Legislation Regrettable

Canada’s implementing legislation on cluster munitions has a big loophole that seriously weakens the international treaty.

Foreign Minister Nicholson’s announcement this week that Canada has ratified the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM) includes $2.4 million in programming for demining and removal of explosive remnants of war. While the program funding is welcomed, these do nothing to mask the damage that Canada’s implementing legislation does to the international regime established by the Convention on Cluster Munitions.

Canada’s implementing legislation is the worst of any state party to the CCM. It includes language that effectively undermines the treaty, by permitting Canadian soldiers to enable use of cluster munitions while in combined operations with allies, such as the United States, that have not signed the treaty.

Numerous legal experts, as well as all of Canada’s opposition parties, called for the legislation to be radically revised, to eliminate the “exceptions” (Article 11) that allow Canadian soldiers to participate in actions otherwise proscribed by the treaty. Notably, the government of Norway and the International Committee of the Red Cross called for changes to the bill. In Canada, the World Federalists presented an “open letter” signed by 27 international law experts that indicated in detail why the Canadian legislation is inconsistent with the treaty’s fundamental purpose—a ban on cluster munitions.

Canada’s damaging legislation sets a bad precedent. It creates incentives for others to write their own exceptions and loopholes. A couple of million dollars in program funding for mine clearance activities does not undo the significant damage that Canada’s bad example sets for this important piece of international humanitarian law.

– Robin Collins, World Federalist Movement

 

Just Posted

What’s happening for Family Day in the Boundary

Activities in and around Grand Forks offer something for everyone.

Biologists discover another female calf in depleted South Purcell Mountain Caribou herd

Calf will be moved to Revelstoke maternity pens, then released

Petition on Second Street project presented to council

Over 1,000 signatures were gathered, but staff say council can’t do much about the project.

Man seriously hurt after police shooting near Nelson

Incident has been reported to provincial police watchdog

Mental health, BC Housing council’s picks for resolution issues

Grand Forks council aims to hold the province accountable to local government with draft resolutions

B.C. students win Great Waters Challenge video contest

Video, mural and song about saving the salmon claims the top prize

B.C. athlete takes home gold in freestyle aerials at Canada Games

Brayden Kuroda won the event with a combined score of 121.65.

Cabinet likely to extend deadline to reconsider Trans Mountain pipeline

New round of consultations with Indigenous communities is coming

B.C. government provides $75,000 towards salmon study

Study looks at abundance and health of Pacific salmon in Gulf of Alaska

Murdered and missing honoured at Stolen Sisters Memorial March in B.C.

‘We come together to make change within the systems in our society’

UBC researchers develop inexpensive tool to test drinking water

The tricoder can test for biological contamination in real-time

Disgraced ex-Congressman Anthony Weiner released from prison

He was convicted of having illicit online contact with a 15-year-old North Carolina girl in 2017

B.C. communities push back against climate change damages campaign

Activists copying California case that was tossed out of court

Most Read