Canada may sign and ratify or accede to the TPNW, but will have to make changes to its policies and practices to become compliant.
Responding to criticism for Canada's decision to not attend as an observer the First Meeting of States Parties to the TPNW (1MSP) in Vienna in June 2022 (unlike NATO member states Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands and Norway), Robert Oliphant, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, said in October 2022: ‘We understand and appreciate the sentiment behind the TPNW, but I will reiterate tonight that Canada is not a state party to this Treaty, as several of its provisions are incompatible with our NATO commitments. NATO is a defensive alliance and, whether we like it or not, nuclear deterrence is currently a reality.’1
- Canada should renounce the possession and potential use of nuclear weapons on its behalf, and ensure that nuclear weapons do not have a role in its defence posture.
- Canada should comply with its existing obligation under Article VI of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and pursue negotiations in good faith on nuclear disarmament.
- Canada should urgently adhere to the TPNW. Until it is in a position to do so, it should welcome the TPNW as a valuable component in the global disarmament and non-proliferation architecture, work with the Treaty's states parties on practical steps towards disarmament, and attend the meetings of states parties as an observer.