“Being onboard with the Americans and doing what they do, the very fact that we went into Afghanistan was a decision made that many of us disagreed with,” said NDP MP Alex Atamanenko, announcing his new private members bill to create the ministry.
“We have a military culture, we see people walking around in battle fatigues in our capital city, as a former military officer I find it strange, we see celebration of war efforts,” he said.
Atamanenko represents an area of British Columbia with deep Doukhobor history, but says he is not a pacifist himself, having served in the Navy from 1966 to 1970.
“We seem to be becoming a warring nation and moving away from being a peaceful nation.”
Liberal MP Jim Karygiannis and Green Party Leader Elizabeth May support the bill.
“All of the lives lost in Afghanistan including the engagement in 9/11 and the creation of Osama bin Laden as al-Qaida can be laid at the door of failed geopolitical strategies of militarism – a Department of Peace could have prevented all of that.” said May.
The imagined ministry would found forums to get hostile groups talking through mediators, abolish nuclear, biological weapons and ban weapons in space.
It would also establish a “civilian peace service” to accredit “peace professionals.”
American Democrat Dennis Kucinich has proposed the same thing in the United States.