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Canada introduces Department of Peace legislation!

Hot off the presses is the following article from the Vancouver Sun about how the Canadian lawmakers are pursuing the idea of creating a Department of Peace. Way to go, Canada! Now, what can the rest of us do to help make this happen? We can start by sending MP Bill Siksay a big "THANK YOU!" at Siksay.B@parl.gc.ca or visit his web page. You can read the text of bill C-447 here.

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.

"In a utopian vision of our world, maybe that will be possible some day but certainly we see this as an area that hasn't gotten the attention it deserves," said Siksay at a news conference.

"The inclination to seek a non-violent solution to conflict isn't always the first action that people take in our society and around the world."

Siksay's private member's bill was modelled after a proposal by an advocacy group that suggests Canada needs more trained experts to promote peace in its diplomatic corps as well as in the military.

Bill Bhaneja, a co-chair of the Canadian Department of Peace Initiative, said the proposed department could employ hundreds of professionals who would promote a culture of peace in the government's policies and actions, as well as help to resolve conflicts in a non-violent way.

"These peace professionals would be different from the diplomats and from the soldiers," said Bhaneja. "Right now we have suits and boots on the ground, but we don't have people who are trained to resolve conflicts at the cutting edge where the problem is taking place."

He said his group has also submitted its proposals to the Harper government which replied it was satisfied with existing policies and practices.

Siksay said it was unlikely that the legislation and its proposals would get adopted in the near future in Parliament since it is a private member's bill. Government legislation gets priority for debates in Parliament while opposition bills are debated in order based on a random draw.

But Bhaneja said he was encouraged by recent meetings with Liberals and New Democrats who appear to be more interested by the establishment of a ministry of peace, following other countries such as Nepal, Solomon Islands and Costa Rica.

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Comment by Munyandilikirwa Laurent on October 16, 2009 at 2:13am
Very good for people of Canada. Help Africa to know the Peace itself and the culture of peace. Laurent
Comment by Del Jones on October 15, 2009 at 11:03pm
Let's tell Sen. Dennis Kucinich to rev up his legislation so that US can do this too.
long overdue.
del jones, tucson, az
Comment by Ron Walmsley on October 15, 2009 at 7:11pm
Peace is necessary, war doesn't work and many innocent people lose their lives or
they are injured. Peace presents many positive alternatives; it also generates social justice in a non-violent fashion. People learn to solve their conflicts in peaceful ways that don't interfere with the rights of other people. Say yes to Peace in your community and nation! Thank you!
Comment by DoPeace Admin on October 15, 2009 at 5:42pm
The text of the Canadian Department of Peace bill can be read at http://www2.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?DocId=411...
Comment by Matthew Albracht on October 15, 2009 at 2:21pm
Excited to see this progress.Looking froward to seeing the text of their bill. If anyone knows how to look up text of Canadian bills and has time to research. Would love to get it.
Comment by jean paskalides on October 5, 2009 at 1:36pm
Old ways of war and violence are not working. Peace is inevitable.
Comment by Linda Zoblotsky on October 2, 2009 at 7:35pm
This is practical...reducing the world's supply of nuclear weapons and missile defense systems and becoming aware on a local level of ways toward stress reduction.
Comment by Judy addicott Kimmel on October 2, 2009 at 6:27pm
Outrageous, and Joel's family is half Canadian...... Will of course forward. wow... Thanks Ted.
Comment by Bonna Vercelli on October 2, 2009 at 5:41pm
An indicator of a growing energy of peace for this planet. Wonderful and crucial for our planet's well-being is this idea of making a peaceful resolution the first inclination and approach. Congratulations!
Comment by Gary McGregor Dugger on October 2, 2009 at 5:14pm
My daughter's husband grew up in a missionary family in the Solomon Islands. I'm forwarding this to him in case he doesn't know how progressive the Islands are. Go Canada. I am so tired of being from the colonialist war mongering nation called the U.S. of America. I think it speaks volumes that Rio de Janero won out over Chicago. Obama appears to be a warmonger as well. Gary Dugger

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