VOW opposes “Mother Canada” War Monument

June 1, 2015

Re: Never Forgotten National Memorial Project

To Whom It May Concern:

It has come to our attention that a memorial commemorating Canada’s war dead is being planned for Green Cove, a scenic rocky point on the eastern coast of Cape Breton Highlands National Park of Canada (CBHNPC) along the Cabot Trail. This will be a 24 meter statue of “Mother Canada” along with parking and other constructed areas to accommodate visitors.

It is inappropriate for the site, as national parks are mandated to protect and preserve natural areas.  It will be built on a geologically significant area.  It will divert attention from the cultural celebration of nature, life and beauty, to the topic of war, death, and destruction.

Rather than honoring veterans, this is a misuse of money that would be better spent studying ways to create and preserve peace, and to help those current veterans who have come back alive, but broken, as well the families of those who have not come back at all.

In addition, the fact that a company that will be involved in the project has done the study shows a conflict of interest and a lack of an unbiased review of the project. The fact that corporate sponsors’ names will be displayed on the base of the statue is crass commercialism.

As a women’s peace group, we object to this government’s use of an oversized and misplaced woman’s image to tug at our heart strings, while it continues to glorify militarism and send Canadians to kill and die abroad. We are insulted that a woman who presumably represents our caring nature is actually being used for advertising. We object to the gratuitous appeal to sentimentality (“Commemorative Ring of True Patriot Love”, “With Glowing Hearts Sanctuary”), which serves to sugar-coat the reality of war. We are told again and again by those who have experienced war that it is hell, so let’s scrap the idea of a statue that makes war something to aspire to, and let’s start working on creating peace. That is what women want.

Sincerely,

Sandy Greenberg

on behalf of Nova Scotia Voice of Women for Peace

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Austria issues historic pledge at Vienna Conference

ICAN: momentum generated by humanitarian initiative must lead to ban treaty process in 2015

At the closing of the Third International Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons, Austria delivered the “Austrian pledge” in which it committed to work to “fill the legal gap for the prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons” and pledged “to cooperate with all stakeholders to achieve this goal”. MORE+

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30th Anniversary of Debert Action – Screening

FBdebert There was a full house at the auditorium of the Museum of Natural History in Halifax at the screening of Debert Bunker: By Invitation Only on the 30th anniversary of the action decrying, protesting, and ridiculing the rehearsal for nuclear war that took place at the bunker in Debert, Nova Scotia on February 29, 1984.

Directed and Produced by Liz MacDougall, the documentary showed the actions of several affinity groups who came together in 1984 to illustrate the horror that would take place outside such a bunker for everyone except the 318 men and 11 women who were chosen to be allowed into the bunker in an absurd and futile attempt to keep the government, military, and communications structures going following a nuclear attack.

With an obvious lack of understanding of what it would take for a continuation of the human race, the bunker plan would attempt to save old, white men, who would be ushered into the supposedly safe cocoon, leaving their wives and children behind to suffer and die. This 30-minute film transfixed the audience and brought them to the raw emotions of grief, rage, and defiance. The connections and common purpose felt by the participants was felt by those watching the video.

Nova Scotia Voice of Women sponsored the screening, as well as Liz MacDougall’s creation of the new digital re-make that was shown. Many Voice of Women members, including Muriel Duckworth and Betty Peterson, were at Debert that day, bringing women’s voices for peace into the cold February air.

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