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Vancouver Island Peace Society

Box 8307, Victoria BC, V8W 3R9, CANADA, (250) 592-8307 phone/fax    Email:

Nuclear Ship Lawsuit Affidavits

Vancouver Island Peace Society vs. Canada


Full Text Available Online

  1. Al Rycroft, VIP Director & Coordinator, Victoria Peace Centre
  2. Anne Pask, Plaintiff
  3. Audrey McLoughlin, leader Federal NDP
  4. Beverly Eileen Davis, Educator
  5. Bill Robinson, Project Ploughshares Researcher
  6. Bruce Torrie, Lawyer
  7. David Williams, VIP Director
  8. Professor Eric Fawcett
  9. Professor Frederick Knelman, VIP Director
  10. Gordon Wilson, Leader BC Liberals
  11. Dr. Jan Christilaw
  12. John Brewin, Member of Parliament, Victoria
  13. John Mate, Greenpeace Campaigner

Annotated References Available Online

If you want to see one of the full affidavits that are listed below, send an email, and we'll see if it can be added to this web site.

  1. Irene Louise Abbey
  2. Norman E. Abbey
  3. Alison Acker
  4. Rosalie Bertell
  5. Jane P. Brett
  6. Helen Elizabeth Brightwell
  7. Shirley Fyles
  8. Dr. Ann Gower
  9. Nancy E. Goldsberry
  10. Gregory P. Hartnell
  11. James Heller
  12. Major General Leonard Verne Johnson (ret)
  13. Laurie J. MacBride
  14. Jason R. Miller
  15. Dr. Elinor Powell
  16. Dr. Paul Rosenberg
  17. Raging Grannies of Victoria
  18. Joan Russow
  19. Commander Roger D.C. Sweeney (ret)
  20. Liberal MLA Douglas Symons
  21. Rachel Stenberg
  22. Victoria Mayor David Turner
  23. Dr. Robert E. White
  24. Patricia Lee Willis
  25. Chief Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas

Court File No. T2927-91

1991 - 2083 and 1991 - 2084,
both dated October 30, 1991




Annotated Index of Affidavits

  1. IRENE LOUISE ABBEY: Voice of Women for an environmental review. A three page summary by Dr. Jackson Davis, titled "Nuclear Accidents on Military Vessels in Canadian Ports: Site - Specific Analyses for Esquimalt/Victoria" is appended as Exhibit "A".

  2. NORMAN E. ABBEY: A peace worker with the Nanoose Conversion Campaign, etc. Norm Abbey's affidavit describes the work over time of the Nanoose Conversion Campaign, and their study of the dangers these ships bring us. His affidavit also describes the secrecy and stifling of public discussion by the Defence Ministry.

  3. ALISON ACKER: A member and frequent songwriter for the Victoria Raging Grannies, she is a neighbour and kayaker directly across the harbour from CFB Esquimalt's docks used for nuclear and other warships. Among other concerns of Alison Acker is the leaking of nuclear coolant into the harbour. Exhibit "A" to Alison's affidavit is the November 28, 1991 Times Colonist article on the USS Longbeach, titled "Leaks from U.S. nuke ship 'prove visits here unsafe'".

  4. ROSALIE BERTELL: A distinguished Canadian radiation scientist specializing in low level radiation. Rosalie Bertell informs us that the permissable levels of radiation exposure for the general public, or for workers is currently in the process of being lowered to only 20% of what the government of Canada now permits yearly.

  5. JANE P. BRETT: A peace worker and Chairperson of the Christian Social Action Committee of St. Aidan's United Church of Victoria. Jane Brett describes the public concern over nuclear war ships in our ports as evidenced during the last two federal elections in Saanich, British Columbia. She contrasts the relative attention our community pays to earthquake preparedness, to the lack of preparation and attention to preparation for a nuclear disaster.

  6. HELEN ELIZABETH BRIGHTWELL: An author, Raging Grannie, and longtime resident of Esquimalt near the mouth of the harbour. Betty Brightwell's affidavit appends both CFB Esquimalt's "Nuclear Emergency Response Plan" and Esquimalt's recently passed "Emergency Plan". This affidavit critiques the inadequacies of those plans. It also contains research on the inadequacy of the Navy's water sampling for radioactivity leaks.

  7. JAN CHRISTILAW: A physician and 10 year member of the Provincial Executive for the Canadian Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War. Appended to her affidavit is a paper she co-authored with University of British Columbia professor, Michael D. Wallace, titled, "Military Related Threats To The B.C. Environment". Dr. Christilaw describes the catastrophic effects on public health, both immediate and long term, in the event of a nuclear accident.

  8. BEVERLY EILEEN DAVIS: A faculty member in the education department at Simon Fraser University and the President of the Peace and Global Education Provincial Specialist Association. Her affidavit describes the widespread fears of children concerning nuclear disasters and nuclear war. A letter from Prime Minister Mulroney to the schoolchild Natasha is attached with this Respondent acknowledging the public concern among children over the threat of nuclear destruction.

  9. PROFESSOR ERIC FAWCETT: A Professor of Physics at the University of Toronto, and National Vice-President of Science for Peace. Dr. Fawcett described unbridled militarism as the greatest threat to humankind, and consuming financial and human resources needed to address the manifold current threats to the environment.

  10. SHIRLEY FYLES: Friend of the Appplicant Anne Pask, and a member of the Interfaith Peace Vigil and the Christian Social Action Committee of St. Aidan's United Church in Victoria. Shirley Fyles describes public concern with this issue, and her own personal interactions with a crew member of the U.S. nuclear submarine USS Aspro.

  11. DR. ANN GOWER: Adjunct Associate Professor of Physics at the University of Victoria, and a longtime member of the Interfaith Peace Vigil. Dr. Gower describes the campaign of her group in displaying large yellow warning signs in homes and offices whenever a nuclear ship has come to local waters.

  12. NANCY E. GOLDSBERRY: Farmer living in Coombs on Vancouver Island's east coast, north of Nanaimo. As an agriculturalist she writes of the interlocking web of life and the effects that radioactive contamination could have in our ecosystem.

  13. GREGORY P. HARTNELL: An Applicant, longtime resident of Victoria, and the President of the Greater Victoria Concerned Citizens Association. Gregory Hartnell describes an environmental review as holding the opportunity for real security and not just empty words to the people of the capital region. He describes this issue as transcending partisan politics and commanding nearly unanimous public support.

  14. JAMES HELLER: An articling student in the law office of Robert Moore- Stewart. His affidavit appends a February 3, 1992, letter from the local Songhees Indian Band, and signed by Chief Norman George and Councillor Robert Sam. The Songhees Band's reserve is contiguous with Esquimalt and shares part of Esquimalt harbour. The Songhees Band supports a public review and a ban on the docking of nuclear-armed and/or -powered vessels in Esquimalt and Victoria harbours.

  15. MAJOR GENERAL LEONARD VERNE JOHNSON (ret): Retired Major-General in the Royal Canadian Air Force, and retired Commandant of the National Defence College of Canada in Kingston, Ontario. Currently Leonard Johnson is a Director of the national organization Energy Probe, and the Chairperson of the national organization Project Ploughshares. Leonard Johnston confirms that there is no strategic military purpose served by the nuclear ship visits to Greater Victoria. He states that these visits are conducted for recreational or ceremonial purposes.

  16. PROFESSOR FREDERICK KNELMAN: Author and Professor, with published research over decades on the subject of nuclear technology and its associated hazards. Dr. Knelman's has filed two affidavits, the first on November 22, 1991. Dr. Knelman's first affidavit goes through the literature concerning known accidents and accident rates for nuclear ships. Dr. Knelman points to the evidence of lying by the U.S. Navy concerning the reality of accident records of U.S. naval nuclear warships. He compares the public civil regulatory schemes for siting land-based nuclear reactors to the secrecy involved in these naval nuclear visits to urban ports. Dr. Knelman states that no civil nuclear reactor could be sited in or near the port of Esquimalt without a thorough public environmental review, even though naval nuclear reactors are inherently less safe than civil land-based reactors.

  17. PROFESSOR FREDERICK KNELMAN: Dr. Knelman's second affidavit, filed January 29, 1992, furthers Dr. Knelman's reporting on naval nuclear reactor accident rates. He describes a near miss meltdown incident from January 26, 1988, aboard HMCS Resolution, a U.K. nuclear submarine, off the coast of Scotland. Dr. Knelman deals with President Bush's recent initiatives on naval arms control. He also discusses the indemnity policies of the U.S. Government regarding payment for nuclear accidents aboard U.S. naval warships.

  18. LAURIE J. MacBRIDE: Formerly a full-time Campaigner with the Nanoose Conversion Campaign (1984-1990), and presently the Executive Director of the Save the Georgia Strait Alliance. Laurie MacBride describes the intense and sustained expressions of public concern over U.S. nuclear warships and their use of the Canadian Forces Base at Nanoose, Vancouver Island, and their transit in internal Canadian waters.

  19. JOHN MATE: Full-time Campaigner with Greenpeace Canada in Vancouver. Mr. Mate headed Greenpeace Canada's Nuclear Free Seas Campaign from February 1989 to December 1991. Greenpeace research is presented showing that the world's nuclear navies suffered over 1200 accidents between 1945 and 1988, losing 48 nuclear warheads and seven nuclear reactors currently on the bottom of the world's oceans.

  20. JASON R. MILLER: Student and former Canadian naval officer (1985-1991). He discusses his knowledge of U.S. "nuclear capable" ships from joint training exercises. Jason Miller discusses and attaches as exhibits news articles concerning U.S. Navy nuclear sailors who have gone public with their allegations of routine violations of safety standards, and leakages into ports of radioactive coolant.

  21. ANNE A. PASK: An Applicant, Raging Granny, longtime worker for peace, and retired public health nurse. Anne Pask discusses her motivation leading her to become a party in this action. She discusses her work for peace on the Marshall Islands in 1984 aboard the Pacific Peacemaker. She further discusses her 1991 trip to Kiev, Ukraine, and the Chernobyl area.

  22. DR. ELINOR POWELL: Retired physician, active member of St. John's Anglican Church Peace & Justice Committee, and Director of the Canadian Government-funded Canadian International Institute of International Peace & Security. Dr. Powell reviews some of the effects of radioactive contamination on a populated port city, and specifically Victoria and Esquimalt.

  23. BILL ROBINSON: Full-time Researcher with Project Ploughshares, formerly with Operation Dismantle. Bill Robinson explains that the visits by the U.S. Navy to Esquimalt and Victoria are to "show the flag" and not for strategic reasons as they have close-by U.S. bases. While working with Operation Dismantle, Bill Robinson co-authored a booklet in 1986 called "Unsafe Harbours: Nuclear Weapons in Canadian Ports". Two pages of excerpts from this publication are contained as Exhibit "N" to the second affidavit of Al Rycroft.

  24. DR. PAUL ROSENBERG: An Emergency Medicine Physician who works professionally, in part, in disaster planning. Dr. Rosenberg, while working for the Greater Victoria Hospital Society, evaluated for them the state of preparedness for accidents involving nuclear-powered and nuclear-armed warships at CFB Esquimalt. Dr. Rosenberg reports "the municipalities of Greater Victoria do not have disaster plans for nuclear accidents aboard visiting warships. They have been falsely assured by the Canadian Forces that adequate provisions have been made by their own Nuclear Emergency Response Team. There is no protection for the civilian population in the event of a serious nuclear accident."

  25. RAGING GRANNIES OF VICTORIA: The Raging Grannies affidavit was signed by Lois Marcoux, Kathy Hall, Doran Doyle, Inger Kronseth, Mary Rose, and Hilda Marczak. This affidavit describes street theatre, sail-ins, and musical protests which the Grannies have been involved in on the subject of foreign nuclear warships in our ports and waters. One overwhelming truth comes from the Grannies' experience of reaching out and communicating on this issue with so many residents and citizens. The Grannies report that the great majority of Canadians are on our side on this issue.

  26. JOAN RUSSOW: A Doctoral Candidate at the University of Victoria, in Interdisciplinary Studies. Joan Russow did a content analysis of eight federal statutes relating to nuclear regulation and the regulation of potential environmental contaminants. She picked out general principles from these Acts which support a common duty of public review and full disclosure concerning activities threatening to the environment.

  27. AL RYCROFT: A Director of the VIP Society, and formerly full-time Coordinator of the Greater Victoria Disarmament Group (1989-1991). Al Rycroft's first affidavit, filed November 22, 1991, deals with the demonstration and documentation of great public concern with this issue. The affidavit details the eight municipalities, all local Members of Parliament, Leaders of B.C.'s NDP and Liberal parties, and many non-profit organizations, who have openly called for a public environmental review of nuclear warship visits.

  28. AL RYCROFT: Al Rycroft's second affidavit, filed February 12, 1992, attaches many Exhibits documenting the dangers of nuclear warship visits, and the public outcry and protest of their continued visits to Greater Victoria. He appends and discusses materials such as excerpts from the Greenpeace Neptune Papers titled "Naval Accidents 1945-1988 by William Arkin and Joshua Handler. He appends correspondence from B.C. Premier Mike Harcourt, from Victoria Member of Parliament John Brewin who is the Defence Critic for the NDP in Canada's Parliament. Both have been full and publically supportive of the demand for a public environmental review of nuclear warship visits.

  29. COMMANDER ROGER D.C. SWEENEY (ret): A retired Canadian naval officer with 31 years service (1950-1980). He concludes from his experience: "I know of no naval equipment or procedure which is totally 'sailor-proof'. Anything that can go wrong in a ship eventually will go wrong."

  30. MLA DOUGLAS SYMONS: Member of the British Columbia Legislature for Richmond Centre, sitting for the Liberal Party of B.C. Douglas Symons has a long history as a respected peace activist. His affidavit states that the "public interest would be served by the holding of a public environmental assessment of the environmental consequences of nuclear- capable and nuclear-powered vessels visiting Victoria, Esquimalt and Vancouver areas."

  31. RACHEL STENBERG: Full-time Volunteer Coordinator for the Greater Victoria Disarmament Group. Her affidavit gives a historical review of the work that the Disarmament Group has done over the years in public education and demonstration of public concern over nuclear warship visits. The letters by eight Greater Victoria municipal Councils requesting a public environmental review are attached to Rachel's affidavit. Other documentation showing widespread support for this public review is attached to this affidavit, including support letters from Members of Parliament Raymond Skelly, John Brewin, and Lynn Hunter. Representative letters are attached from organizations including the Victoria Labour Council, Sierra Club, and the Vancouver Island Network for Disarmament. Response letters from the Minister of National Defence and the Minister of Transport are also appended.

  32. BRUCE TORRIE: A Lawyer who has spoken and corresponded with Admiral Robert Falls (retired), Commander of the Canadian Navy until 1976, and Canada's Chief of Defence Staff (1976- 1980). Admiral Falls states in his letter: "I can see no valid reason not to have an environmental review of the subject to clearly establish the degree of risk involved in such visits. Security reasons are surely becoming more and more irrelevant as the cold war becomes colder and deader. I therefore wish you well in your quest."

  33. MAYOR DAVID TURNER: The Mayor of Victoria was authorized to submit an affidavit, on behalf of Council, by a January 16, 1992, resolution of Victoria City Council. The affidavit states that "City Council continues to have concerns for public safety" and is in support of a "public environmental assessment review of visits to Victoria and Esquimalt harbours by nuclear-powered and nuclear- armed ships."

  34. DR. ROBERT E. WHITE: A recently retired university Professor of Physics with over 30 years experience in nuclear radiation physics. Dr. White was a founder of Scientists Against Nuclear Arms in May, 1983. Dr. White's affidavit in part documents his efforts over years to get documents and information released pertaining to disaster preparedness in connection with nuclear warship visits to New Zealand.

  35. PATRICIA LEE WILLIS: Research Coordinator for the international organization, Pacific Campaign to Disarm the Seas. Patti Willis is the author of many papers, and has addressed many group on the subject of nuclear navies and their safety and environmental implications. Patti Willis documents carefully three examples from her experience of the federal government's secrecy and inadequate responses to inquiries by the public on issues of naval nuclear safety.

  36. DAVID WILLIAMS: A Director of VIP Society, and local realtor. David William's affidavit appends the three October 30, 1991, Orders-In-Council concerning the porting of nuclear- armed and nuclear-powered warships, and the passage of U.S. nuclear submarines through the Dixon Entrance. Also appended to David William's affidavit is the "secret" memo from David Barnes of FEARO (Federal Environmental Assessment Review Office) to the federal Cabinet concerning a public review of nuclear ship visits. This David Barnes memo is crucial, since Barnes supported the provision of a public review of these nuclear ship visits, and told the Cabinet "It would be preferable to follow the Process, rather than avoid it."

  37. CHIEF MICHAEL NICOLL YAHGULANAAS: An elected Chief Councillor of the Old Massett Village Council, also known as the Masett Indian Band, and a member of the Council of the Haida Nation. Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas discusses the purposeful discharge of coolant waters from nuclear-powered submarines. He discusses the risk of harm to food sources and throughout the ecosystem.

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