I, ________________________having been trained in nonviolence, and understanding my legal obligations as a world citizen, am here today, Monday, January 17, 2000, to investigate and, consequently, to take action to remove an obstacle to Canada's compliance with numerous United Nations obligations, Nuremberg Principles and the basic norms of international law.
It is the duty of Toronto police to allow me as a Citizens' Inspector into this Building, the Fort York Armoury, to begin renovations of this building to transform it into affordable housing. Failure to do so makes the police an accessory after the fact to the violations as listed below.
The existence and continued high funding both of the Department of War and of its satellite operations, such as Fort York, makes it impossible for Canada to fulfill its obligations under numerous international agreements and principles. Canada spends 500% more on war than it does on affordable housing.
We are here today to declare this institution and this land surplus and unnecessary to the maintenance of peace, and declare that today, these lands shall be turned over for the construction of affordable housing to end the national disaster of homelessness in Canada.
By first seeking to close, and then closing, its doors to the homeless, and subsequently by maintaining this facility as a forum for target practice, classes on the mounting of attacks, and as a recruitment centre for an institution whose sole purpose is to deny poor people their human rights through threatened use and use of military force, this institution as presently constituted stands in contravention of the following:
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (guaranteeing everyone's right to "an adequate standard of living...including adequate food, clothing and housing."
Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women, which affirms "that the strengthening of international peace and security, relaxation of international tension, mutual co-operation among all States irrespective of their social and economic systems, general and complete disarmament, and in particular nuclear disarmament" are requirements for compliance under this covenant.
Convention on the Rights of the Child reaffirms "that children's rights require special protection and call for continuous improvement of the situation of children all over the world, as well as for their development and education in conditions of peace and security," and notes that "States Parties shall undertake such measures to the maximum extent of their available resources and, where needed, within the framework of international co-operation."
The World Conference on Human Rights, which states "The existence of widespread extreme poverty inhibits the full and effective enjoyment of human rights; its immediate alleviation and eventual elimination must remain a high priority for the international community.
UN Charter, Article 26, which demands "the least diversion for armaments of the world's human and economic resources."
Nuremberg Principles, which prohibit ongoing planning for wars of aggression.
Back to Fort York Action Page