(OTTAWA) – Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada, expressed serious concern over Stephen Harper’s failure to engage India President Narendra Modi in a discussion on how to gain India’s support for the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NNPT).
“Canada’s trade in nuclear materials with India is a direct violation of the NNPT, yet we resumed trading equipment and fissionable materials with India in 2013,” said Ms. May. “India has indicated a willingness to pursue a comprehensive plan for a nuclear-free world, and has voluntarily adopted a ‘no first use’ policy. I call on Stephen Harper to stop encouraging defiance of the NNPT.”
“Canadians support peace and democracy. Selling uranium to India could cause us to violate the NNPT if India uses it to manufacture weapons, and make us part of the global insecurity problem,” said Lorraine Rekmans, the Green Party’s Indigenous Affairs Critic and candidate for Leeds – Grenville – Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes.
Daniel Green, Deputy Leader of the Green Party of Canada, added, “When India exploded its nuclear device in 1974 using Canadian technology, Canada ceased all exports of nuclear material to India, and India continued to develop a nuclear weapons program. India is not a signatory to the International Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. It would be unacceptable for Canada to renege on its commitments to this treaty, which is indispensable to our global security.”
“Although India has yet to sign the NNPT or the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, Canadian firms began to sell equipment and uranium to them in 2013. Stephen Harper needs to stop violating our international commitments,” said Bruce Hyer, Deputy Leader of the Green Party of Canada and Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay – Superior North.
Lorraine Rekmans continued, “Canada must promote peace and security abroad. In the upcoming review of the NNPT on April 29, we must work with our allies to bring all stakeholder nations into an improved NNPT.”
Ms. May concluded, “The 2015 Conference of the Parties Review of the NNPT will be held from the 29th of April to the 22nd of May 2015 at UN Headquarters in New York. Once again India, Pakistan, and Israel will be absent from this important forum. Instead of violating the treaty, Canada must move to a more active and assertive role in the NNPT Conference Review on April 29.
“We must explore constructive ways to bring India, as well as Pakistan and Israel, into a strengthened NNPT framework.”
Elizabeth May is the Leader of the Green Party of Canada and its first elected Member of Parliament, representing Saanich-Gulf Islands in southern Vancouver Island. Elizabeth is an environmentalist, writer, activist and lawyer, who has a long record as a dedicated advocate – for social justice, for the environment, for human rights, and for pragmatic economic solutions.
A graduate of Dalhousie University Law School, Elizabeth was admitted to the Bar in both Nova Scotia and Ontario. She practiced law in Ottawa with the Public Interest Advocacy Centre prior to becoming Senior Policy Advisor to the federal Minister of the Environment from 1986-1988. For seventeen years Elizabeth served as Executive Director of the Sierra Club of Canada, before stepping down in 2006 to launch her successful bid to become leader of the Green Party of Canada. Over the last twenty-years, Elizabeth has written eight books on a variety of environmental and political topics, including her most recent work, Who We Are: Reflections on My Life and Canada.
In 2005, Elizabeth May was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in recognition of her decades of leadership in the Canadian environmental movement. She was also recognized by the United Nations in 2006 as one of the world’s leading female environmentalists, and in 2010 Newsweek Magazine named her “one of the world’s most influential women.”
In the 2011 Election, Elizabeth made history by being the first Green Party candidate to be elected to the House of Commons. Respected across party lines, Elizabeth was chosen by her fellow MPs as: Parliamentarian of the Year 2012, Hardest Working MP 2013, and Best Orator 2014. Hill Times recognized her as the Hardest Working MP, Best Constituency MP, and Best Public Speaker in both 2013 and 2014.
A proud mother and grandmother, Elizabeth lives in Sidney, British Columbia.