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441-01577 (Foreign affairs)

Paper petition

Original language of petition: English

Petition to the House of Commons

We, the undersigned citizens and residents of Canada, draw the attention of the House of Commons to the following:


  • The illegitimate military junta in Burma continues to indiscriminately kill, torture, rape, imprison and displace civilians, particularly through air strikes, causing an increased need for vital humanitarian assistance;
  • Communications infrastructure within the country, often used to warn civilians of imminent attack, has been destroyed by the military;
  • The state-owned Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprises (MOGE) accounts for the majority of funding the military receives to commit human rights atrocities; and
  • Canada has outlined its own obligation to aid in the Myanmar crisis as reported in "Canada's strategy to respond to the Rohingya and Myanmar crises (2021 to 2024)" as well our commitment under the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) principle.

Therefore, we, the undersigned, call on the Government of Canada to:

  • Call on the military junta in Burma to immediately cease all executions, atrocities and human rights abuses against civilians;
  • Increase humanitarian aid into Burma, especially via local civil society organizations working cross-border from neighbouring countries, to more adequately address the needs of vulnerable communities;
  • Provide the technological and logistical support for communication infrastructure to establish early-warning systems and air defence systems to warn and protect civilians from aerial attacks, to save lives and prevent human rights abuses;
  • Call on insurance companies to stop providing insurance cover for deliveries of aviation fuel to Burma;
  • Impose sanctions against MOGE, including blocking direct and indirect oil and gas purchases that support the Burmese regime;
  • Swiftly implement the objectives set out in the aforementioned strategy and uphold our international obligation of R2P;
  • Refuse to engage or recognize the junta's State Administration Council (SAC) in any regional or international fora;
  • Promote ongoing dialogue among pro-democracy groups and diaspora groups, with a view to helping the Burmese people to develop an inclusive democracy with full recognition and representation of all ethnic minority communities, including Rohingya; and
  • Provide assistance to Burma's politicians and citizens to support the development of a federal democratic system and power sharing that would provide a solution for the country of multiethnic people who have been living together before the country could be called Burma.

Response by the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Signed by (Minister or Parliamentary Secretary): Rob Oliphant

Canada has unequivocally condemned the February 2021 military coup against the democratically-elected government of Myanmar, and supports the people of Myanmar and their democratic aspirations in the face of brutality and egregious international human rights and humanitarian law violations. Canada continues to call for the cessation of violence and armed conflict; the release of all who are unjustly detained; immediate and unrestricted humanitarian access; and a halt on sales and transfer of arms, military equipment and technical support, which fuel the conflict and undermine stability in the country and the region. Canada is concerned by a growing humanitarian crisis, democratic and economic reversals, reports of egregious human rights and humanitarian law violations, and the potential for growing instability and insecurity in Myanmar, with implications for the region and diminished prospects for the safe, voluntary and dignified return for Rohingya currently in Bangladesh. Canada condemns escalating attacks against civilians, including airstrikes of populated and civilian areas with heavy weaponry, and the arbitrary detention, and deaths of civilians, all of which have deepened the humanitarian crisis.

Canada is also concerned by the politicization of the judiciary and the precipitous decline in human rights protections and media freedoms. The erosion of the right to free, fair and impartial trials, and the resumption of capital punishment after a 30-year de-facto moratorium is of particular concern. Canada opposes the death penalty at all times, everywhere. Canada, along with international partners, condemned the execution of pro-democracy opposition leaders and supporters in 2022, underscoring that these actions exemplify the regime’s efforts to silence political opposition and exemplify blatant disregard for the upholding of human rights and the rule of law.

Canada supports the Association of Southeast Asian Nations’ (ASEAN) and its resolute efforts to address this crisis through the ASEAN Five-Point-Consensus, while remaining increasingly concerned by lack of progress on this agreement’s implementation in the face of the regime’s intransigence. Full and timely implementation of the Five-Point-Consensus remains critical as is ASEAN’s continued downgrading of Myanmar representation at ASEAN high-level meetings and fora.

Responding to the interlinked Myanmar and Rohingya crises remains a priority for Canada. On June 20, 2022, Canada announced the second phase of its Strategy to respond to the Myanmar and Rohingya crises, dedicating $288.3 million over three years (2021-2024) to address the medium- and longer-term needs and human rights of Rohingya refugees and other conflict-affected populations in Myanmar. Of this amount, $83 million supports development programming in Myanmar; $145 million for development programming for Rohingya and host communities in Bangladesh; and $24 million for Peace and Stabilization Operations programming. The Strategy supports at-risk and affected populations in Myanmar and Bangladesh, particularly Rohingya refugees, internally displaced persons, and impacted host communities; intensifies efforts to advance an inclusive and sustainable peace in Myanmar; supports efforts to advance a peaceful, democratic and inclusive Myanmar, including engagement with pro-democracy stakeholders; and, increases pressure on malign actors, including through continued pursuit of accountability for human rights violations and targeted sanctions efforts.

While ensuring that no funding or support is going to the regime, Canada continues to provide development and humanitarian assistance to the most vulnerable, working through UN and civil society organizations, including local networks and alliance-based partners. Canada continues to provide life-saving humanitarian assistance for crisis-affected populations, in accordance with needs on the ground. For example, in 2022, Canada has contributed $10.3 million in immediate humanitarian assistance to address the needs of crisis-affected people in Myanmar, including support to the Rohingya population. Canada has also contributed $15.3 million in humanitarian assistance in Bangladesh, to help address the needs of Rohingya refugees. More recently, on June 1st, 2023 Canada announced $4 million in additional humanitarian assistance funding in Myanmar, and $1 million in funding for Bangladesh in response to Cyclone Mocha. Cross-border in Bangladesh, Canada continues to play a leading role in marshalling the response to the refugee crisis, leveraging a strong position on accountability and credibility as a top international donor.

Canada has a legacy of support for democracy and federalism globally and in Myanmar, continuing to support the democratic aspirations of the Myanmar people and those who work peacefully to advance an inclusive democratic future. Canada engages with the range of pro-democracy stakeholders advancing and modeling a democratic peaceful and inclusive vision for Myanmar, including with high-level engagement such as the recent meeting between Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and a senior appointed representative of the National Unity Government of Myanmar. Canada is a steadfast supporter of the need to address the root causes in Myanmar that led to the violent expulsion of Rohingya refugees to Bangladesh, the coup, and decades of conflict with ethnic minority armed groups. The Government of Canada’s current Strategy and commitments are centred on the meaningful participation and diverse representation, including Rohingya, women and youth.

Canada prioritizes ending impunity and ensuring accountability for perpetrators of human rights violations in Myanmar and justice for survivors, including Rohingya. Canada does this through support to the Independent Investigative Mechanism for Myanmar (IIMM), and our announced intention to intervene, with the Netherlands, in The Gambia’s case against Myanmar at the International Court of Justice. Canada strongly supported the historic United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolution 2669 – Security Council Demands Immediate End of Violence in Myanmar, Urges Restraint, Release of Arbitrary Detained Prisoners (December 2022), and co-sponsored the United Nations Human Rights Council resolution A/HRC/52/L.19 - Situation of Human Rights in Myanmar (April 2023). At the International Criminal Court (ICC), the Prosecutor’s investigation into allegations of forced deportation as a crime against humanity has presented an opportunity for accountability, although Canada continues to call for the UNSC to refer the situation to the ICC, so that the commission of all serious international crimes under the Rome Statute can be investigated.

Canada, in close coordination with international partners, has imposed seven rounds of sanctions since the coup as part of Canada’s commitment to support democracy and ending impunity in Myanmar, with the most recent on January 31, 2023. Canada’s sanctions are in direct response to the regime’s continued disregard for the human rights of the people of Myanmar and target senior members of the regime who are using their respective roles to abuse the rule of law and remove political opposition, thus contributing to a grave breach of international peace and the deteriorating security situation. Through these sanctions, Canada has also targeted arms and aviation fuel procurement, and was the first country to impose a prohibition on aviation fuel in respond to the regime’s continued targeting of civilians in violation of international law. Canada, alongside its international partners, will continue to respond to actions that constitute a grave breach of international peace and security, threaten stability in the region, and subvert the rights and dignity of Myanmar people. Canada will continue to monitor the situation, assessing the effectiveness of additional policy measures, taking further actions in coordination with our partners as the situation evolves.

There is no immediate solution to this protracted crisis, and Canada acknowledges that an effective on-going response requires sustained effort, attention, commitment, and leadership on the part of Canada; the meaningful participation of Myanmar people, including Rohingya; and sustained coordination and engagement with key national, regional and international allies and partners. In this regard, we strongly welcome the petition and its calls for continued and strengthened engagement on the part of the Government of Canada.

Presented to the House of Commons
Mike Morrice (Kitchener Centre)
June 21, 2023 (Petition No. 441-01577)
Government response tabled
August 16, 2023
Photo - Mike Morrice
Kitchener Centre
Green Party Caucus

30 signatures

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