Principles of Peace gain broader recognition
By Deborah Froese, Mennonite Church Canada News, Oct. 16, 2009
WINNIPEG, Manitoba — What if peace were held as the organizing principle for society? What if non-violent conflict resolution, rather than defence and offence, shaped national and international strategies for peace? What if military “boot camp” for soldiers focused on intensive training in violence prevention, mediation, and reconciliation instead of physical prowess, aggression and weaponry?
Campaigning for a Department of Peace
By Patricia Philip, Mondial, Journal of the World Federalists (Canada), October, 2009.
Little media attention has been given to the Harper government’s massive rebuilding of the Canadian military, outlined in its Canada First Defence Strategy, which will allocate $490 billion to military spending over the next 20 years.
That’s the message delivered by well-known author and journalist Linda McQuaig to the national annual general meeting of the Canadian Department of Peace Initiative (CDPI), April 17–19 in Hamilton, Ontario.
Give peace department a chance, two MPs say
Bill proposes new ministry to resolve conflicts
By Mike De Souza, Canwest News Service, National Post, October 1, 2009
OTTAWA — A federal New Democrat has teamed up with a Liberal to propose the creation of an army of peace professionals within a new federal department to resolve violent conflicts within Canada and around the world.
The idea was introduced through new legislation tabled Thursday by NDP MP Bill Siksay, seconded by Liberal MP Jim Karygiannis. Siksay said the proposed department of peace could change the role of the Canadian military, but not necessarily replace it.
Department of Peace Initiative launched
by Carolyn Girard, The Catholic Register, 06 August 2009
A private members’ bill to establish a Canadian Department of Peace will soon be before Parliament, perhaps as early as the fall.
British Columbia MP Bill Siksay jumped on board the six-year-old campaign advocating for a Department of Peace just a few years ago, and recently volunteered to write the legislation for the private members’ bill he hopes to table in September.
“We need to clarify the role of the armed forces and peace building in our foreign policy,” Siksay told The Catholic Register. “Does that run counter to having a military? I don’t think so. People often join the military because they have a desire to make the world a more peaceful and safe place.”
by Mark Frutkin
published the Shambhala Times, July 11, 2009
When I tell Gus I’ve arranged a discussion at the Ottawa Shambhala Centre about forming a federal Department of Peace, my friend’s response is less than enthusiastic: “Great. Just what we need. Another bureaucratic sinkhole to swallow taxpayer dollars.” That’s Gus for you. He meditates, and has been my meditation student for the past several years, but he’s also a no-nonsense guy who always says exactly what he thinks. In his early forties, barrel-chested, his 6-foot-3 frame topped off by thinning red hair, Gus spent eight years in the military before leaving it to train as a physicist. He’s hardheaded, he doesn’t suffer fools gladly, and scientific logic is his religion. Even when I disagree with him I have a grudging respect for his opinion, because he’s often right.
The missing piece of peace
by Robert Parkins, Vanguard Magazine, January-February, 2008
When the prime minister seeks advice on military intervention or diplomatic initiatives, the experts of two departments are at his disposal. But when he wants an advocate for peace, where in government does he turn?
“At the macro level, when the prime minister needs advice when making policy or program choices around peace, there is a big vacuum,” Bill Bhaneja laments. “There is no strategic focus for peace in government.”
by Metta Spencer
published in the Hill Times, October 22, 2007
Question: In a government, which cabinet ministry has responsibility for the “peace file”?
Answer: Usually none. Although numerous agencies within a democratic government (including Canada’s) do determine the prospects for peace or war, no single one of them is assigned peace as its specific responsibility. No minister has the “peace portfolio,” and no one is authorized to coordinate the efforts of the various governmental branches.