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Country Reports
CANADA, Landmine Monitor Report 1999


In recent years Canada, joined by other countries, has shown remarkable leadership in the global effort to ban landmines. Government of Canada representatives were key to negotiating the Mine Ban Treaty and Canada was the first country to sign and to ratify it. Canada was among the first countries to begin to destroy its stockpile of AP mines. It was also one of the first countries to announce funds for mine action. Funding in the amount of CAN$100 million[1] was allocated for implementation of the Treaty, including mine clearance and provision of assistance to victims. Canada has made available financial and technical assistance to other governments, enabling them to meet their obligations under the Treaty. The government has facilitated NGO involvement in various aspects of the Mine Ban Treaty and mine action in general.

However, there remain areas of concern that should be addressed and clarified by the government of Canada. Some of these are: the addendum to Canada’s Instrument of Ratification on the issue of interoperability; the status of certain antivehicle mines and Claymore mines in Canada’s arsenal; differences in the definition of “antipersonnel mine” between the Mine Ban Treaty and Canada’s domestic legislation; and, money from the Canadian Landmine Fund allocated to research and development on alternatives to antipersonnel landmines.

Mine Ban Policy

Canada was the first nation to sign the ban convention on 3 December 1997. This was followed immediately by the submission of its instrument of ratification to the UN Secretary General in New York.[2] Canada appended to its ratification an understanding with respect to joint operations that is discussed below.

Canada’s support for a ban on AP mines was first demonstrated on 17 January 1996 during the review of the Convention on Conventional Weapons when Canadian officials announced an immediate moratorium on the production, transfer and operational use of AP mines.[3] On 2 October 1996, it was announced that the destruction of two-thirds of Canadian stockpiles of AP mines would begin immediately with the remainder of stocks to be destroyed in the context of an international ban. The Ottawa Process was launched 5 October 1996 when, during the closing plenary of the conference “Towards a Global Ban on Antipersonnel Mines,” Minister of Foreign Affairs Lloyd Axworthy invited other governments to return to Ottawa in December 1997, to sign a treaty banning antipersonnel mines.[4] An intensive 14-month period of demarches, bilateral and multilateral meetings and negotiations with governments and NGOs followed the announcement. In addition to offering support for various initiatives, Canadian officials provided logistical support and used several means to build broad public and political support for the mine ban. For example, Canadian funds were made available to representatives of several governments who could not otherwise have taken part in several key meetings. Additionally, a quarterly publication was launched to keep both the public and government representatives apprised of developments throughout the process.

Frequently Canadian officials helped to draft the text and worked to build support for various UN, regional, and Ottawa Process resolutions centered on AP mines. These included UNGA Resolution 51/45S, 10 December 1996, calling for an international agreement to ban AP mines, UNGA Resolution 52/38A in 1997 calling on all member states to sign the Mine Ban Treaty, the June 1997 Brussels Declaration committing nations to the December treaty signing, and the 1996 Organization of American States resolution calling for a hemispheric mine free zone. To date it is one of only six OAS member states to submit information to the OAS Register of Antipersonnel Landmines.[5] In other fora such as the G-8 and the Commonwealth, Canadian officials worked continually to place the ban issue on these and other agendas.

From a Canadian perspective, perhaps one of the most significant developments following the conclusion of the treaty was the creation of the Mine Action Team (ILX) within DFAIT and the appointment of an Ambassador for Mine Action. The creation of a new division within the Ministry, mandated specifically to work on landmines was intended not only to move the treaty process forward but also to ensure that “Canada is able to continue to provide international leadership on the landmines issue.”[6]

Another initiative supported by Canada is Landmine Monitor. In a press release announcing Canadian financial support for the Landmine Monitor initiative Foreign Affairs Minister Lloyd Axworthy said “(m)onitoring compliance is about making sure that the Convention becomes much more than words on paper?. It is about making sure that the Convention will have concrete impact on the lives of people who must live with landmines every day.”[7]

In 1998, Canada issued two policy statements that address AP mines. The LYSOEN Declaration outlines a framework for Canada and Norway to enhance foreign policy consultations and cooperation on several issues, including landmines and small arms proliferation “with a view to enhancing human security, promoting human rights, strengthening humanitarian law, preventing conflict and fostering democracy and good governance.”[8] The Canada-EU Statement on Small Arms and Antipersonnel Mines,[9] although not a signed or negotiated document, is especially significant for its reference to military exports, particularly small arms. On the anniversary of the Treaty signing a report, prepared by ILX, was tabled in Parliament, giving Members of Parliament an outline of international progress on the Mine Ban Treaty, global mine action and a general description of how Canadian funds for mine action have been committed.[10]

In 1997 the Department for National Defence authorized the formation of its Antipersonnel Landmine Working Group. Policy Guidelines published in the department's Personnel Newsletter in June 1997 outlined activities prohibited to Canadian Forces personnel such as stockpiling, acquisition and use of AP mines. A more recent publication in November 1998 addresses rules of engagement, participation in combined operations, planning and command and control.[11]

Understanding on Joint Operations

Canada appended the following “understanding” to its ratification instrument:

“It is the understanding of the Government of Canada that, in the context of operations, exercises or other military activity sanctioned by the United Nations or otherwise conducted in accordance with the international law, the mere participation by the Canadian Forces, or individual Canadians, in operations, exercises or other military activity conducted in combination with the armed forces of States not party to the Convention which engage in activity prohibited under the Convention would not, by itself, be considered to be assistance, encouragement or inducement in accordance with the meaning of those terms in Article 1, paragraph 1(c).”1[2]

This understanding seems clearly aimed at permitting Canadian forces to fight side-by-side with the United States in a war in which U.S. forces use antipersonnel mines.

There is concern about the consistency of the Canadian understanding with the treaty’s obligation under Article 1, “never under any circumstances...[t]o assist, encourage or induce, in any way, anyone to engage in any activity prohibited to a State Party under this Convention.”[13] At worst, the understanding could be interpreted to constitute a reservation to the treaty, and reservations are prohibited under Article 19. At best, the understanding goes against the spirit of a treaty aimed at an end to all possession and use of antipersonnel mines.

Canadian officials have said that the intent of the understanding is mainly to ensure Canadian military personnel are able to participate fully in joint operations, for example with NATO allies, without fear of prosecution. According to one key official, “Canada’s ‘understanding’ was carefully researched and worded in an attempt to clarify a situation which is a reality for Canada – that as a member of a military alliance such as NATO, or as an active participant in UN sanctioned operations, we may find ourselves engaging in military operations with an ally that is not signatory to the Convention. In short, we were simply attempting to indicate our perceptions of our obligations under the Convention under a set of specific circumstances. In this case our perception is that ‘the mere participation by the Canadian Forces, or individual Canadians’ in such coalition operations would not be considered to be efforts to ‘assist, encourage or induce’ others to engage in activities prohibited by the Convention. We believe that this is a realistic ‘perception of our obligations’ which does not in any way undermine the core obligations of the Convention.”[14]

The Canadian Forces (CF) and the Department of National Defense (DND) were central to the drafting of Canada’s understanding.[15] They voiced concern in early 1997 about the impact of the prohibition on “assistance” on joint operations. “The question was whether or not the Canadian Forces could legally work with an ally who retained the right to use a weapon which Ottawa considered illegal,” writes Major Paul W. Fredenburg, who was deeply involved in the discussions, in a recent article published in Canadian Defense Quarterly.[16] “This could jeopardize interoperability with those allies and thus compromise Canada’s defense alliances." Fredenburg states that the concerns on joint operations were also recognized and discussed in the NATO and ABCA (Australia, Britain, Canada and America) fora.[17] The position taken by DND in this area was reflected in the June 1997 APL Operational Planning and Policy Guidelines where, “...the use of [AP mines] by an ally in NATO, UN or coalition operations will not preclude the deployment of the Canadian Forces nor effect interoperability with those allies.”[18]

According to Fredenburg, during the treaty negotiations the concerns of the Canadian Forces were examined at great length by the Canadian delegation. "The word ‘assist’ was interpreted as meaning direct assistance in actually laying the mine. Normal assistance provided to the force as a whole, such as fuel and security, would not be considered to be in contravention of the treaty."[19] Indeed, the Canadian implementation legislation allows for participation in joint operations with mine users “if that participation does not amount to active assistance in that prohibited activity.”[20]

Fredenburg also says, “It was generally agreed that command and control of a U.S.-led coalition would continue to create problems especially in case of joint command. The status of exchange officers serving with U.S. units with a mine-laying role would also be problematic. It was agreed that this issue will have to be resolved first in NATO and any solution or agreement will, by common practice, be extended to the ABCA.”[21]

Bill C-22

Bill C-22, An Act to implement the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-personnel Mines and on their Destruction was given Royal Assent by the Parliament of Canada on 27 November 1997 and is currently listed in the Statutes of Canada, Chapter 33.[22] The Statute was approved by the Governor General 25 February 1999[23] and it entered into force on 1 March 1999. The Act will be promulgated in the Canada Gazette, the official news bulletin of the Government of Canada.

Mines Action Canada has expressed concerns about two aspects of the Bill C-22 and the Mine Ban Treaty. They are presented here in order to spur further discussion and examination. First, in Bill C-22 the terms “anti-personnel mine” and “mine” are defined by use of the phrase “designed, altered or intended.”[24] In the Mine Ban Treaty the same terms are defined by use of the word “designed” only and make no reference to the phrase “altered or intended.”[25] Second, Bill C-22 contains a more narrow definition of the treaty’s prohibition on assistance. C-22 states that participation in operations with a State not party to the Mine Ban Treaty is allowed “if that participation does not amount to active assistance in that prohibited activity."[26] (Emphasis added).

CCW and CD

Canada signed the original Protocol II of the CCW in 1981, and ratified it in 1994. The revised Protocol II of the CCW was ratified 5 January 1998. The Declaration submitted by Canada to the CCW and its original Protocol II is available on the UN web site.[27] For amended Protocol II, “Canada reserves the right to transfer and use a small number of mines prohibited under this Protocol to be used exclusively for training and testing purposes.” Canada also issued these understandings:

1. “It is understood that the provisions of Amended Protocol II shall, as the context requires, be observed at all times.

2. It is understood that the word “primarily” is included in Article 2, paragraph 3 of Amended Protocol II to clarify that mines designed to be detonated by the presence, proximity or contact of a vehicle as opposed to that of a person, that are equipped with anti-handling devices, are not considered anti-personnel mines as a result of being so equipped.”[28]

In 1998 Canada did not veto the appointment, in the UN Conference on Disarmament (CD), of a special coordinator to explore the possibility of negotiations in the CD of a ban on APM transfers, nor did it actively support the appointment. In January 1999 Canada stated that it would not oppose the re-appointment of a coordinator. While the Canadian position appears to be one of non-interference, Canada will not support any work in the CD that will impair or hamper the effectiveness of the Mine Ban Treaty. This assumption is supported by an address made by Ambassador Mark Moher in which he states, “If such negotiations do take place, the only standards that we will accept are those of the Mine Ban Convention. Canada will not be a party to moving international law backwards.”[29] In the same address the Ambassador expresses the view that the CCW is a more suitable forum than the CD for any activity outside of the Mine Ban Treaty. “In our view, it would be more appropriate to supplement this existing instrument than to create a new instrument.”[30]


Canada formerly produced the “Elsie” antipersonnel mine (models: C3/C3A1/C3A2). Production of the Elsie ceased in 1992.[31] Parliamentary records show no contracts beyond those signed in 1991 for the production of 100,000 Elsie mines. The mines were produced by SNC-Industrial Technologies Inc, a subsidiary of the SNC-Lavalin group, for the Department of National Defence. DND decided that it did not need that quantity and in a settlement with SNC agreed to purchase 40,000, which were manufactured and delivered in 1992.[32] Information on the total quantities of Elsie AP mines produced in Canada has not been made available to date.

The Elsie is a plastic-bodied, cone shaped AP mine, designed to wound or kill by blast effect. It is one of the world’s smallest mines. The Elsie is undetectable with conventional electro-magnetic equipment, but a detector ring can be fitted to render the mine detectable.[33] The cost of the C3A1 in 1994 was $40. These antipersonnel mines were produced by Canadian Arsenals Ltd., a crown corporation, up until 1986, when Canadian Arsenals was bought by the SNC-Lavalin group and later re-named SNC-Industrial Technologies Inc. The subsidiary company continued to produce the Elsie at its ammunition factory in Le Gardeur, Quebec.

According to the Deputy Director of the Export Controls Division of the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Canada has neither licensed production of the Elsie in another country, nor transferred AP mine production technology to another country.[34] However, records show that both the U.S. and Japan have produced “a copy of the Canadian C3A1, or Elsie, anti-personnel mine,” the American M25[35] and the Japanese Type 6/67.[36]

According to Colonel Normand Levert it was not necessary to decommission the ammunition factory,[37] only molds and tools related to the production of the C3 mines were destroyed.[38] The tools were “destroyed by using arc-welding/shearing/crushing and/or burning under the surveillance of a Canadian Forces Quality Assurance Representative.”[39]

Claymore Mines

SNC-Industrial Technologies Inc has been awarded a contract by the Department of National Defence to assemble 18,000 modified M-18 Claymore mines (re-classified C-19, to reflect the modification).[40] The C-19s are to be assembled in command-detonate mode only from component parts that were imported from the U.S. in the summer of 1997.[41] The imported parts were screened under the Canadian moratoria and were imported under an agreement that they would not be used to produce tripwire Claymores. To ensure compliance with the Mine Ban Treaty they are being produced without the built-in tripwire capability.[42] The Canadian Forces do not consider the M18 Claymore in command-detonated mode to be a mine as defined by the treaty, and are now referring to it as an “area defense weapon.”[43]


The Antipersonnel Mine Operational Planning and Policy Guidelines for the Canadian Forces stated that Canada’s operational stock of antipersonnel mines would be replaced with “...a mix of sensors, command-detonated weapons [such as the M-18 Claymore reclassified as C19s] additional infantry, artillery, armour and air-delivered weapons.”[44] According to Major Harry Burke, Canada is not currently engaged in R&D on or the production of alternatives to AP mines.[45]

However, part of the mandate of the recently created Canadian Centre for Mine Action Technologies (CCMAT) is to investigate alternatives to AP mines, “...to show that viable and more humane alternatives, that do not target civilians, can be developed as a way to persuade hold-out countries to sign the Convention.”[46] CCMAT’s Project Charter outlines this aspect of the center’s mandate: “...while there is no single technology or device that provides for a one-for-one replacement for anti-personnel mines, there may be alternative approaches that can accomplish the anti-personnel landmine function within the constraints of the convention in some scenarios and for some threats. The Centre would study and document such alternative approaches and identify technologies necessary for their implementation.”[47] CCMAT plans to conduct its investigation into alternatives by acquiring, modifying and/or developing computer models (see below) to assess alternatives to landmines,[48] and the development of sensor and command and control technologies as components of alternative systems.[49]

Concern has been raised by Mines Action Canada about the use of the Canadian Landmine Fund to finance research into alternatives to landmines. Despite several requests,[50] neither CCMAT nor any of the Ministers responsible for allocation of the Fund have provided Mines Action Canada with formal, written clarification of the CCMAT research component into “more humane alternatives” to antipersonnel landmines.

CCMAT is currently developing an operational research study in computer modeling, to provide fact as opposed to opinion on the limited military utility of APM use. The aim of the initiative is to run model simulations to see the extent to which AP mines are of use in the field. This is an initiative supported by the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, anticipating the study can be used as proof of the minimal military utility of AP mines, when in dialogue with non-signatories to the Mine Ban Treaty. The initiative was launched on 23 November 1998; the rudimentary basics of the initiative should be in place by fall 1999.[51]


The Government of Canada states that AP mines have not been exported from Canada since 1987.[52] This is substantiated by SNC-Lavalin who claim that when their take-over of Canadian Arsenals was made, Canadian Arsenals had received a government contract for the manufacture of several tens of thousands of type C3A1 mines, for sale to the Government of Kuwait.[53] Under SNC’s ownership this contract was completed and the mines exported at the end of 1987.[54] Robert Racine, then Vice-President of Public Affairs, stated that this sale, “...to our knowledge, [was] the one and only order exported by our subsidiary [SNC-Industrial Technologies Inc.].”[55]

At the time of the final Canadian export order of C3A1s, Kuwait was allied with Iraq in the war against Iran.[56] Kuwait was later invaded and occupied by Iraq in August 1990, precipitating the Gulf War of January-February 1991.[57] Following the Gulf War, investigations of Iraqi arsenals found twenty-three different types of AP mine from at least ten nations, among them C3A1s produced by SNC-Industrial Technologies Inc.[58] In a 1995 letter former minister of defense David Collenette said these mines were either legitimately transferred from Kuwait to Iraq or Kuwaiti stockpiles were plundered during the war.[59] It is known the C3A1 was also supplied to the British Armed Forces. Canadian-manufactured AP mines are reported to have been used by U.S. and Japan.[60] Information on exports to these and other countries is not available at this time.

On 17 January 1996 the Ministers of Defense and Foreign Affairs jointly announced a unilateral moratorium on the export of AP mines.[61] With entry-into-force of the MBT and Bill C-22 the ban on exports will no longer be at ministerial discretion but law. The ban on exports applies to all AP mines as defined by the treaty except those exempted by Article 3 for training purposes.

The Canadian Centre for Mine Action Technologies is currently arranging the import of PMN2 mines from Georgia for use in testing and challenging detection and neutralization equipment and techniques. The Centre uses live mines for this and in mid-December 1998 was offered the mines by visiting Georgian officials.[62] According to an official in DND, the department is not required to obtain import permits for this purpose, "DND does not request permission to import foreign anti-personnel mines for the development of and training in mine detection, mine clearance or mine destruction technique, as authorized by Art. 3 of the Convention and Bill C-22. The quantities are minimal and DND ensures that the total number of anti-personnel mines in its inventory remains well below 2,000."[63]


While there is no official or stated policy on another country moving AP mines through Canadian territory, a written response to queries made on behalf of Landmine Monitor notes transfer (import/export) of AP mines is prohibited under the Convention and that it does not address transit of mines. “Transit is the movement from one part of a state’s territory to another part of the territory of the same state. Canada has no legal obligation to prohibit the transit of mines through our territory by other states. However, Canada discourages this.”[64] Sections of the NATO survey circulated in March 1998 addressed questions around “storage, transit and transfer”[65] of AP mines. The results of the survey are unknown. In discussions with a DND official who worked very closely on the issue, it was said that Canada would not ask if landmines are part of NATO or allied shipments through its territory. The distinction between transfer and transit is presumably to leave undisturbed the right of “innocent passage,” under cover of which the U.S., for example, might well move mines through Canada. The official said it was unlikely the U.S. would transfer its mines by road and the logistics of checking compliance with a prohibition on air and sea transfer are problematic.[66]


Canada announced that it had destroyed the last of its approximately 90,000 AP mines in November 1997. A special ceremony was held in Ottawa 3 November 1997, attended by both the Coordinator and the Chairperson of Mines Action Canada, Jody Williams of the ICBL, Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, Minister Lloyd Axworthy, Defence Minister Art Eggleton, and other officials, to blow up the remaining AP mines. Recently, the Department of National Defence (DND) reports that tilt rod fuses were separated from all M21 anti-vehicle mines in stock and destroyed in compliance with the treaty. The 20,000 stripped M21s are scheduled for destruction in the coming year. [67]

Canada destroyed 63,351 C3A1s and 104 M16A1/2s in 1996. It destroyed a further 18,004 C3A2s and 11,292 M16A1/2s in 1997.[68] The destruction took place between October 1996 and November 1997.[69] In 1996, DND considered these mines to be an obsolete technology and was planning to replace them with a remote-delivered, self-neutralising/self-destruct system (SN/SD). The treaty process accelerated the destruction of the AP mines and brought an end to the SN/SD plans.[70]

The destruction (including that of the tilt rods) was carried out at a base in Dundurn, Saskatchewan. Three or four CF personnel put alternating layers of a small number of the mines and expired explosive material into a pit. The mixture was blown up and the process repeated. The cost was calculated by the CF to be approximately $4 per mine in 1997; a total of $403,672.35 for the close to 90,000 mines.[71]

Other Mines and Munitions

Canada has retained its Claymore mines. The 5,400 presently in stock are American M18A1 Claymores. After conducting an inquiry, National Defence Headquarters (NDHQ) is satisfied that the M18s now in stock do not have a built-in tripwire capability.[72] To Mines Action Canada, there was lack of clarity within DND on whether the reclassification involved modification, removal or if the tripwire capability was ever present. An additional 18,000 C19 Claymores have been ordered without a built-in tripwire capability and are in production at SNC-IT in Canada.

The CF also stocks the “universal booby-trap device” F1A1. In the CF mine database, the F1A1 is listed as one of a number of devices which, operating together, would enable the M18 to function in a tripwire mode. Booby-trapping the C19s in this manner would now be illegal under the Canadian interpretation of the treaty. CF also reports stocking an "anti-lift device" based on the F1A1 switch; this device is reported to be able to function in a pressure mode while "not in AT mine anti-lift role."[73]

In addition, Canada has FFV 028 self-neutralising anti-vehicle mines.[74] It is listed as possessing these mines in its 1996 mine database, and is reported to have bought an additional 12,000 from the Dutch via Bofors in a process begun in 1996 and concluded in October 1997.[75] According to reports, the Dutch Ministry of Defence believed the magnetic influence mine would not be in accordance with the Ottawa Treaty because of the highly sensitive nature of its sensor.[76] Indeed, the CF 1996 database notes that "disturbance of the mine body will cause actuation." In addition, both the CF 1996 and 1998 mine databases warn that the mine may be set off by the metal components in a mine detector. DND confirms that the mines are controversial and reports that its tests remain "inconclusive." DND reports that it plans to modify the mine, replacing the current fuse with a safer one.[77] The DM21, a German anti-vehicle mine also held in significant quantities in Canadian stockpiles, is considered by DND to fall outside the treaty prohibition.[78]

The Canadian Air Force reports that it has no AP mines that would be prohibited by the treaty. According to the Air Force, the munition closest to the treaty definition in its possession is the Mark 20 Rock Eye Cluster Bomb, designed to destroy tanks.[79] NDHQ has no information on the failure rates of these munitions.[80] DND's "Anti-personnel Mine Operational Planning and Policy Guidelines for the Canadian Forces", 27 June 1997, provides for, inter alia, "air-delivered weapons" to replace AP mines prohibited by the treaty. [81]

APMs for Training

According to public statements of Minister of Defence Eggleton and Minister of Foreign Affairs Axworthy, Canada has elected to keep a maximum of 2,000 AP mines under the treaty exception for training purposes. This is not codified in Canadian law, but appears to have taken the form of a ministerial directive. [82] At time of printing, there were about 1,800 AP mines retained for training. These are broken down as follows: 1,000 C3A2s (Canadian); 493 M16A1/2s (American "Bouncing Betties"); 49 PMA1s (former Yugoslavia); 45 PMA2s (former Yugoslavia); 57 PMA3s (former Yugoslavia); 100 PPMI-No.1s (Czechoslovakia); 21 VS50s (Italy); 10 VAL M69s (Italy); and 8 VS MK2s (Italy).[83] These numbers will change over time as the C3A2s and M16s are used (at a projected rate of 50 per year), and more foreign mines are imported. Mines will be obtained in this way from Ukraine, as it destroys its stocks with Canadian assistance, and others will be imported from Georgia. The retained mines will be used to test countermine equipment and to teach mine-awareness to soldiers. They are stored at the Defence Research Establishment in Suffield, Alberta; probably also at the base near Dundurn, Saskatchewan and another Defence Research Establishment at Valcartier, near Montréal, Québec.[84]


There has been no evidence of the use of AP mines in Canada (other than for officially sanctioned purposes of military training and research and development). However, concerns were expressed when on 11 September 1995, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) used a remote-detonated munition concealed below the surface of a gravel road to disable a moving vehicle.[85] These actions by the RCMP occurred during the Gustafsen Lake standoff, a tense 31-day dispute over the occupation of land near Gustafsen Lake, British Columbia, by the First Nations’ indigenous people, the Shuswap. Critics of the RCMP’s tactic described the remote-detonated munition as an “improvised landmine.”[86]

Mine Action Funding[87]

Canada began funding mine awareness training in 1989-90 when the Canadian Forces provided training for Afghan refugees in Pakistan.[88] The Department of National Defence has been funding mine clearance programs since 1992 (Iraq & Kuwait).[89] The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), the agency responsible for delivering Canada's official development assistance program has supported mine clearance since 1993 when it disbursed more than $2 million to Afghanistan, Angola, Cambodia, Laos and El Salvador.[90]

Until 1998 Canadian support for mine action programs was largely channelled through either CIDA or the DND as follows:[91]



CIDA has provided funding to United Nation agencies, the Red Cross and Canadian NGOs.[92] Other countries receiving mine action funding from Canada have included Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Georgia, Mozambique, Rwanda, and Somalia.

Canadian Landmine Fund

A significant increase in Canadian funding for mine action has evolved with Canada’s change of policy and subsequent support for the global anti-landmine movement. On 3 December 1997 at the MBT signing in Ottawa, Prime Minister Chrétien announced the establishment of a $100 million fund to implement the treaty. “This means bringing it to life; making it truly global; clearing the mines; helping the victims. Both with immediate medical care and long-term help rebuilding their lives."[93]

The announced fund evolved into the Canadian Landmine Fund (CLF) involving four Canadian federal government departments each mandated with different responsibilities. The Canadian International Development Agency is responsible for mine clearance, mine awareness and victim assistance. The Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade is responsible for overall coordination, treaty universalization, ratification, monitoring, sustainability and Canadian public awareness. DFAIT and the Department of National Defence jointly are responsible for stockpile destruction. DND and Industry Canada jointly manage the newly created Canadian Centre for Mine Action Technologies. Within CCMAT, Defence has the responsibility for technology research and development, and Industry Canada the responsibility for the commercialization and marketing of any new technology.

Government strategy has been to maximize its contributions through partnerships with other governments (for example, Norway, Israel, Jordan, and Mexico) as well as with the private sector (for example, Canadian AutoWorkers Union – Social Justice Fund). The Canadian government’s approach has also included NGO partnerships with particular involvement of Mines Action Canada (MAC). MAC is working jointly with the Canadian Red Cross and DFAIT on an outreach and sustainability program focused on Canadian students and youth. The Youth Mine Action Ambassadors Programme (YMAA) involves five youth interns working within host NGOs (UNICEF, Red Cross, MAC and MAG Canada) to raise public awareness, to build public support for mine action and to raise funds. These goals are met through organized events in schools, colleges and universities, as well as, various activities with the general public. In 1998 MAC and DFAIT created the Canadian Landmine Action Fund as another mechanism through which Canadians can financially contribute. Joint fundraising initiatives such as this are rare in Canada and are an attempt by both partners to develop additional and sustainable long term funding for NGO victim assistance and mine clearance programs.

The traditional funding agency for overseas assistance has been CIDA. In the latter part of 1998 CIDA created the Tapping Creativity Fund, to be accessed by Canadian NGOs working in the areas of mine awareness, mine clearance and victim assistance. The fund represents a very small portion of funds designated to CIDA for mine action. Although the fund has a much quicker review and approval process than normal, each project is limited to only a $200,000 contribution. Currently the fund is limited to $2 million for fiscal year 1998-99 only. As of 1 March 1999 almost $1.8 million of this fund had been allocated to 11 NGOs (included in the list below) for awareness, clearance and victim assistance programs in nine different countries.

Two representatives of Mines Action Canada are members of the Project Review Committee and provide NGO perspective and analysis to the decision-making process. MAC has been informed verbally that the fund has been extended and that multi-year funding will also be made available through it. It is hoped that both the sizes of the fund and the project limit will be raised significantly. NGOs are also able to compete with commercial firms and other organizations for tendered projects or through normal CIDA channels, which may not be as flexible or accessible.

MAC has also been invited to participate in the CCMAT. For the moment MAC participates as an observer in order to bring NGO expertise, perspectives and concerns to the Centre’s work. MAC is waiting clarification on the exact nature of the research into the alternatives component of the CCMAT charter before officially joining the governance of the CCMAT.[94]

Since the announcement of the Canadian Landmine Fund allocations have been made to a wide variety of actors including multilateral agencies such as PAHO and OAS (Central America); UNMAS (Kosovo, Yemen), UN Mine Action Centres (Croatia, Chad); and UNDP (Mozambique). Through bilateral programs it has funded mine action in Bosnia, Burkina Faso, Georgia, Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, India, Jordan, Lebanon, Russia, Thailand, and Ukraine.

DFAIT has contributed significantly to the ICBL, its Landmine Monitor initiative, and to Mines Action Canada, the Canadian component of the ICBL. Among the other NGOs receiving Canadian government funding are UNICEF/Canada, COCAMO, Sierra Club of B.C, World Vision Canada, Council of Canadians with Disabilities, Disabled People's International, Canadian Network for International Surgery, ADRA Canada, Alternatives, Handicap International, MAG Canada, C.I.D.C., and Queen's University.[95]

Funding can be broken into two components: domestic and foreign. In the first year, domestic expenditures include:[96]

R&D of mine action technologies
$1,445,000 [97]
domestic outreach, domestic & international advocacy
domestic outreach and sustainability
public awareness, sustainability, fundraising

Not all of the funding listed above will be spent solely in Canada. CCMAT will undertake field testing and international co-operation activities. MAC’s funding will support several international activities. However, for the purposes of this report they are being reported under domestic funding. The proportion of the CLF set aside for research and development of new appropriate mine action technologies by the Canadian Centre for Mine Action Technologies is currently the largest single allocation from the CLF, a fact that is unlikely to change.

Canadian funds destined for use outside of Canada include those given to Afghanistan, Angola, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cambodia, Chad, Croatia, El Salvador, Honduras, Iraq, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Jordan, Kosovo, Laos, Mexico (international conference), Mozambique, Southern Africa Region, Uganda, Yemen and Zimbabwe.[99]

Total funds committed from the Canadian Landmine Fund for clearance, surveying, awareness and victim assistance thus far are $28.16 million. Three major programs to be implemented over five years, 1998 through 2002, have been funded in:

Bosnia & Herzegovina -- clearance & victim assistance -- $10,000,000 [$2,470,000 (‘98); $2,870,000 (‘99); $2,000,000 (2000); $1,510,000 (‘01); $ 1,150,000 (‘02)]

Mozambique -- clearance, surveys & co-ordination -- $10,460,000 [$425,000 (’98); $2,500,000 (’99); $3,000,000 (2000); $3,500,000 (’01); $1,035,000 (’02)]

Central America (El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua) -- victim rehabilitation -- $3,500,000 [$500,000 (’98); $750,000 (’99); $750,000 (2000); $750,000 (01); $750,000 (02)]

Other programs funded include:

awareness; clearance; victim assistance
awareness; victim rehabilitation; clearance
survey equipment
victim rehabilitation
clearance surveys

Additional funds were given to support international coordination (UNMAS, multilateral coordination, $500,000); universalization (advocacy, outreach and experts meetings, $245,000 for events held in Burkina Faso, Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Georgia, India, Jordan, Lebanon, Russia, Thailand, Ukraine); advocacy (ICBL, international NGO activities, $300,000); and monitoring, compliance and evaluation for a total of $580,000 (Landmine Monitor, research, monitoring and reporting, $450,000; Handicap International, technical magazine on best practices, $10,000; IDRC, tools to monitor mine action progress, $120,000).

Clearance and Casualties

Canada is not a mine-affected nation in the conventional sense, but it does have areas of mine/UXO-contaminated land. These areas tend to be former or active Canadian Force Bases, used as practice or training ranges. The decommissioning of military land has generated extensive range clearance work for demining/UXO clearance companies in Canada. The following companies are the main ones conducting survey/clearance work in Canada: Notra Environmental Services Inc, SNC-Lavalin and Wolf’s Flat Ordnance Disposal Corporation.

The decontamination work that SNC-Lavalin has carried out so far has been at the ammunition disposal site, and other redundant sites. Le Gardeur, an ammunition facility outside of Québec City belonging to SNC-Lavalin, was closed down 3-4 years ago and is now in the initial stages of being decommissioned, with preliminary decontamination work (mainly on contaminated soils) being carried out by SNC-Lavalin.[102]

The majority of Canadians injured or killed by landmines are members of the Canadian Forces active in peacekeeping duties. Between December 1992 and December 1995 more than 44 incidents involving either antipersonnel or antitank mines were recorded in the Defense Department's Mine Clearance Operations Evaluation study. The study was completed in January 1996 and covers only operations in the Former Republic of Yugoslavia and in Somalia. In total 32 injuries and 2 fatalities were recorded.[103] Twenty-four of the incidents recorded did not result in any injuries at all.[104] At the time of this writing the total number of deaths and injuries to Canadian Forces personnel attributable to landmines is not known. Benefits guaranteed by law to persons with disabilities include health and medical care, training, rehabilitation and counseling, employment and participation in decisions affecting themselves.[105]


[1]Throughout the report, figures given are in Canadian dollars.

[2] Canada did not opt for formal provisional application of Article 18 of the treaty, which binds a signatory to key prohibitions even prior to entry-into-force.

[3]Government of Canada, News Release No.5, 17 January 1996 on the announcement of a comprehensive, unilateral moratoria on the production, export and operational use of AP mines by Canada

[4] For a detailed description of Canada’s role in the Ottawa Process, see M. Cameron, et al, eds., To Walk Without Fear: The Global Movement to Ban Landmines (Toronto :Oxford University Press, 1998).

[5]OAS, Register on Antipersonnel Landmines, OEA/Ser.G, CP/CSH-168-99, 11 February 1999

[6]DFAIT, press release No. 129, “Axworthy Appoints Ambassador for Mine Action,” 22 May 1998, Ottawa.

[7]DFAIT, press release No.212, “Canada to Support International Mine Monitoring Program,” 15 September 1998, Ottawa

[8]Canada-Norway Partnership for Action, The LYSOEN Declaration, 11 May 1998, Bergen, Norway.

[9]Canada-EU Statement on Small Arms and Antipersonnel Mines, 17 December 1998, Brussels.

[10]ILX-DFAIT, “One Year Later: Is the Ottawa Convention Making A Difference? 2 December 1998, Ottawa.

[11]DND, "Personnel Newsletter 11/98," pp. 4-5

[12]UN Convention on the Prohibition of the Use,..C.N.473.1997.TREATIES-2


[14]Email, Bob Lawson, Senior Policy Advisor, ILX-DFAIT, 15 March 1999

[15]Major Paul W. Fredenburg, "The Banning of the Antipersonnel Landmine," Canadian Defense Quarterly, Winter 1997

[16]Fredenburg, "The Banning of the Antipersonnel Landmine," p.6

[17]Ibid., p.7

[18]DND, Antipersonnel Mine Operational Planning and Policy Guidelines for the Canadian Forces, 27 June 1997, as quoted in Fredenburg, "The Banning of the Antipersonnel Landmine," p.7

[19]Discussions, Canadian Forces Technical Advisor with Canadian Head of Delegation, 1 September 1997, as footnoted in Fredenburg, "The Banning of the Antipersonnel Landmine," p.9

[20]First Session, Thirty-sixth Parliament, 46 Elizabeth II, 1997, Statutes of Canada, Chapter 33, An Act to Implement the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Antipersonnel Mines and on their Destruction, Bill C-22, Assented to 27 November 1997, section 6(3)(d)

[21]Discussion, ABCANZ Military Advisors, Oslo Diplomatic Conference, attended by the author, 8-10 September 1997, as footnoted in Fredenburg, "The Banning of the Antipersonnel Landmine," p.9

[22]Statutes of Canada, Chapter 33, An Act to Implement the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use..., www.parl.gc.ca/36/1/parlbus/chambus/house/bills/government/C-22/.../C-22_cover-E.htm

[23]Privy Council Order No. PC 1999-295

[24]First Session, Thirty-sixth Parliament, 46 Elizabeth II, 1997, Statutes of Canada, Chapter 33, An Act to Implement the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Antipersonnel Mines and on their Destruction, Bill C-22, Assented to 27 November 1997, section 2

[25]UN Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Antipersonnel Mines and on their Destruction, Concluded at Oslo 18 September 1997, C.N.473.1997.TREATIES-2, Article 1

[26]Statutes of Canada, Chapter 33, An Act to Implement the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use..., section 6(3)(d)

[27]UN Treaty Series, vol. 1342, p.137, depositary notifications C.N.356.1981, TREATIES-7, 14 January 1982 and C.N. 320.1982 TREATIES-11, 21 June 1983.


[29]Ambassador Mike Moher, statement to the CD, January 1999


[31]Government news release, No.5, on the announcement of comprehensive, unilateral moratoria on the production, export and operational use of AP mines by Canada, 17 January 1996. Other sources indicate production halted in 1994. See, Mark Abley, The Gazette, Montreal, 17 November 1994; Jane’s Military Vehicles and Logistics, 1994-95, p 175.

[32]Government news release, No.5, 17 January 1996.

[33]CFSME Mine Database 96 (Canadian Forces CD-ROM);

U.S. Department of State web site: http://mineweb.org/mfacts/mfacts5/f573a.html; and SNC Industrial Technologies Inc, The Convention on Conventional Weapons: Final Report on a Study of the Technological and Cost Implications of Retrofitting Landmines with Fuses Incorporating Self Destruct or Self Neutralizing Devices, December 1994.

[34]MAC/Roger Lucy (Deputy Director of Export Controls Division), telephone interview, 11 February 1999.

[35]U.S. Department of State: http://mineweb.org/mfacts/mfacts7/f751a.html

[36]U.S. Department of State: http://mineweb.org/mfacts/mfacts5/f534a.html

[37]MAC/Col. Normand Levert, (Liaison Officer to the Mine Action Team of the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade), telephone interview, 23 February 1999.

[38]Directorate of Arms and Proliferation Control Policy, documentary evidence of the destruction of APM tooling pieces, completed on 30 November 1998, provided to MAC by LCol. J. P. Chabot.


[40]MAC/Col. Normand Levert (Liaison Officer to the Mine Action Team of the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade), telephone interview, 5 February 1999.


[42]MAC/Col. Normand Levert (Liaison Officer to the Mine Action Team of the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade), telephone interview, 5 February 1999.

[43]See Fredenburg, Longtin, Levert, CFSME database.

[44]Major Paul W. Fredenburg, “The Banning of the Antipersonnel Landmine”, Canadian Defense Quarterly, Winter 1997, p 7.

[45]MAC/Major Harry Burke (Deputy Scientific Advisor [Land], Research and Development Branch, Department of National Defense), telephone interview, 4 February 1999.

[46]Government Press Release, on the launch of CCMAT, 25 August 1999.

[47]CCMAT Project Charter, October 1998.



[50]MAC, letter to ministers of foreign affairs, defense, international cooperation and industry, copied to CCMAT director, 29 January 1999

[51]MAC/Major Harry Burke (Deputy Scientific Advisor [Land], Research and Development Branch, Department of National Defense), telephone interview, 4 February 1999.

[52]Government News Release, No. 5, on the announcement of comprehensive, unilateral moratoria on the production, export and operational use of APMs by Canada, 17 January 1996.

[53]Letter from Robert Racine, then vice-president, Public Affairs, SNC-Lavalin, to Dr. Eric Notebaert and Dr. Michael Dworkind of Health Professionals for Nuclear Responsibility, 17 November 1994.



[56]François Patenaud, “La belle hypocrisie de SNC-Lavalin et de son pape Guy Saint-Pierre”, L’aut Journal, No. 144, 20 November - 11 December 1995.

[57]Ed. Michael Howard and Wm. Roger Louis, The Oxford History of the Twentieth Century (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998), p 260.

[58]U.S. Army Intelligence Agency, U.S. Army Foreign Science and Technology Center, "Operation Desert Shield Special Report: Iraqi Combat Engineer Capabilities,” 30 November 1990, pp. 2-16, 2-17.

[59]DND, letter to MP Svend Robinson, signed by former Minister of Defense, David Collenette, March 1995.

[60]CFSME Mine Database 96, CD-ROM, 1996

[61]Government of Canada, News Release No.5, 17 January 1996, on the announcement of comprehensive, unilateral moratoria on the production, export and operational use of AP mines by Canada

[62]ILX-DFAIT, Normand Levert, e-mail subject "ILX 1025", 8 January 1999

[63]Directorate of Arms and Proliferation Control Policy, Lt.Col. J.P Chabot, Ottawa, 23 February 1999

[64]Kristeva Zoe, Political and Multilateral Issues, DFAIT-ILX, facsimile, 11 February 1999

[65]NATO Headquarters, Brussels, Ref. A. IMSWM-121-98 (SD2), 17 March 1998

[66]Colonel Ed Fitch, Director of Military Engineering, DND, telephone interview, 5 May 1998, Ottawa

[67]MAC/Col. Normand Levert, DFAIT Liaison Officer, National Defense Headquarters, telephone interviews, 5, 8 and 23 February 1999; letter from Daniel Longtin, Director of Munition Programme, National Defense Headquarters (NDHQ), 12 March 1999

[68]Directorate of Arms and Proliferation Control Policy, National Defense Headquarters, faxed information, 18 Feb 1999

[69]"Canada announces timetable for destruction of Landmines," Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Press Release, No. 145, 10 September 1997

[70]Fredenburg, "The banning ..., "Canadian Defense Quarterly, p. 6.

[71]MAC/Col. Levert, telephone interview, September 1998.

[72]Longtin letter, 12 March 1999

[73]Colonel E.S. Fitch, Director of Military Engineering, NDHQ, letter to MAC, 24 August 1998

[74]Letter from Col. Fitch, August 1998

[75], 27 March 1996, p. 12; Mines Action Canada/Pax Christi, Netherlands, email correspondenc Jane’s Defense Weekly, January 1998.

[76]Confidential source

[77]MAC/Levert, February 1999

[78]Letter from Fitch, August 1998

[79]MAC/Longtin, February 1999

[80]Longtin letter, 12 March 1999

[81]Major Paul Fredenburg, "The Banning of the Antipersonnel Landmine," Canadian Defense Quarterly, Winter 1997, p. 7.

[82]MAC/Levert, Feb 1999; MAC/Lt. Col. J.P. Chabot, telephone interview, 23 Feb 99

[83]Directorate of Arms and Proliferation Control Policy, National Defense Headquarters, faxed information, 18 Feb 1999

[84]MAC/Major Perrin, telephone interview, April 1998; MAC/Fredenburg, Feb 1999; MAC/Levert, Feb 1999;

[85]Transcript of Court Proceedings in the Gustafsen Lake Trial, questioning of RCMP officer.

[86]Patrick Cain, “Feds Tarnish Anti-Mine Stance”, NOW, 3 - 9 July 1997.

[87]All figures in this report are in Canadian dollars. As of 25 February 1999 the exchange rate was 1C$ = .66 US$.

[88]"One Year Later: Is the Ottawa Convention Making A Difference, Report submitted to the Canadian Parliament by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dec. 2, 1998. Pg. 5

[89]Ibid., Pg. 5

[90]Ibid., Pg. 5

[91]Information provided by DFAIT to LM questionnaire, Feb. 1999

[92]Speech made by Minister of International Cooperation, Diane Marleau, Ottawa, 2 December 1997

[93]Speech made by Prime Minister Jean Chrétien to the Opening Plenary of the Ottawa Treaty Signing Conference, 3 December 1997

[94] In a Feb. 1999 meeting government officials informed MAC that the total allocation for the ‘research into humane alternatives’ would be up to $1.5 million over the five year mandate of CCMAT.

[95]Funding for ADRA Canada (Yemen), Alternatives (Yemen) and UNICEF Canada (Angola) were approved in 1999.

[96]Government of Canada fiscal year runs from 1 April to 31 March.

[97]This five-year initiative has a total of $17 million in funding. Notional expenditures by financial year are 1,445,000 (98/99), 5,640,000 (99/00), 4,205,000 (00/01), 3,405,000 (01/02) and 2,305,000. Government officials provided these figures in an Aug. 1998 briefing to MAC from DFAIT, DND and Industry Canada.
[98]The funding to MAC supports both its domestic and international work.

[99]The figures used in this report are compiled from the One Year Later report prepared by DFAIT and released on 2 December 1998. The figures are also taken from MAC files and a February 1999 response from DFAIT to a LM questionnaire.

[100]Announced and funded in 1999

[102]MAC/Rèmi Vèzina (Manager of SNC-Lavalin’s Decontamination Department), telephone interview, 5 February 1999.

[103]The incidents were categorized in the report as 16 slight injuries, 16 serious injuries and 2 fatalities.

[104]"The Canadian Battle Group in Somalia operated in wheeled armored vehicles. The shape and character of these vehicles give them an inherent mine resistance. Hence no injuries," noted on report by L.Col Normand Levert, DND, copy faxed 10 February 1999.

[105]Canadian submission to the United Nations global Survey on Disability Policy, 15 September 1996, www.independentliving.org/standardrules