Toronto peace coalition brings together city & federal politicians, religious leaders & peace activists

TORONTO, Aug. 2 /CNW/ - On August 6, 2007 at 6:30 to 9:00 pm, Toronto City Hall's Peace Garden (Nathan Phillips Square), the Toronto Hiroshima Day Coalition is pleased to present "Paths to Hope" where 14 keynote speakers and hundreds of Canadian citizens will take the lead in directing governments, religious leaders and peace activists to start negotiations for a worldwide nuclear weapons abolition treaty and to establish a Canadian Department of Peace. The highly anticipated event is in commemoration of the 62nd anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6 and 9, 1945 and will host the Toronto launch of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN).

"Canada has a pivotal role in nuclear weapons abolition," says Dr. Barbara Birkett of Physicians for Global Survival about the Toronto ICAN launch, "93% of Canadians support our government taking a leadership role in global negotiations to rid the world of the 27,000 nuclear weapons that still exist."

WHAT:"PATHS TO HOPE"

Peace Talks for a Worldwide Nuclear Abolition Treaty & a Canadian Department of Peace in conjunction with the Annual Toronto Hiroshima Day Commemorations

WHEN:
Monday, August 6, 2007
EST: 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM

WHERE:
Toronto Peace Garden
Toronto City Hall, Nathan Phillips Square
100 Queen Street West

WHO:
Hiroshima Survivor, Setsuko Thurlow
New Democratic Party of Canada, MP Peggy Nash
Liberal Party of Canada, MP Borys Wrzesnewskyj
Toronto City Councillor, Raymond Cho (for Mayor David Miller)
Toronto Area Interfaith Council, Father Damian MacPherson
Canadian Council of Imams, Imam Abdul Hai Patel
Members of the Bahai Community
Int'l Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, Dr. Barbara Birkett & Dr. Vinay Jindal
Federal Department of Peace Initiative, Rob Acheson
Canadian Pugwash Conference, Adele Buckley
Veterans Against Nuclear Arms, Audrey Tobias & Ian Cameron
Voice of Women for Peace, Shirley Farlinger
Toronto Disaster Relief Committee, Beric German
Toronto Hiroshima Day Coalition, Phyllis Creighton, Erin Harris, Eryl Court

The Toronto "Paths to Hope" event is the largest of 17 Hiroshima and Nagasaki ceremonies occurring across Canada from coast to coast. "Organizers of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki commemorations want Parliament to establish a Department of Peace that will have nuclear weapons abolition as a top priority," says Anton Wagner, Coordinator of the Toronto Hiroshima Day Coalition. Commemoration organizers are collecting signatures to petition Parliament for a Department of Peace at their events. The peace appeal to Parliament has also been endorsed by the Canadian Voice of Women for Peace.

Music at the "Paths to Hope" event will be provided by Chako Setoyama, the Yakudo Traditional Japanese Drummers, flautist Keizan Nobuhara and the Raging Grannies.

The moving Lantern Peace Ceremony will close the evening ceremonies at 9:00 pm.

For further information: FOR MEDIA CONTACTS, INTERVIEWS, PHOTO OPS & FULL MEDIA KIT: Anton Wagner, Coordinator, Toronto Hiroshima Day Coalition, Telephone: (416) 863-1209, Email: awagner@yorku.ca; Helen Chilas, Media Relations, Toronto Hiroshima Day Coalition, Cell: (416) 473-8238, Email: h-chilas@rogers.com;

ONLINE: www.myspace.com/hiroshimaday and www.acp-cpa.ca/en/HiroshimaDayCoalition.htm