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Exercise Trident Fury Open letter to the Honourable Gordon O'Connor PDF Print E-mail
Peace News
Sunday, 07 May 2006 10:34
Open letter to the Honourable Gordon O'Connor, Minister of Defence

PEJ News - Joan Russow - Dear Minister; As you are undoubtedly aware of the ground-breaking US Air force Accountability case where an official of the US Department of defense was warned about the potential health and environmental consequences of the action if the action were to proceed. In this case the serious health and environmental consequences occurred and the official of the US Department of Defense was held to be negligent and held to be criminally responsible (this case was presented at the 1993 Environmental law Conference at the University of Eugene Oregon on a panel with representatives from the US navy and the US Air force. The principle of accountability has now become a principle of international customary law often linked with the precautionary principle.

www.PEJ.org

Open letter to the Honourable Gordon O?Connor,
Minister of Defence



Citizens in Victoria are deeply concerned about the potential health, psychological and environmental consequences of the Exercise Trident Fury. We urge you to cancel this exercise, and we will hold you responsible for any harmful consequences.

In the past, nuclear powered and nuclear arms capable vessels have participated in Exercise Trident Fury, and there is some indication that one of the aircrafts could be nuclear arms capable.

You must obviously be aware that during the Mulroney years, concern was expressed in British Columbia about the government?s issuing an Order in Council to bypass the requirement to carry out an Environmental Assessment Review of nuclear vessels in the urban ports of Greater Victoria. At that time in 1992, eight out of the 10 municipal Councils supported an environmental assessment review of the visits of these ships.

In addition you must also be aware that in 1992, the BC legislature declared BC to be a nuclear arms free zone with only one MLA opposing the motion.

We urge you to Cancel the Exercise Trident Fury.

Sincerely



Joan Russow (PhD)

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CAMPAIGN AND PETITION OPPOSING THE EXERCISE TRIDENT FURY

On May 6th, a delegation of about 15 citizens with membership in many community groups in Victoria went to Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt at 10 am to present a petition calling upon the Department of Defence to cancel the Exercise Trident Fury scheduled to take place in and around Victoria from May 8th to May 17. The citizens drove up to the entrance to the military base in a cavalcade of private cars and were directed to wait at the entrance to the base. The citizens were escorted off the property of the military base. After a lengthy delay, the citizens were allowed to read a petition (see below), and advised to attempt to make an appointment Monday to see the Commodore Roger Girouard

It must not be forgotten that in 1992, a resolution declaring BC to be a nuclear arms free zone was adopted by the BC Legislature with only one MLA opposed.

Citizens will also be at the base at 5 pm Monday- press advisory to follow by FAX;

Campaign Opposed to the Exercise Trident Fury

Joan Russow This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Background.


PETITION OPPOSING THE EXERCISE TRIDENT FURY

We the undersigned citizens draw the attention of the House to the following:

Recalling that under Article 20 SS 1 of the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights, the following obligation was incurred:

Any propaganda for war shall be prohibited by law.

- Convinced that a display of militarism like Exercise Trident Fury by states that are involved in offensive military actions constitutes propaganda for war;

- Concerned that the Exercise Trident Fury is a flaunting of militarism that in a time when Canada is playing an offensive role in the US- led invasion and occupation of Afghanistan, a deep military integration display in Victoria could increasingly create the risk of the area being targeted and thus would seriously jeopardize the security of the citizens of Victoria, British Columbia and Canada.

- Aware that the Exercise Trident Fury involves participation of US military hardware with nuclear arms capability at a time when the US is becoming increasing willing to not rule out the use nuclear weapons, and it has been revealed from highly documented sources that the US has had operational plans to fight and win a nuclear war.

- Concerned that Canada's participation along with nuclear arms capable US arsenal would thus demonstrate Canada's willingness to condone the US threat to use or potential use nuclear weapons in contravention of the 1996 decision of the International Court of Justice that the threat to use nuclear weapons is contrary to international human rights law.

- Noting with serious concern the potential short-term and long-term environmental, psychological and health consequences of Exercise Trident Fury.

- Affirming that the Exercise Trident fury violates the precautionary principle and displays blatant dereliction of duty and gross negligence on the part of the government

THEREFORE, your petitioners request that Parliament

CALL upon the Department of Defence to cancel the present and any future Exercise Trident Fury


Background:

see the fact sheet and Press release below


Trident Fury 2006 - Fact Sheet Off DND web site


* Exercise TRIDENT FURY is a two-week joint, coalition based exercise hosted by Joint Task Force Pacific Headquarters (JTFP) and executed by the Pacific Fleet Commander. The exercise will run from 8-19 May and incorporates Naval, Air and Land Force elements from Canada, the United States, Great Britain and NATO. It will be an assembly of the largest and most diverse list of exercise participants ever seen on the West Coast.

* TRIDENT FURY will see participation from four Canadian Navy warships (HMCS ALGONQUIN, WINNIPEG, VANCOUVER and YELLOWKNIFE),

auxiliaries (HMCS ORIOLE and Fleet Diving Unit vessels) and two United States Naval vessels (USS INGRAHAM and USNS BRIDGE).

Operations will include live surface-to-air and air-to-air missile firings and the employment of air-to-surface Precision Guided

Munitions.

* Approximately 20 aircraft will be operating out of Victoria International Airport. They will include F-15 and F-16 fighters, E2

Hawkeyes from the United States, an AWACS from the United Kingdom, Canadian SeaKing Helicopters and AlphaJets from Top Aces. * Approximately 20 other aircraft will be operating out of 19 Wing

Comox, including CF-18 Hornets, CP-140 Auroras and a NATO AWACS. Due to space constraints the base could not accommodate all participating aircraft. Some aircraft will also be flying back to their home bases in the United States at the end of each mission such as the B-52

Stratofortress, bringing the total number of aircraft participating in the exercise to approximately 60.
* The exercise is expected to result in over $2 million being spent on Vancouver Island during the two-week period. There will be over 2000 participants, 1000 of which will be coming to the local area specifically for the exercise.

* The aircraft will primarily have two take off times each day.They will take off as a group at around 9:00 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. The missions will take about 2 1/2 hours so the majority of the aircraft will return around 11:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. daily. The public is welcome to come out and watch the flying from the public viewing areas around Victoria International airport.

* To try to reduce noise disruptions, there will be no exercise flying at night or on the weekend of 13-14 May.








 

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