Mr. Speaker, the following reflects a consolidated response approved on behalf of Global Affairs Canada ministers.
In response to (a), the Joint Peace Fund, a multi-party trust fund managed by the United Nations Office for Project Services, UNOPS, was supporting two grants that brought together the civilian government and the Tatmadaw, the National Reconciliation and Peace Center, NRPC, and the Joint Ceasefire Monitoring Committee, JMC, to support the peace process in Myanmar. These two grants have been suspended following the coup d’état. This decision was taken based on recommendations from the funding board, of which Canada is a member. New funding for civil society organizations will continue on a case-by-case basis based on the terms of reference for the fund.
In response to (b), Canada does not and will not provide direct funding to the Government of Myanmar.
In response to (c), under its initial comprehensive strategy to respond to the Rohingya crisis, Canada dedicated $300 million over three years, 2018-21, to alleviate the humanitarian crisis, support impacted host communities in Bangladesh, encourage positive political developments in Myanmar, ensure accountability for the crimes committed, and enhance international co-operation.
This has been achieved with the help of strong and trusted partners, ranging from multilateral to international, Canadian and local organizations, such as the World Bank, the United Nations Development Programme, UNDP, the United Nations Office for Project Services, UNOPS, Inter Pares, Mennonite Economic Development Associates, MEDA, the International Development Research Centre, IDRC, and the Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee, BRAC.
As of March 31, 2021, Canada has spent the full amount of $300 million dedicated towards Canada’s strategy to respond to the Rohingya crisis.
Budget 2021 proposed that Canada dedicate $288 million over three years, 2021-24, to further respond to this humanitarian crisis, encourage positive political developments, ensure accountability for the crimes committed, and enhance international co-operation. This investment is part of Canada’s ongoing efforts to address the evolving crisis in Myanmar and the ongoing refugee crisis in Bangladesh.
In response to (d), Canada first imposed sanctions in relation to Myanmar under the special economic measures, Burma, regulations, on December 13, 2007, in order to respond to the gravity of the human rights and humanitarian situation in Myanmar, which threatened peace and security in the region.
On February 18, 2021, in response to the coup d’état in Myanmar perpetrated against the democratically elected National League for Democracy government on February 1, 2021, the regulations were amended to add nine additional individuals to the schedule in the regulations. These individuals, who are all senior officials in Myanmar’s military, were either directly involved in the coup as part of the National Defence and Security Council, or are members of the military regime’s new governing body, the State Administration Council. Most recently, on May 17, 2021, Canada announced additional sanctions against 16 individuals and 10 entities under the special economic measures, Burma, regulations in response to the military’s ongoing brutal repression of the people of Myanmar and their refusal to take steps to restore democracy. Canada will continue to review the need for further sanctions as appropriate.
Canada’s sanctions related to Myanmar consist of an arms embargo and a dealings ban on listed persons, including individuals and entities. With respect to the arms embargo, the regulations prohibit persons in Canada or Canadians outside Canada from exporting or importing arms and related material to or from Myanmar. It is also prohibited to communicate technical data, or provide or acquire financial or other services, in relation to military activities or to the provision, maintenance, or use of arms and related material.
With regard to the dealings ban, the regulations prohibit any person in Canada or Canadian outside Canada from engaging in any activity related to any property, wherever situated, held by or on behalf of a listed person, or from providing any financial or related service or entering into or facilitating any transaction in relation to such an activity. It is also prohibited to make any goods available to a listed person or provide any financial or related service to them or for their benefit.
In response to (e), contravening Canadian sanctions is a criminal offence. All persons in Canada and Canadians abroad must comply with Canada’s strict sanctions measures, including individuals and entities. Possible violations and offences related to Canada’s sanctions are investigated and enforced by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Canada Border Services Agency.