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Journal for Peace and Justice Studies

Volume 30, Issue 1/2, 2021

Victor Kliewer, Sean Byrne
Pages 126-146

The Canadian Federal Department of Peace Initiative
Dramatic Potential or Idealistic Challenge?

This article examines the possibility of establishing a Department of Peace (DOP) as a Department of the Government of Canada. The topic has been introduced in Parliament twice, as Bill C-447 in 2009 and as Bill C-373 in 2011, without any further actions beyond the formal First Reading. The introduction of the bills could only happen on the basis of significant support among Canadians. At present efforts to introduce the DOP continue, although in somewhat muted form. Based largely on oral interviews, this article assesses the potential for establishing a DOP in the context of the Canadian peace tradition as well as global developments. It concludes that a DOP has great potential to move the peace agenda forward but that, in view of the priorities of the current government and the general mood in Canadian society, it is not realistic to expect a DOP to be implemented at present.