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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Murray Brewster, "Canada mum on hired-gun policy," Canadian Press, June 17, 2009.

[I'd like to know a lot more about Canada's private security contractors. Who are they (other than Compass ISS)? What do they do, not only in their roles with the Canadian Forces but also as the private armies of Canadian corporations and NGOs operating abroad? -jlt]

Canada quietly signed an international agreement last fall on regulating private security companies in war-zones, just weeks after a Canadian soldier was allegedly shot by a contractor during a confused firefight in Afghanistan.

But it's unclear what the government is doing to keep the hired guns on its payroll in check.

Canada was one of 17 countries to agree last fall to the Montreaux Document, which lays out responsibilities for the use of hired guns under international law.

Others nations have since signed on and the United States is among those in the process of enacting tough new regulations.

But except for a passing reference in the House of Commons last month, the Conservative government has been silent not only on the accord, but about measures it takes to hold security contractors accountable.

  The Canadian army employs at least four private security companies in Afghanistan.

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