Mine Ban Policy

Last updated: 18 December 2019


Canada was the first government to sign and ratify the Mine Ban Treaty on 3 December 1997, becoming a State Party on 1 March 1999. Legislation to enforce the antipersonnel mine prohibition domestically was enacted in November 1997.

Canada regularly attends meetings of the treaty, including the Third Review Conference in Maputo in June 2014, and more recently the Seventeenth Meeting of States Parties in Geneva, where it provided a general statement as well as statements on victim assistance, Article 5 mine clearance obligations, and the report by the Implementation Support Unit.[1] Canada also attended the intersessional meetings of the treaty in Geneva in May 2019.

Canada previously served on the Standing Committee on the General Status and Operation of the Convention (2011), the Committee on Cooperative Compliance (2015), the Committee on the Enhancement of Cooperation and Assistance (2017), and the Committee on Article 5 Implementation (2018).

Canada is party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons and its Amended Protocol II on landmines and Protocol V on explosive remnants of war. Canada is also party to the Convention on Cluster Munitions.

Production, stockpiling, and destruction

Canada formerly produced the “Elsie” antipersonnel mine (models: C3/C3A1/C3A2). Production of the Elsie ceased in 1992.[2] According to the Deputy Director of the Export Controls Division of the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Canada neither licensed production of the Elsie in another country, nor transferred antipersonnel mine production technology to another country.[3] However, records show that both the US and Japan have produced “a copy of the Canadian C3A1, or Elsie, anti-personnel mine."[4] Canada ceased antipersonnel mine export in 1987. Canada has not imported nor used antipersonnel mines.

Canada completed destruction of its stockpile of 90,000 antipersonnel mines in November 1997, before the Mine Ban Treaty was opened for signature.[5] As of December 2018, Canada retained 1,878 antipersonnel mines for training purposes.[6]

[1] Statement of Canada, Mine Ban Treaty Seventeenth Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 26 November 2018; statement of Canada, Mine Ban Treaty Seventeenth Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 27 November 2018; and statement of Canada, Mine Ban Treaty Seventeenth Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 29 November 2018.

[2] Government new release, No. 5, on the Announcement of Comprehensive Unilateral Moratoria on the Production, Export, and Operational Use of Antipersonnel Mines by Canada, 17 January 1996. Other sources indicate production halted in 1994.

[3] Telephone interview with Roger Lucy, Mines Action Canada, Deputy Director of Export Controls Division, 11 February 1999.

[4] United States Department of State, Mine Facts.

[5] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for the period 18 April 2008 to 19 April 2009), Form D.

[6] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form D, 30 April 2019.