November 28, 2013
NDP demands government fix cluster munitions bill
International lawyers, representatives from other countries, and civil society groups – including the International Committee of the Red Cross – all agree that Canadian cluster munition legislation would severely undermine the very treaty it is supposed to implement.
New Democrats are calling on the Conservative government to listen to these concerns and amend Bill C-6, a bill to ratify the Convention on Cluster Munitions.
“Cluster munitions have a terrible impact on civilians worldwide,” said NDP Foreign Affairs Critic Paul Dewar. “These are inhumane and indiscriminate weapons, and they must be banned. But the current legislation would actually allow Canadian soldiers to use cluster munitions.”
New Democrats are proposing an amendment that would align the Canadian legislation with the original treaty that Canada signed. This amendment would protect the ability of Canadian soldiers to operate alongside other countries, while ensuring that Canadian Forces do not use cluster munitions.
“As written, this bill would undermine the international law, and it would undermine Canada’s reputation in the world,” said NDP International Cooperation Critic Hélène Laverdière. “We can and must do better, and we hope the government will join us to fix this bill.”