Should Nunavut have turned down the plan for parliament to be half male, half female? By Derek Paul.
  • “Good Taxes”
    There was a lot of discussion at Sfio’s World Order Conference about Alex Michalos’ new book on taxes. Ian Wood reviews it here.

In Memoriam: Reverend Dr. Ian MacLeod

Dr. Ian MacLoed died December 18, 1996. With his wife Virginia, Dr. MacLeod spent thirty-two years in Japan with the United Church Mission. Setsuko and Jim Thurlow of Toronto remember serving with the MacLeods in Japan. Indeed they were neighbours when Dr. MacLeod was teaching theology at the University of Kwansei Gakuin in Nishinomiya. Dr. MacLeod also spent considerable time in the rural areas of northern Japan assisting Japanese pastors with their ministry work. After a stint of teaching in Taiwan, the MacLeods retired to Stoney Creek, Ontario. The Thurlows met the MacLeods again in their shared pursuit of a peaceful and nuclear free world: The Thurlows remember best Dr. MacLeod’s commitment to pacifism and his work with the group Hiroshima- Nagasaki Relived. They also spoke about his exceptional fluency in the Japanese language, his infectious sense of humour, and his marvellous puns told in a mixture of English, French and Japanese.

Lynn and Anne Trainor paid tribute to the memory of Dr. Ian MacLeod with a generous donation to Science for Peace. We thank you.

In Memoriam: Kenneth McNaught

On June 2, 1997, Kenneth McNaught, professor of history at the University of Toronto, died of cancer. Just six weeks prior to his death he received one of Canada’s highest honours, the Order of Canada.

His approach to history stressed the values of humanity, community, intellectual honesty and political idealism. He spoke on important issues of the day regardless of who might disagree. Speaking at a Science for Peace lecture following the failed Meech Lake Accord he urged all Canadians and the federal government to keep the country united. He felt our constitution (the BNA Act) was capable of handling all exigencies. His advice was: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

National concerns demanded his attention, but so too did the situation of the homeless in his own neighbourhood. He was totally dedicated to the success of the “Out Of the Cold” program, an initiative of St. Simon’s Church to provide a hot meal and overnight accomodation to those in need.

Science for Peace has lost an exemplary member who reminded us, by his own example, to act and speak out on behalf of civil and peaceful society.

Full text version of all articles from SfP Bulletin July 1997. A PDF edition is also available.

Science for Peace Bulletin | ISSN 1925-170X (Print) | ISSN 1925-1718 (Online)