Sooke has joined Saanich, West Saanich and Victoria on taking a stance on the prohibition of nuclear weapons.
At the June 24 Regular Council meeting, Dr. Jonathan Down addressed council as a representative of Physicians for Global Survival, requesting support for the Cities Appeal, a municipal commitment on the prohibition of nuclear weapons.
See the ICAN Cities TPNW attachment for details.
According to Dr. Down, a few ruthless world leaders are plunging the world towards catastrophic possibilities. With cities as the main targets, neighbouring municipalities are being asked to take a supporting moving the world towards the elimination of nuclear weapons. Victoria, Saanich and North Saanich have already supported the Cities Appeal.
The Doomsday Clock, a symbol which represents the likelihood of a man-made global catastrophe maintained since 1947 by the members of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, is set to two minutes before midnight, which is closer than it was during the Cuban Missile Crisis (1962); at two minutes to midnight, this is the closest we’ve been since 1953.
Sooke / Victoria is on the trajectory, living in the shadow of the United States.
This initiative is being driven because of Canada’s apathy from the federal level, which seems to be that because Canada don’t have nuclear weapons it don’t need to take a position. But the fact is, Canada is on the path of travel. Canada also has cities that are targeted. As a member of NATO, according to Dr. Down, we have a responsibility to take a stance.
Councillor Bateman felt that anyone with common sense realizes that nuclear weapons pose a real threat. He referenced the verbal battles between US and North Korea, as an example, and then made a motion that Sooke support the Cities Appeal.
Councillor St-Pierre noted that Sooke’s support may not make a difference, but noted that there was no harm in supporting the motion.
Mayor Tait said she had been to Hiroshima. She would support the motion.
Councillor Beddows, forever the rogue, stood alone opposing the motion. He said he will not be supporting the motion because it’s a federal issue, and it was their job and not Sooke’s to take a stance. So, he said, he will vote against it.
Councillor Bateman wrapped up the debate noting the long list of cities that have signed it (see below), adding that Municipal governments have a voice, and they can send the message that they support it.
Ultimately, the motion carried, with Councillor Beddows opposed.
(Note: Councillors Megan McMath and Ebony Logins were absent, as was Brenda Parkinson who is on medical leave.)
Partial list of cities supporting the nuclear prohibition
- North Saanich, BC
- Saanich, BC
- Victoria, BC
- Berkeley, CA
- Baltimore, MD
- Los Angeles, CA
- Ojai, CA
- Northampton, MA
- Salt Lake City, UT
- Santa Barbara, CA
- Takoma City, MD
- Washington D.C.
- and many more through our partners Mayors for Peace
What if we have a nuclear war?
Just for shits and giggles, we’re also including this video that explains how far you have to be from a nuclear blast in order to survive immediate impact.