Skip to main content Start of content
Start of content

432-00482 (Foreign affairs)

Paper petition

Original language of petition: English

Petition to the Government of Canada

We, the undersigned citizens and residents of Canada, call upon the Government of Canada to apply pressure on its allies to end the export of all military equipment to Cameroon, as such exports facilitate violations of human rights and international humanitarian law. As Canada approaches its one-year anniversary of being a state party to the ATT, this is an opportunity for Ottawa to be a principled voice on arms control.

Response by the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Signed by (Minister or Parliamentary Secretary): Rob Oliphant

The Government of Canada is deeply concerned by the continuing violence in Cameroon, including in the Northwest and Southwest regions. Canada has consistently and publicly condemned violence and human rights violations in Cameroon and continues to encourage all parties to the conflict in the Northwest and Southwest regions to seek a negotiated solution. Canada fully supports the rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly in Cameroon.

In addition to public statements, and direct engagement with Cameroonian officials, Canada continues to raise its concerns about the situation in Cameroon in international fora, such as during Cameroon’s Universal Periodic Review at the United Nations Human Rights Council.

Canada has one of the strongest export controls systems in the world, and respect for human rights is enshrined in our export controls legislation. When Canada became a State Party to the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) on September 17, 2019, the ATT assessment criteria were enshrined in Canada’s Export and Import Permits Act (EIPA). As a result, the Minister of Foreign Affairs shall not issue a permit in respect of arms, ammunition, implements or munitions of war if, after considering available mitigating measures, it is determined that there is a substantial risk that the export of the goods or technology could be used to commit or facilitate a serious violation of international humanitarian law or international human rights law, acts of terrorism or transnational organized crime, or serious acts of gender-based violence or violence against women and children. The Government of Canada will continue to carefully scrutinize all export permits and export permit applications for the export of controlled goods and technology, including to Cameroon, to ensure that they are consistent with our legal obligations and the protection of human rights and international humanitarian laws.

Canada sees ATT membership as an important element of our export control system and ongoing commitment to the responsible trade of conventional arms. As a newer State Party to the Treaty, Canada has been increasingly engaged, on a collaborative basis, in the work of the Treaty.  This includes offering Canadian perspectives to the Treaty’s Working Groups; participating actively in the Sixth Conference of States Parties (CSP6); making a financial contribution to the Sponsorship Program, which provides funding so that representatives of States Parties with less capacity can attend ATT meetings in person, and to the Voluntary Trust Fund, an ATT basket fund that supports the national implementation of the Treaty. Canada notes that Cameroon was the beneficiary of such assistance in 2017-18. At CSP6, Canada was appointed to the Voluntary Trust Fund Selection Committee and looks forward to taking on this role to support projects that will strengthen Treaty compliance by States Parties. Canada is committed to working productively with the ATT Community, including other States Parties such as Cameroon, the private sector, civil society, and international organizations, in support of the Treaty’s objectives and its effective implementation.

Presented to the House of Commons
Elizabeth May (Saanich—Gulf Islands)
February 4, 2021 (Petition No. 432-00482)
Government response tabled
March 22, 2021
Photo - Elizabeth May
Saanich—Gulf Islands
Green Party Caucus
British Columbia

Only validated signatures are counted towards the total number of signatures.

Disclaimer regarding petitions