Outlawed all future
Arms Trade Shows from City Facilities in 1989
On April 19, 1989, the Ottawa City Council passed a motion to permanently ban ARMX, and any other military trade show, from municipal property.
Moved by Alderman Brown, seconded by Alderman Smyth.
Whereas ARMX ‘89, a Canadian exhibition of military hardware and technology is scheduled to take place at Lansdowne Park from 23-25 May;
And whereas the arms trade has little or no consideration of moral or humanitarian issues in that weapons have been used against civilians;
And whereas exports of Canadian military equipment and components end up in countries which persistently violate human rights;
And whereas the international arms trade serves to increase militarization throughout the world and is inconsistent with arms limitations efforts;
And whereas ARMX ‘89 is a closed event and restricted to Canadian government officials, foreign government representatives, police and security forces and defence industry representatives;
And whereas Lansdowne Park is a publicly supported recreation and trade show facility;
Therefore be it resolved that Lansdowne Park and other city facilities not be leased to future ARMX exhibitions.
Moved by Alderman Smith, Seconded by Alderman Smyth, that the Brown/Smyth motion (11/28) be amended to insert the words “or other such arms exhibitions” so that the substantive clause reads as follows:
“... that Lansdowne Park and other city facilities not be leased to ARMX or other such arms exhibitions”. — Carried.
MOTION 11/28, as amended by Motion (11/29), carried on the following division:
Yeas — Aldermen Kent, Kehoe, Smyth, McSweeney, Harris, Brown, Laviolette, O’Neill, Holmes, Smith and Maloney — 11.
Nays — Alderman Jones — 1.
Alderman McSweeney spoke out strongly against the Brown/Smytli motion and then mistakenly voted in favour of it! He did not realize his blunder until attentive reporters later questioned him about his apparent change of mind. Interestingly, an article in the Ottawa Sun (Feb. 20, 1990) quotes Alderman McSweeney as saying that when attending ARMX ‘89, he “didn’t see any weapons - only useful items, such as tents which can be used in hospitals.”
Alderman Jacquelin Holzman (who later became the Mayor of Ottawa 1991-1997) was absent during the vote on the above motion. She left no doubt however of her sentiments on the vote. In the Ottawa Sun article (cited above), Holzman said that her “only regret was that the show [ARMX] isn’t still being held at the city-owned Lansdowne Park.”