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Setsuko Thurlow Boosts Campaign to Acknowledge Canada’s Role in Atomic Bomb Development

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Hiroshima survivor Setsuko Thurlow has issued an appeal to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to publicly acknowledge Canada’s extensive participation in the creation of the atom bombs that destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki. She asked that the Prime Minister issue a statement of regret on behalf of the Canadian government for the immense deaths and suffering inflicted on the two cities and asked that Canada ratify the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

The Canadian government in 1942 took control of the private company, Eldorado, and its uranium mine and refinery that processed all the Canadian and uranium ore from the Belgian Congo used to produce the Hiroshima atom bomb and that was radiated in American nuclear reactors to produce plutonium for the Nagasaki atom bomb.

The following year, Canadian Prime Minister Mackenzie King hosted President Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill in Quebec City where they signed the Quebec Agreement to jointly develop the atom bomb. Canada’s most powerful Minister responsible for war production, C.D. Howe, represented Canada on a Combined Policy Committee that co-ordinated the joint research by the U.S., the United Kingdom and Canada on creating atomic weapons. Mackenzie King affirmed in his diary that the Quebec Agreement “made Canada also a party to the development.”

Research by Anton Wagner documents this direct Canadian Government involvement.

Portrait of Setsuko Thurlow - The Peace Builders - Michael Barker

photo: Portrait of Setsuko Thurlow for the Nagasaki Day Coalition. "I have dedicated my life to raising public awareness about the dangers of nuclear weapons and that the total elimination of nuclear weapons is the only way to have security.”

Setsuko Thurlow’s testimony before the Toronto Board of Health and Toronto City Council in 2018 was instrumental in City Council passing a motion re-affirming Toronto as a nuclear weapons-free zone and calling on the federal government to sign the UN Ban Treaty. Read more about this here.

The Hiroshima Nagasaki Day Coalition in Toronto and other peace groups across Canada are organizing a letter writing campaign asking Canadians to write to Prime Minister Trudeau in support of Setsuko’s appeal.

At the suggestion of Douglas Roche, the former Senator and Canadian Ambassador for Disarmament, a copy of Setsuko’s letter is being sent to all 105 Members of the Canadian Senate and the 338 Members of Parliament.

For further information and to access the documentation submitted to Prime Minister Trudeau, see http://www.hiroshimadaycoalition.ca
For information in French, see http://www.artistespourlapaix.org/?p=19078

 

📸: Michael Barker - The Peace Builders michaelbarker.ca