What are the objectives of Ploughshares Calgary?
We seek to educate and encourage public discussion concerning human security, nonviolent conflict resolution, ongoing violent conflicts, Canadian foreign and defence policy, and the control of weapons, especially nuclear weapons.
What does this group do?
We hold educational meetings; sponsor and arrange conferences and events of high symbolic importance; advocate regarding nuclear weapons and Canadian foreign and defense policy; publish a regular newsletter; maintain a website and engage in social media. We are seeking to expand our activities in the near future.
Is the Ploughshares Calgary Society affiliated with the national group Project Ploughshares?
Ploughshares Calgary was originally established in 1982 as one of nine local groups supporting the mandate of the national anti-nuclear and pro-peace organization, Project Ploughshares. Due to requirements of the Canada Revenue Agency, we are now a separate organization. We share fundamental values and continue a productive relationship.
Do members of the organization all belong to the same political party?
No. We have had Liberal, Conservative, Green and New Democrats among our members, as well as many people with no party membership. Our allegiance is to the peaceful resolution of conflicts.
Is the Ploughshares Calgary Society a religious organization?
No. Members, board members, and staff have been of varying religious affiliations: Christian, Muslim, Jewish, atheist, Buddisht and agnostic. Our shared values are nonviolence and peace.
Members often emphasize nuclear disarmament. Is the group exclusively anti-nuclear?
No. We value and seek peace at all levels- interpersonal, community, national and international, and we organize and sponsor events accordingly. Given its profound and obvious importance, the nuclear issue stands out and has been prominent in our work.
Is this a pacifist organization?
Not strictly. We work against militarism and for the minimum use of physical force.
What about climate change?
We accept that climate change is a serious threat and support efforts to counter it. War is seriously damaging to the environment and environmental damage such as drought and floods can force the mobility of populations, resulting in serious conflict. Recent scientific study has concluded that even an exchange of as few as 100 nuclear weapons would cause smoke reducing light and causing a significant reduction in food production globally. Thus, it is true that both war causes environmental damage and that environmental damage can cause war.
Is this group a charity?
We are a non-profit society, registered as such in our home province of Alberta. Donations towards our work are gratefully accepted.
Do you work with other groups?
Yes, presently these include mainstream churches, Mount Royal University and the Calgary Association for Lifelong Learners (CALL). There have been many others; see our website for details.
Are there any membership fees?