Quebec Chapter

Our group is focusing this spring on preparing a “counter-White Paper” which we will publish within a month of publication of the government’s White Paper, which is now predicted for mid-April. If the government does not publish the paper by then – or at all – we will still go ahead with a series of articles on Canada’s military policy.

In terms of research, several members were successful in getting grants to set up a project on the economic impact of the military sector in Canada. Pierre Fournier, Danny Shapiro and I have raised roughly $75,000 this year for the project. A Concordia University team composed of Danny, Lynne Pappel and John Waterhouse has merged the military data base prepared by Project Ploughshares with another data base on the financial organization of Canadian firms. The emphasis is on firm-level impact of military spending by the Canadian government. At UQAM the focus is on an institutional analysis of the aeronautic and shipbuilding sectors and Canadian military policy.

The Canadian uranium sector and our emergence as the world’s leading exporter of this commodity have been the major focus of my own research. A team of four professors representing UQAM, Concordia and l’Université de Montreal have received a 5-year, $1.4 million grant to set up a research centre on technological innovation in the Canadian economy. Our mandate for the first three years is to examine the energy sector; my dossier is the nuclear industry. We’ve tried to follow up on the Ontario Hydro tritium study and to come up with an alternative and more precise estimate of the civilian non-fusion market potential. It has been very difficult to trace down precise information,for example, concerning the precise quantity of tritium used per watch dial or exit sign. Would anyone in the SfP network be able to suggest people we can interview to get this information?

As part of my research I am looking into nuclear exports and proliferation issues. I would like to establish a correspondence group on this issue with any similarly interested SfP members.

I also propose setting up a Northnet/Bitnet network for all our members. Most of our universities are already on this computer network and it’s free. My Bitnet address is R14644@UQAM. I suggest we publish a list of Bitnet addresses in one of the coming Bulletins. I volunteer to coordinate a SfP Bitnet network – it beats the mail by a long shot.

— Phil Ehrensaft