Project Ploughshares Calgary, formed in 1982, is one of nine local groups across Canada that support the mandate and program of Project Ploughshares.
Vision of Project Ploughshares
A secure world without war - a just world at peace.
The name and vision of Project Ploughshares come from the enduring vision in Isaiah: God shall judge between the nations, and shall decide for many people; and they shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and pears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation; neither shall they learn war any more. Isaiah 2:4
Mandate of Project Ploughshares
Founded in 1976, Project Ploughshares is the peace centre of The Canadian Council of Churches, mandated to work with churches, government, and civil society, in Canada and abroad, to advance policies and actions that prevent war and armed violence and build peace. Project Ploughshares carries out its mandate by undertaking resarch, policy development, and public engagement to:
- prohibit the use, possession, and manufacture of nuclear weapons;
- prevent the weaponization of space;
- control the supply and reduce the demand for weapons;
- reduce the resort to military force; and
- build sustainable peace.
Mandate of Project Ploughshares Calgary
Founded in 1982, Project Ploughshares Calgary supports the mandate and objectives of Project Ploughshares by holding educational meetings and workshops, providing information to local churches and schools,and maintaining a resource centre.
A brochure about Project Ploughshares Calgary is available here.
A Brief History of Project Ploughshares Calgary
Project Ploughshares Calgary has through the years been responding to and bringing forward to the public many issues, and encouraging different actions and programs to bring about peace. Some of these efforts included:
- Raising awareness about Alberta’s hosting the testing of the Cruise Missile.
- Lobbying, through the CalgaryDisarmament Coalition, for Calgary to become a nuclear weapon free zone, which it did become in 1987.
- Protesting, through letters and an academic paper, Canadian participation through NORAD in the Strategic Defense Initiative - also known as Star Wars, in 1988. Eventually the SDI proposal was defeated for that time.
- Raising concerns about radiation and poisoning, and thefts by terrorists, in relation to proposed nuclear-propelled submarines for the Arctic in 1987, ‘88. Protest from peace groups resulted in this proposal being shelved.
- Educating on the concept of Common Security which stressed that security is a consequence of peace with justice. Lasting peace can only be built by presenting no threat to one’s neighbours.
- Offering alternative messages in 6 languages, to media people from around the world during the 1990 NATO Nuclear Planning Group in Kananaskis.
- Speaking up against the NATO low level flight testing in Nitassinan, the home of the Innu people inQuebec and Labrador.
- Asking the World Court to declare nuclear weapons illegal. After significant lobbying, the required resolution was obtained from the UN in 1996.
- Writing letters and holding workshops on landmines in schools and for faith groups. After a fairly extraordinary course of events, the Treaty came into force March 1, 1998.
- Partnering with the Canadian Centres for Teaching Peace to bring the UNESCO year and decade for the Culture of Peace to Calgary.
- Providing Calgary schools with workshops, Remembrance Day speakers and an annual Peal for Peace campaign which encouraged school assemblies and the ringing of city bells on the International Day of Peace. At that time, this was on the third Tuesday of September, a movable day in the calendar.
- Educators for the Environment, Peace and Social Justice, an off-shoot from Ploughshares Calgary, held a Guardians of the Planet Conference for 300 students for six years going into the 90’s.
- From 1999 to 2003 Ploughshares Calgary ran a peace group for high school students called Youth Action for Peace. A large canvas mural painted by them was displayed at the United Nations Summit on Racism in Durban, South Africa.
- 1998 to 1999 Ploughshares Calgary carried out an anti-bullying project in schools using actors and skits in which students could help transform bullying situations.
- In 2001 Puppets for Peace was born and ran for eight years, with four interactive puppet plays which dealt with bullying and empowerment. These were experienced by over 40,000 Calgary students and teachers.
- Joining Ploughshares national's Control Arms Campaign.
- Marking September 21st, the UN's International Day of Peace.
- In 2004-5 Ploughshares worked with the international organization Mayors for Peace to encourage the Calgary Mayor's office to join this important group calling for nuclear abolition and peace.
- From 2007-2009 Ploughshares worked with the Calgary Community Peace Pole Committee to install a peace pole in a public space in Calgary.