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e-3383 (National defence and military operations)

Initiated by John Anderson from Nanaimo, British Columbia

Original language of petition: English

Petition to the Minister of National Defence

  • The Department of National Defense (DND) lands in Nanaimo fall within the Regional District of Nanaimo Area C and the City of Nanaimo, British Columbia;
  • Nanaimo and area population has grown from a few thousand to over 100,000 since the DND firing range was established in the 1950’s;
  • The DND lands now border Westwood Lake Park, the Morrell Nature Sanctuary, Mount Benson Regional Park, and a new extension to Colliery Dams Park;
  • These parks contain a significant trail network, used weekly by thousands of recreationists, naturalists, families, and children’s educational programs. This use has increased during the pandemic;
  • These trail networks connect to a series of trails that crisscross the DND lands;
  • The DND intermittently uses large calibre automatic weapons during the day and night at the firing range; and
  • The noise created by heavy automatic gunfire has deleterious health consequences for immediate residents, including the potential to re-traumatize residents with PTSD, disturbs wildlife and bird populations within the vicinity and can be heard more than six kilometres away by residents in Nanaimo’s south end.
We, the undersigned, citizens and residents of Canada, call upon the Minister of National Defence to:
1. Clarify the safe operation of the DND Rifle Range;
2. Conduct a social and environmental impact assessment of the range;
3. Order a feasibility study on relocating the range to a more suitable, less populated, site; and
4. Consult the community, including recreational users, the Regional District of Nanaimo, the City of Nanaimo and the Snuneymuxw First Nation about future DND land use.
Open for signature
May 7, 2021, at 2:51 p.m. (EDT)
Closed for signature
July 6, 2021, at 2:51 p.m. (EDT)
Photo - Paul Manly
Green Party Caucus
British Columbia