Mr. Speaker, on Thursday thousands of Canadians will take part in a national day of action against cluster bombs and landmines. Events and demonstrations across the country will include making piles of shoes, representing all the lives and limbs lost to mines and cluster bombs, and collecting signatures urging the Conservative government to take a leading role internationally against cluster bombs.
Late last week the Government of Canada belatedly gave its pledge to destroy its stockpiles of cluster munitions and joined with other countries agreeing to a process that will forever ban these weapons, which indiscriminately kill and maim. Ninety-eight per cent of the victims are civilians and twenty-seven per cent are children.
The Ottawa convention banning landmines came into effect eight years ago this week and Canada led the world in that fight. In the fight against cluster munitions, Canada is being dragged along rather than showing the way. It is time for Canada to show it can be at the forefront of disarmament again. It is time to show real leadership.