May 29, 1984 (32nd Parliament, 2nd Session)


Neil Young (Whip of the N.D.P.)

New Democratic Party

Mr. Neil Young (Beaches) moved:

That, in the opinion of this Flouse, the Government should consider the advisability of declaring Canada a nuclear arms free zone and that it should consider the advisability of prohibiting the deployment, testing, construction and transportation of nuclear weapons and associated equipment through and within Canada and that it should consider the advisability of prohibiting the export of goods and materials for use in the construction and deployment of nuclear arms; and
That, the Government should consider the advisability of encouraging cities, provinces and states throughout the world to undertake similar action.
He said: Mr. Speaker, this motion is indeed similar to the measures proposed in the private members bills introduced by my colleagues, the Hon. Member for The Battlefords-Meadow Lake (Mr. Anguish) and the Hon. Member for Selkirk-Inter-lake (Mr. Sargeant). All three measures would prohibit the deployment of nuclear weapons in Canada. They would also prevent the transit of nuclear weapons through Canadian territory and waters. They would make it unlawful to develop, test, or produce nuclear weapons or components of nuclear weapon systems in Canada or the export of same.
My motion is somewhat different from the other two measures proposed by my colleagues, but nonetheless equally important. My motion calls upon the Government of Canada to take a leadership role in encouraging others throughout the world to follow the example set by this House of Commons if this motion is adopted.
I do not think I overstate the case when I say that the arms race has brought us face to face with our own annihilation. There are now some 50,000 warheads in the arsenals of the two superpowers alone. Some may think it trite to make reference to the maxim that you do not put a smoking gun on stage unless you intend it to be used, but I think that maxim sums up for us the dilemma we have forced upon ourselves in the rush to augment national security by threatening the security of another nation with nuclear weapons.
Until recently the theory that governed the strategic thinking of the superpowers has been that of deterrence, that it

May 29, 1984
Nuclear Disarmament
would be suicide for the other side to launch an attack so long as we retained a credible threat of a retaliatory strike. However, with the advance in nuclear weapons technology and changing attitudes in the White House and the Kremlin, the theory of deterrence is beginning to unravel. The weapons being developed today can be launched from thousands of miles away and still hit their target with almost pinpoint accuracy. Their value is not so much as retaliatory second strike weapons but as counterforce, first strike weapons; weapons that can take out the nuclear missiles of the other side before they can be launched. Pentagon strategists are shunning mutually assured deterrence in favour of Nuclear Utilization Theories, NUTS.
The act of declaring Canada a nuclear weapons free zone would be one of complying with the oft-repeated call of the United Nations for the establishment of such zones. Regardless of what some Members may think of the United Nations, it would be foolishness to dismiss U.N. recommendations for nuclear weapons free zones throughout our planet. The first nuclear weapons free zone was established in the Antarctic in 1961. The treaty for the prohibition of nuclear weapons in Latin America was concluded in 1967.
Here are two areas of the globe where through negotiations and agreement we have been able to prevent nuclear weapons and the threat of their use from casting a shadow. Since then, serious proposals for the creation of nuclear weapons free zones have been advanced for Africa and for the Balkans, for the Middle East, the Mediterranean and for Central Europe, for South Asia, the South Pacific and for the Nordic countries of Europe. We, in Canada, have a unique opportunity to add another large region of the globe to the area now free from the threat of nuclear weapons, without the complicated negotiations to include other countries in the nuclear weapons free zone.
I want to quote from the Final Document of the 1978 United Nations Special Session on Disarmament. It reads:
The establishment of nuclear weapons free zones on the basis of arrangements freely arrived at among states in the region concerned constitutes an important disarmament initiative. The process of establishing such zones should be encouraged with the ultimate objective of achieving a world free of nuclear weapons.
We as Canadians can and must do a great deal to influence the political climate in a way which encourages disarmament agreements. We can and must do a great deal to put political and technical constraints on the nuclear strategies of both the U.S.S.R. and the United States. I am confident that creating a nuclear weapons free zone in Canada would do both.
Recently I read that Emergency Planning Canada wants to spend some $40 million on a network of 650 nuclear fallout shelters. In my view, planning for these kinds of civil defence measures is perpetrating a cruel hoax on the Canadian public. One comment which caught my attention was that our emergency planners think this network of shelters will do the trick, because they assume Canadian territory they would not be the target of a Soviet nuclear strike.
Our emergency planners better think again. How can they possibly assume when we in Canada develop, test and produce nuclear weapons components and when NORAD is providing targeting information to nuclear-armed aircraft, that Canadian territory would not be targeted? What logic would spare Canadian territory when nuclear-armed Trident submarines pass back and forth through the Strait of Juan de Fuca en route to their base at Bangor, Washington? When we have three Loran C stations in Canada providing navigational data to pinpoint the accuracy of U.S. submarine-launched nuclear weapons, and when Canadian patrol aircraft provide precise targeting data for American hunter/killer submarines to attack Soviet nuclear weapon submarines, it is foolish and naive to think Canada would be spared in a superpower nuclear exchange. The major threat to our national security comes from the potential of a nuclear war between the two superpowers. It is only in our own self-interest to do everything possible to prevent that from happening.
Many Canadians have been convinced by the Government that Canada in the last 15 years has steered a non-nuclear course. Many Canadians have come to see the arms race as something perpetrated by the superpowers. However, how many of them know about Canada's role in the arms race? How many of them know that our Department of Energy, Mines and Resources gathers gravitational data in the Arctic which is used to improve the accuracy and the counterforce capability of U.S. ballistic missiles? How many of them know about the anti-submarine warfare training and the torpedo training for U.S. nuclear submarines at Nanoose Bay, Vancouver Island? How many Canadians are aware that nuclear capable British Vulcan bombers do low-level flight training at Goose Bay, Labrador? How many Canadians know that we still store U.S. air to air nuclear-tipped missiles here and, if called upon, we would launch them from Canadian Forces Voodoo interceptors? Not too many Canadians, I should think.
While it is true that Canada has never developed nuclear weapons on its own, its nuclear free course is a bit of sham. We are tied into the United States nuclear weapons program militarily and industrially through a myriad of bilateral agreements between the two countries. Under the terms of defence production sharing arrangements, Canadian companies have gained access to the lucrative American weapons market. Many companies trying to win production subcontracts on American weapons systems are given financial asisstance through the federal Government's Defence Industry Productivity Program. It should come as no surprise that neither Canadian arms contractors nor Canadian government officials have made a distinction between nuclear and conventional weapons production. The $166 million federal aid budget is equally available to companies bidding on nuclear and/or conventional weapons contracts.
In addition, Litton Systems was granted $49 million to secure the production contract for the Tercom guidance system of the Cruise missile. Boeing of Canada now has an application before the federal Government to sweeten its bid on a production subcontract for the MX missile re-entry
May 29, 1984

system. Boeing and Bristol Aerospace, both Winnipeg companies, have been doing developmental work with an eye toward production contracts on the MX missile for the last year.
Over the years the Government has given money to Canadian Vickers to produce parts for American nuclear submarines, to Hawker Siddeley to produce the launcher for the Lance nuclear missile, and to Heede International to build loading equipment for Trident and Poseidon nuclear weapon submarines. We would be better off without these contracts. If the concern of the Government is jobs, let me say that American studies on industrial conversion show that we could create twice as many jobs by investing in health care and education than by investing in weapons production.
Canada has not kept its hands clean of the arms race. The unwillingness of successive governments to begin even to strike an independent strategic policy has allowed us to drift into complicity in the nuclear weapons program of the United States. Declaring Canada a nuclear weapons free zone would not require us to end the long friendship between the two countries. I have no doubt that the friendship would endure. After all, what kind of friendship is it that could not endure our decision to take a strategic policy which promised to help reduce the threat of nuclear destruction?
Declaring Canada a nuclear weapons free zone would only be consistent with the Government's rhetoric about our nonnuclear role in the world. It would be an act consistent with the efforts of the United Nations to establish such zones in the world. It would enhance our reputation internationally as a country willing to take action in its advocacy of peace. By declaring Canada a nuclear weapons free zone, we would be taking concrete steps toward reducing the nuclear threat which hangs over the heads of all Canadians, which hangs over the heads of all people of the world.
There is another dimension to the nuclear arms race with which I should like to deal because in my view it goes to the heart of our concern. I am referring to our ability to achieve global peace while we fail to recognize adequately the existence of widespread social and economic injustice in the world. The U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency recently reported that we will spend a total of some $1 trillion in 1985 in the global arms race. We could make a significant step in the direction of achieving global peace if we were to direct some of those moneys, if not all, toward eradicating the sources of that economic and social injustice to which I have just referred.
The United Nations has estimated that one half of the Third World countries have no safe drinking water supplies, yet we have the means available to provide clean water within 10 years if we had the political and moral will to do so. We could do the same for the hundreds of thousands who are dying of hunger throughout the world. We have the technology and the expertise to achieve it.
It is estimated that some 130 million children are denied access to any kind of education and that 800 million adults are considered illiterate throughout the world. If we used some of the armament expenditures, we could provide the schools and
Nuclear Disarmament
teacher training which would alleviate that sorry condition. In addition, we know that air and water pollution is responsible for the increase in deaths from such diseases as cancer, asthma and heart disease. We could implement a global cleanup of our environment. We have the technology which would put a stop to our environment being used as one of the biggest sewage disposal systems the world has ever seen.
In addition, the World Health Organization estimates that some ten children die each minute of measles, diptheria and tuberculosis. Only 10 per cent of the Third World's population of 18 million people are immunized against disease. In addition to that, some 50 million young people enter the workforce each year. Because there are no jobs, they face prolonged periods of unemployment.
If we believe that Third World problems are totally disassociated from our problems in Canada, perhaps we should consider spending some of the billions of dollars we set aside for death and destruction to solve some of our social problems. It is a known fact that three out of every five single women over the age of 65 in our country are living in abject poverty. More often than not, our native population is living in conditions which should not be ignored by any civilized society. Ten per cent of all Canadians are disabled or handicapped. In that group the unemployment rate is between 70 per cent and 90 per cent. Some 11 per cent of our total workforce is unemployed and 18 per cent of our young people are out of work.
Those facts surely tell us that our priorities are all screwed up. Why do we find it necessary to spend $ 1 million a minute on arms to kill, maim and destroy when we could better spend those resources for socially useful purposes? It was only several months ago in Private Members' hour in the House that we were discussing cancer, the dreaded disease which nearly every Canadian has been touched by in one way or another. If we were to take a sizeale chunk of the money we spend to destroy the human race and property and put it into cancer research, the people I have spoken to in that field feel that in all probability we could come up with successful treatment of that disease which touches every family in the world.
For all those reasons I hope that the House will agree to this motion and refer it to committee where witnesses can be heard and it can be examined in more detail than we will have time for in the House. I urge Members to support this motion.

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