The Canadian Landmine Foundation: A History
The Canadian Landmine Foundation (CLMF) was formed in 1999 following the ratification of the Ottawa Treaty. The campaign to draft, sign and enact the Ottawa Treaty, known officially as the Convention on the Prohibition on the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction, came from Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) as well as the Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lloyd Axworthy. Canadian officials, along with NGO leaders such as Jody Williams, created what would be known as the “Ottawa Process” – a process where for the first time NGOs aided in crafting international policy.
In the aftermath of this monumental achievement, CLMF was formed with the help of many prominent Canadians. The Canadian government was committed to continue supporting the campaign against landmines, and through the Canadian Landmine Fund, provided financial support to charitable organizations such as CLMF. With this support, CLMF was able to undertake 91 projects in 13 countries, fund the training of 17 mine detection dogs and raise over $4 million between 1999 and 2008. It also spearheaded the successful Night of a Thousand Dinners (N1KD) campaign, known know as Meals for a Mine-Free World, that saw thousands of Canadians come together on November 21 to support the campaign against landmines. Celebrities such as Sir Paul McCartney, Governor General Michaëlle Jean, and American Secretary of State Colin Powell have all been involved with N1KD events. At its peak, 90% of Canadian Rotary Districts were hosting dinners and there was participation in over forty countries worldwide.
By 2009, the Canadian Landmine Fund had expired and the CLMF underwent a drastic reduction. Without government funding to support operational costs, the organization decided to move from its Toronto offices and let go its five full-time staff members. It moved to the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) in Waterloo, Ontario and reduced its Waterloo staff to one Administrative Coordinator. Through the University of Winnipeg, Clarita Fernandez managed the financial aspects of the Foundation. In 2010, it moved into the Laurier Centre for Military, Strategic and Disarmament Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University. Today, there are two part-time staff members there, Caitlin McWilliams and Matthew Wiseman, who deal with administrative and website-related duties while Clarita continues at the University of Winnipeg as acting Accounts Manager.
Important Events in the History of CLMF
||Oct: Canada hosts international meeting to develop a strategy for moving towards a total ban on anti-personnel mines
|1997||Oct: The Ottawa Convention is opened for signature
|1999||Mar: The Mine Ban Convention is entered into force|
|Jun: The Canadian Landmine Foundation is officially introduced by the Hon. Lloyd Axworthy with $1 million dollars from the Canadian Landmine Fund|
|Dec: Canadian Landmine Foundation Inaugural Gala hosted by Prime Minister Jean Chretien
|2000||Jun: Adopt-a-Minefield Campaign launched|
|Nov: Meals for a Mine-Free World (formerly Night-of-a-Thousand-Dinners) launched in Ottawa
|2003||Dec: Canadian Landmine Fund renewed
|2007||Dec: 10th Anniversary of Ottawa Treaty
|2008||Mar: Canadian Landmine Fund finished|
|Sept: Canadian Landmine Foundation moves from Toronto to joint placement at University of Winnipeg and the Centre for International Governance and Innovation (CIGI) in Waterloo, ON
|2010||Sept: Canadian Landmine Foundation moves from CIGI to the Laurier Centre for Military Strategic and Disarmament Studies (LCMSDS) at Wilfrid Laurier University|