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MEDIA ADVISORY: FLAWED ARMS CONTROL BILL MUST BE AMENDED TO PREVENT CANADIAN WEAPONS FALLING INTO HANDS OF HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSERS

    October 13, 2017

    HUMAN RIGHTS AND ARMS CONTROL GROUPS TO CALL FOR CHANGES TO BILL C-47

    Ottawa – On October 16th, a group of human rights, arms control and disarmament groups will host a press conference on Parliament Hill calling on the government to make changes to Bill C-47, legislation tabled by the government in May 2017 in order to prepare Canada for accession to the global Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). In its current form, Bill C-47 would fall significantly short of Canada’s ATT treaty obligations towards arms exports. We have therefore submitted to the government a policy paper, to be released publicly at the press conference, outlining 10 key areas where Canada’s proposed approach to ATT accession raises serious concerns. The organizations endorsing the policy paper include Amnesty International Canada (English Branch), Amnistie internationale Canada francophone, Project Ploughshares, Oxfam-Canada, Oxfam-Québec, the Rideau Institute, Group of 78, Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East, World Federalist Movement-Canada and the Human Rights and Research Education Centre at the University of Ottawa.

    Speaking at the press conference will be:

    • Alex Neve, Secretary General, Amnesty International Canada (English Branch)
    • Anne Duhamel, Director of Policy, Oxfam-Québec
    • Peggy Mason, President, the Rideau Institute
    • Cesar Jaramillo, Executive Director, Project Ploughshares

    ***Representatives from other organizations endorsing the briefing paper will also be on hand to provide media availabilities following the press conference.

    WHERE: Charles Lynch Press Room, Room S-130, Centre Block, Parliament Hill

    WHEN: 11:00 a.m. on Monday, October 16, 2017

    MEDIA CONTACTS:

    • Amnesty International Canada: Jacob Kuehn, Media Relations, (w) 613-744-7667 x 236 (c) 613-853-2142; jkuehn@amnesty.ca
    • Oxfam-Québec: Andrée-Anne Perrier, relations medias (w) 514 905-1027 (c) 514-513-0506; Andree-Anne.Perrier@oxfam.org
    • Rideau Institute: Peggy Mason, President; (w) 613 565-9449 ex.24 (c) 613 612-6360; pmason@rideauinstitute.ca
    • Project Ploughshares: Cesar Jaramillo, Executive Director, Executive Director of Project Ploughshares, 519 888-6541 ext. 24302; cjaramillo@ploughshares.ca

    ADDITIONAL INFO: Human rights, arms control and disarmament groups have been calling on Canada to sign onto the global Arms Trade Treaty since it was adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2013 and welcome the Trudeau government’s decision to take that important step. The ATT has already been ratified or acceded to by 92 other countries including many Canadian allies. It is the first international legal instrument to establish robust global rules to stop the flow of weapons, munitions and related items to countries when it is known they would be used to commit or facilitate genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and serious human rights violations. Among the countries which have already ratified or acceded to the Agreement are the United Kingdom, France, Norway, Sweden, Germany, Switzerland, South Africa and Nigeria. The United States, which constitutes the majority of Canadian arms exports, has signed but not ratified the Agreement.