Thursday, 23 June 2011

Atamanenko Introduces Peace Motion in Canada's Parliament

On June 21, Member of Parliament Alex Atamanenko (BC Southern Interior) introduced two peace motions in the Canadian House of Commons to establish:
  • M-247 — a federal Department of Peace
  • M-248 — a Civilian Peace Service
His plan is to work closely with the Canadian Department of Peace Initiative (CDPI) and other advocates for peace, including the Doukhobors. The motions were Tabled to resume next session.

News Sources

Parliament Motions

M-247 — June 21, 2011 — Mr. Atamanenko (British Columbia Southern Interior) — That, in the opinion of the House, the government should adopt the recommendations of the Civilian Peace Service Canada (CPSC) Development Committee and should:
  • (a) accept the constructive role civilians with peace building expertise can play in advising government on alternatives to military approaches to resolution of conflict;
  • (b) enter into discussions with the CPSC Development Committee to further develop the concept of a CPSC;
  • (c) develop and refine an assessment, training and accreditation program for peace professionals;
  • (d) deliver two pilot training programs to test the concept and the training;
  • (e) determine how Canada, through the CPSC and in consideration of a federal Department of Peace, can best contribute to sustainable peace in Canada and abroad; and
  • (f) report back to the House on progress towards implementing these recommendations within six months of the passage of this motion.
M-248 — June 21, 2011 — Mr. Atamanenko (British Columbia Southern Interior) — That, in the opinion of the House, the government should establish a Department of Peace as part of the structure of the federal government and cabinet with a mandate to advocate for the non-violent resolution of conflict at home and abroad, the professionalization of peace work by Canadians, and the development of a culture of peace in Canada and internationally.


The essence of Doukhobors is their Spirit Within (love, God, beauty, et al) and this centrally leads them to be part of the nonkilling paradigm. The 1895 Burning of Guns was part of it, as is today their peace activism in society. To me, this activism is the purist expression of Doukhobor behaviour.

The first Doukhobors to lobby for the Deptarment of Peace, that I am aware of, were Mitch Ozeroff of Langham and others from Saskatchewan. I have been doing as much as possible as a historian and journalist to document efforts by Doukhboors to promote world peace.

What is the bigger picture about this? Here is how I see it from a macro-Tolstoyan perspective in order of importance:
  1. So far only 4 countries in the world have a Ministry Peace —  Solomon Islands (Ministry of National Unity, Reconciliation and Peace, 2006?), Nepal (Ministry of Peace and Reconstruction, 2007), Costa Rica (Ministry of Justice and Peace, Aug 2009), South Sudan (Ministry of Peace, June 2010).
  2. The U.S. has first proposed such an idea in 1793. Democratic Congressman Dennis Kucinich has repeatedly introduced a Dept. of Peace Bill from 2001 to 2009. 
  3. New Democratic Party Canada has been trying to do this for four years.
  4. The historic event of Atamanenko an MP with Russian Orthodox roots, but also Doukhobor connections in Saskatchewan posting two very radical bills in Canadian Parliament.
  5. Dr. Bill Bhaneja, former diplomat and Gandhian political scientist, is co-chair of the Ottawa Branch of the Canadian Department of Peace Initiative (of which I, as a Doukhobor activist have been writing on for the past four years). Bill has articulated this concept very well and has recently published a book on Gandhi.
  6. You can sign an online petition for a Department of Peace.
Mennonite Central Commitee
Our co-pacifists have been tracking this legislation on the Internet as a Motions log '.. of developments in the Parliament of Canada that directly relate to MCC's priorities, approaches, and values.'