On International Day of Mine Awareness, NDP Seeks to Close Loopholes in Canada’s Cluster Munitions Act « Canada’s NDP

April 4, 2023 at 3:45 am  Federal, Politics

On the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action, NDP Foreign Affairs Critic Heather McPherson is pleased to announce she will attempt to amend Canada’s Prohibiting Cluster Munitions Act.

OTTAWA – In 2015, Canada finally ratified an international convention to ban cluster munitions – weapons banned in 2008 due to their extraordinarily damaging humanitarian impact on civilians. In 2021, children accounted for 66% of all known casualties from cluster munitions, and their use in the war in Ukraine has been widely condemned.

Bill C-281, from MP Philip Lawrence, is currently before the Foreign Affairs Committee. If passed, this bill would prohibit Canadians from investing in cluster munitions. But other loopholes would still remain in Canadian legislation.

McPherson’s proposed amendment to Bill C-281 would also eliminate Section 11 of the Cluster Munitions Act, which currently allows Canadian Forces members to order the use of, or transport, cluster munitions when on joint operations with non-party states, such as the United States.

“Under no circumstances should any Canadian ever use, order the use of, or even transport cluster munitions,” said McPherson. “I think many Canadians would find it shocking that this exemption still exists in Canadian legislation – and now is the time to change that.”

Last week the Foreign Affairs Committee heard from several experts who testified to the importance of fixing Canada’s cluster munitions legislation. All were supportive of McPherson’s proposed amendment, which will be discussed later this month.

“Fixing this loophole in the Act would finally make Canada’s legislation consistent with the Convention and with the opinions of over 100 other countries – including many of our NATO allies,” said McPherson. “New Democrats – and Liberals – have been calling for this for ten years, so now is the time for the government to support this amendment and get it done.”

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