External Affairs Minister Joe Clark has predicted Canada’s policy on Latin America will lead to clashes with Washington. ‘Unquestionably there will be controversy when we disagree with the United States on issues affecting Latin America’, he told an audience at the University of Calgary. But he said Canada did not back down when the United States disagreed with Ottawa’s policies on Cuba and Nicaragua and Canada will not back down in the future.
By Paul Brown and David Fairhall (Guardian Weekly, April 1) –
Workers who service Britain’s nuclear deterrent have been exposed to dangerous neutron radiation because of a miscalculation by the Ministry of Defence. The radiation levels have led to fears that the plutonium inside Polaris missile warheads may have been overheating, potentially lowering their effectiveness in a war.
From The Toronto Star, May 28 —
Canada continues to support NATO’s strategy of maintaining a mixture of nuclear and conventional weapons in Europe, federal officials say. In a speech Saturday, External Affairs Minister Joe Clark said it makes little sense ‘to retain nuclear weapons whose only target can be our new friends in Poland, Czechoslovakia and East Germany’. But department officials, speaking on condition they not be identified, said the minister was referring only to aging, land-based nuclear missiles and artillery shells.
From The Globe and Mail, April 16 —
Canada’s 30-year-old attack warning system is moribund … bees make honey in some sirens, squirrels find them an excellent, dry place to store nuts, hunters find them a good target, and mice love the insulation around the electrical wires… In fact, the siren will not penetrate most of today’s apartment buildings. And now a simpler proposed system, called WEBS (Warning and Emergency Broadcasting System) seems destined to sit and wait, not for enemy rockets but for government money. This last is, of course, good news!
By Douglas Roche (The Toronto Star, May 24)-
In 1989, despite the ending of the Cold War, the US tested (nuclear weapons) 11 times, France 8 and the Soviet Union 9 times. Can anyone doubt that the 1,820 nuclear tests since 1965 have relentlessly driven the global arms race?
President Mikhail Gorbachev has offered to negotiate nuclear weapons down to zero, but the US, adamantly maintaining that nuclear weapons are crucial to peace, insists on continued testing. NATO continues to claim that the strategy of nuclear deterrence has enduring validity.
What is Canada’s position (on th comprehensive test ban — CTB)? Canada has abstained from every vote on the conference at the UN. A government spokesman said in Parliament that Canada will not support the amendment. This attitude is inconsistent with statements that a CTB is a ‘fundamental’ policy. The argument that confrontation over a CTB could exacerbate multilateral relations is minuscule compared with the great danger ahead for the world if the absence of a CTB results in the downfall of the NTP.
Roche discusses briefly the proposed amendment to the Partial Test Ban Treaty (PTBT) of 1963 that would convert it to a CTB. A main conference on this topic is expected next January. Roche suggests that –
The amendment conference is a unique opportunity for the international community to give resounding political support for an end to nuclear testing and thus stop the spread of nuclear weapons. Canada’s credibility in espousing an end to nuclear testing, is on the line.