Canada first State signatory
to have signed Facilities Agreement
Canada, which is hosting l5 monitoring stations and one radionuclide laboratory, is the first country with which the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO PrepCom) has concluded a bilateral Facilities Agreement. The ceremony at which the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Lloyd Axworthy, and the Executive Secretary of CTBTO PrepCom, Wolfgang Hoffmann, signed the agreement took place in Ottawa on 19 October 1998.
The purpose of the Facilities Agreement is to grant the necessary legal authority to the CTBTO PrepCom to undertake work on Canadian territory to establish or upgrade the
15 monitoring stations that Canada is hosting to implement the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT).
Canada has established a National Authority with overall responsibility for implementing Canadian obligations under the Treaty. The three primary seismic stations (Lac du Bonnet, Manitoba; Schefferville, Quebec; and Yellowknife, Northwest Territories), and probably five of the six auxiliary seismic stations (Bella Bella and Dease Lake, British Columbia; Sadowa, Ontario; and Inuvik and Iqaluit, Northwest Territories) will be certified as meeting operational requirements early next year. Canada is currently installing the infrasound station at Lac du Bonnet under an arrangement whereby its assessed contribution to the CTBTO PrepCom budget will be reduced in proportion to the investment costs. The station will be one of the first of the 60 infrasound stations, listed in the Treaty´s Protocol, to be established and is expected to be certified early in 1999. The main installation of the four radionuclide stations (Resolute and Yellowknife, Northwest Territories; St. John´s, Newfoundland; and Vancouver, British Columbia) will begin in 2000. A site survey will be conducted on Queen Charlotte Islands, British Columbia, in 1999 to assess the work that needs to be carried out so that the existing hydroacoustic station meets the operational requirements of the International Monitoring System provided for in the Treaty.
The Geological Survey of Canada, Natural Resources Canada, by virtue of its expertise, is responsible for the seismic, hydroacoustic and infrasound technologies. The Radiation Protection Bureau of Health Canada is responsible for radionuclide monitoring and assessment technology. Environment Canada´s Atmospheric Environment Service, available through the Canadian Meteorological Centre, will provide atmospheric data to Health Canada.
Canada signed the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) on the day it was opened for signature, 24 September 1996. Domestic implementation legislation is currently before Parliament and its passage before the end of the year will permit Canada to ratify the Treaty in 1998. To date, 21 States signatories have done so. Canada is one of the 44 countries whose ratification is necessary for the Treaty to enter into force.