The Rideau Institute Board of Directors will present the inaugural Rideau Institute Leadership Award to Murray Thomson, Doug Roche, and John Polanyi, founders of Canadians for a Nuclear Weapons Convention, at the Rideau Institute Gala Dinner on October 7, 2010.
Their hard work and strong leadership have led more than 500 recipients of the prestigious Order of Canada to come together and call on governments around the world, including Canada, to bring about the elimination of nuclear weapons.
“This is the first time that so many recipients of the Order of Canada have signed a common declaration,” said Murray Thomson, an executive member of the Canadian Pugwash Group, co-founder of Project Ploughshares, and project organizer. “While not representing all recipients of the Order of Canada, this is an important group of Canada’s top achievers, and they are calling on the government to take leadership on the greatest issue of our time: nuclear war.”
This unprecedented non-partisan initiative has also brought about significant political developments in Canada. In April 2010, the founders of Canadians for a Nuclear Weapons Convention were granted a meeting with Prime Minister Stephen Harper ahead of the Washington Nuclear Security Summit. In June 2010, the Canadian Senate unanimously adopted a motion to recognize the danger posed by the proliferation of nuclear materials and technology to peace and security. The motion, which also endorsed the statement signed by the more than 500 recipients of the Order of Canada, is set to be presented to the House of Commons this fall.
“The Rideau Institute Leadership Award was created to honour a person or group for making an outstanding contribution to a progressive vision of Canada,” said Steven Staples, President of the Rideau Institute. “In addition, we hope that this award will assist his or her efforts through increased public awareness and visibility.”
The award will be presented at the Rideau Institute 3rd Annual Gala Dinner on October 7 at the Sheraton Ottawa Hotel.