The OPCAT in Canada: Going, Going, Gone?

With great reluctance the decision has been taken to roll up the awnings and drop down the shutters on the Canada OPCAT Project, some three years after the initiative came into being.

With next to no domestic political traction on the Canadian Government’s repeatedly stated intention to ratify the instrument and zero publicly available information about the issue, it has proven increasingly difficult to maintain a website devoted to the instrument.

As an information hub, the Canada OPCAT Project was born to the world in mid-2018, seeking to contribute to the national discussion on the ratification and implementation of the OPCAT by publishing emerging related information. Some 160 public posts later, we hope to have made a small contribution to this debate in Canada.

Over the past three years the website has succeeded in building up an engaged (and occasionally enraged) readership, spanning not just Canada, but places as far flung as Australia and New Zealand. For a while, we even had a reader in Benin.

Ultimately, however, if the Optional Protocol is really no longer optional for Canada (as a former Canadian Foreign Minister so publicly stated in May 2016), then the current Canadian administration should do something about it. As it stands, the OPCAT appears at best to be a dormant policy file, at worst gone and conveniently forgotten.

If and ever the Canadian Government remembers that it once committed itself to ratifying the instrument, we will be back.

No matter.

To the many readers who frequented the corridors of the Canada OPCAT Project website every week, we thank you sincerely for your custom.

With many thanks and best wishes,

Matti Pringle

1 comment

Nancy Duffy

Hi Matti,

I am sorry to hear this news but understand. I concur that your posts have contributed to the national discussion — and have raised awareness on the issue. Thank you Matti!