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Petition to be delivered to MPs in Parliament

Michael Manolson — October 1984

After months of petitioning across the country, Peace Petition Caravan Campaign (PPCC) groups are now turning their attention toward the final stages of the Campaign: the three-week trek that will collect all of the signed petitions, and the delivery of the petitions to Ottawa during the weekend of October 20.

The focus of these closing weeks of the Campaign will be the new federal government. The caravans will be “going to Ottawa to see Brian,” and the related scheduled events will be symbolic reminders to the new government that the Canadian peace movement intends to see that nuclear disarmament becomes a reality.

The events of these closing weeks will also enable the Canadian peace movement to show the extent of its recent growth and of the organization that was involved in the PPCC.

The events being planned for Ottawa to mark the completion of the Campaign are extensive. A rece’ption will be held on Parliament Hill with the arrival of the east and west caravans and petitions at 1:00 on Saturday, October 20. This will be followed by a 48-hour “Peace Watch” on the Hill. Throughout the vigil, groups of Campaign supporters will maintain a presence in front of the Parliament Buildings. Names of individuals from all over Canada who have signed the petition will be read continuously, and the 1minute interviews recorded during the 7000 km caravan routes will be heard.

On Monday morning, representatives from groups across the country and from the PPCC intend to meet with Brian Mulroney, John Turner and Ed Broadbent, followed by a press conference. If Parliament is in session, arrangements will be made for the petitions to be presented formally to the Speaker in the House by representatives from the Conservative, Liberal and New Democratic Parties. If Parliament is not in session, the petitions will be presented to these representatives in trust to be taken to the House at a later date.

In addition, clearly-marked peace representatives will fan out to the 282 offices of the current Members of Parliament to distribute their bundles of petitions riding by riding. It has been suggested that peace groups from across the country could deliver copies of their petitions to their local MP’s offices on Monday afternoon in ceremonies attented by the press.

Support rallies which are to take place simultaneously on Saturday, October 20 in Saint John, Toronto and Montreal will also dramatically illustrate the national nature and scope of the Campaign.