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Peace conference under threat

On Thursday 2 February, Vancouver City Council voted 6-5 to cut funding for the International Association of Peace Messenger Cities (IAPMC) and Mayors for Peace annual conference, due to be held from 23 to 26 June.

In March 2005, Vancouver had agreed to host the event, to be held alongside the World Peace Forum, and pledged $50,000 to cover the cost. Mayor Sam Sullivan rescinded this decision stating, “We are facing some very tough decisions in the 2006 budget process and I was not prepared to put Vancouver taxpayers on the hook for additional costs.”

Vancouver is a founding member of the IAPMC, an organisation that focuses on establishing a culture of peace within municipalities.

Time to reconsider

On Tuesday 14 February the City of Vancouver Peace and Justice Committee called on the council to reconsider its decision to withdraw funds for the conference. Outside the City Hall more than 70 people gathered to demonstrate their commitment to peace at the “give peace a dance” event organised by the World Peace Forum.

Jef Keighley, executive director of the WPF, is optimistic about the event in June. “We are looking at ways to try to get the city of Vancouver to reconsider. We're hopeful we can get that sober second thought.” The WPF is also seeking alternative forms of funding to ensure that the event goes ahead.

Topics: Culture