Former Top Canadian Arms Negotiator Says Harper Government Betraying Trust Of Other Nations On Its Cluster Bomb Stand


This post from the Ottawa Citizen’s David Pugliese is related to the PeaceQuest story on cluster bombs in Laos
Nov 24, 2013 11:51 am | David Pugliese

Article from the Canadian Press:

OTTAWA – Canada’s former chief negotiator of the Convention on Cluster Munitions says the Harper government is betraying the trust of other countries by inserting a controversial clause in the treaty’s ratification bill.

Earl Turcotte levels the allegation in a written submission to the House of Commons foreign affairs committee, which is holding hearings on the bill.

Canada faces widespread international condemnation because the clause would allow the Canadian Forces to be involved in the use of cluster bombs in joint operations with non-treaty signatories such as the United States.

Critics say that would undermine the intent of the treaty — banning the use of an erratic weapon that has proven particularly harmful to civilians.

Turcotte has since quit the federal public service in protest over the issue.

Turcotte says he gave assurances to Canada’s international partners during the negotiations that it would not use a key article in the convention as a loophole to use cluster bombs.