Elizabeth May, Member of Parliament for Saanich-Gulf Islands and Leader of the Green Party of Canada, released the following statement on August 6th to commemorate Hiroshima Day:
“Today is a day of commemoration and solemn reflection on the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6 and 9, 1945. There is no way of truly knowing how many people in Japan were killed by these two nuclear devices. It is estimated to range from 100,000-200,000 on just those days, with thousands more dying over the following decades from the effects of radiation. The reconstruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki is a miracle and testament to the resiliency of Japanese people – these cities once again stand as cultural and economic centers for the country, despite the devastation they faced 78 years ago. No words can adequately capture the pain and suffering that people experienced as a result of these attacks.
It is appalling that since 2017, Canada has refused to sign the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW). As a child of the Cold War, I was deeply influenced by my mother who was a key organizer in the push to ban nuclear weapons testing in the 1950s. Lately I have been deeply concerned by Vladimir Putin’s threats to “go nuclear” in the war in Ukraine. Tactical short-range nuclear weapons like torpedoes, landmines and missiles all still pose an existential threat to humanity. Some of these tactical devices are potentially stronger than the Nagasaki bomb despite being smaller and more portable. The Hiroshima Day Coalition estimates that “an exchange of even 1% of the global arsenal of 13,400 nuclear weapons would kill tens of millions of people.” The parliamentary Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs must hold public hearings on the TPNW. Canada needs to take a leading role in abolishing nuclear weapons.”