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82.2. City Referendum On Global Nuclear Disarmament

Why should municipalities be concerned with nuclear disarmament? Is this not properly a matter for national governments? If hostilities do break out, it will be the cities and towns who will be responsible for organizing, sheltering and providing medical attention to their populations. But the nuclear destruction of facilities and injury to citizens will be so pervasive and profound that it will be a hopeless task. There are no practical steps to recover from a nuclear attack. The only recourse to preserve public health and safety is to eliminate the possibil-ity of nuclear war. On December 2, 1981, Ottawa City Council decided to hold a referendum to determine the opinion of its citizens on disarmament, and Mayor Marion Dewar has written to 1043 Canadian mayors to encourage their councils to take similar action.

Toronto City Council decided on January 28, 1982 to hold its referendum on global nuclear disarmament on election day in November. This is a tremendous achievement for Operation Dismantle; we suggest that you support them and return the enclosed questionnaire. The question to be put to the electorate is essentially the same as that on the Ottawa referendum, and the message it will bring to govern-ment is clear: the main concern of the Canadian government must be disarmament and not, as stated by the Minister of External Affairs in a recent speach in Los Angeles, “to convince the Canadian people of the necessity for strengthening the military power of the NATO allies”.

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