Masthead graphic based on a painting by Gudrun Thriemer.

Friday, June 13, 2008

NDP MP takes strong stand against unethical weapons, June 12, 2008.

Press Release

BC Southern Interior MP tabled a motion on abolishing depleted uranium arms

OTTAWA - NDP MP Alex Atamanenko (BC Southern Interior) - tabled a motion (M-509) on Wednesday calling on the government to take a leading role in helping to abolish the use of depleted uranium (DU) in armaments and munitions. The motion also calls for the government to cease the deployment of our military and civilian personnel in regions where these weapons have been or will be used.

"The Canadian government must take strong and decisive action to help rid the world of this environmental and toxic health hazard. Long lasting and often deadly effects on soldiers and innocent civilians alike have been well documented," said Atamanenko. "Our military does not use depleted uranium weapons and we should not be deploying our soldiers to fight with armies who do."

Atamanenko's motion comes on the heels of a far-reaching resolution that was passed on May 22, 2008, by the European Parliament towards an EU and NATO-wide moratorium and global ban.

Atamanenko says depleted uranium weapons, much like cluster bombs and landmines, have an indiscriminate effect on civilian populations long after they are used in combat. He suggests this runs counter to the basic rules and principles that are already enshrined in international, humanitarian and environmental laws. Currently there are 18 countries that use depleted uranium weapons in their arsenals. Under international law they are considered weapons of mass destruction. Statutes and regulations under the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) prohibit the use of Canadian uranium in DU weapons.

"It is unacceptable that we would contravene our own laws and agreements by failing to ensure that our uranium is only used for peaceful purposes. I'm deeply concerned about the dangers of depleted uranium, and I strongly support my colleague, Alex Atamanenko's motion," added NDP Defence Critic, Dawn Black (Burnaby New Westminster)


For more information:

Office of Alex Atamanenko, MP
1- 613-996-8036
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