Monthly Archives: July 2015

Signing of the Northwest Territory Métis Nation Land and Resources ...

Working together to advance reconciliation and strengthen relationships

July 31, 2015 – Ottawa, ON – Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada

The Honourable Bernard Valcourt, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, Garry Bailey, President of the Northwest Territory Métis Nation, and the Honourable Bob McLeod, Premier and Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Intergovernmental Relations for the Government of the Northwest Territories are pleased to announce that an important milestone has been reached with the signing of the Northwest Territory Métis Nation (AIP). The AIP, which is not legally binding, will serve as the foundation for the negotiation of a final land and resources agreement with the Northwest Territory Métis Nation. It marks an important step on the road toward achieving clarity over land and resource ownership, use and management for all parties. 

With the signing of the AIP, the three parties will commence negotiations toward a final land and resources agreement which will also address self-government. The objective of the overall negotiations is to provide clarity over the ownership, use and management of land and resources for all parties.

Quick facts

  • The AIP deals with various matters, including harvesting of wildlife, fish, trees and plants, national parks, protected areas, subsurface resources, mineral royalty sharing and economic measures.
  • Under a Final Agreement, the Northwest Territory Métis Nation would receive $69.4 million and 25,194 square kilometres of land to be owned in fee simple.
  • When a Final Agreement is reached among the parties, the members of the Northwest Territory Métis Nation will vote on the Agreement prior to it being approved by the Government of the Northwest Territories and the Government of Canada.
  • Consultations with Aboriginal groups were carried out prior to concluding the AIP and will continue as part of final agreement negotiations.
  • Since 2006, Canada and its negotiation partners have signed six comprehensive land claims (modern treaties) agreements and three self-government agreements in the Northwest Territories, British Columbia, Manitoba and Québec. Of the six signed

    comprehensive land claim agreements, four included provisions related to self-government. In the last 18 months, three Agreements-in-Principle and one final agreement have been signed in the Northwest Territories.


“This Northwest Territory Métis Nation Agreement-in-Principle on Land and Resources is a concrete step toward realizing economic growth and investment opportunities for the benefit of Aboriginal groups. It serves as a clear indication of what can be achieved when partners work together to find an agreement that is mutually acceptable for all the parties.”

Bernard Valcourt,
Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development

“The signing of the Land and Resources Agreement-in-Principle is an important milestone and demonstrates the Government of Canada and the Government of the Northwest Territories’ commitment to concluding a Final Agreement with the Northwest Territory Métis Nation. This Agreement-in-Principle provides a sound basis toward advancing the interests of Indigenous Metis of the NWT. Furthermore, it provides a solid foundation upon which our Government can build upon equitable and fair government-to-government relationships with the Government of Canada and Government of the Northwest Territories. The Northwest Territory Métis Nation is committed to achieving a Final Agreement in a timely manner for the interests of Indigenous Métis of the Northwest Territories and future generations.”

Garry Bailey,
President, Northwest Territory Métis Nation

“This Agreement-in-Principle is an important step towards clarifying land and resource ownership and wildlife harvesting rights for the Métis of the South Slave region. The Government of the Northwest Territories is committed to working with Northwest Territory Métis Nation and Canada to conclude a final agreement that balances the interests of all parties, protects Métis culture and promotes a more stable, positive climate for investment and development.”

Bob McLeod,
Premier and Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Intergovernmental Relations for the Government of the Northwest Territories

Additional links


Emily Hillstrom
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development

Media Relations
Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada

Kyle Napier
Northwest Territory Métis Nation

Roya Grinsted
Media Liaison
Government of the Northwest Territories
Office of the Premier and Executive Council


Follow us on Twitter: @AANDCanada

National Park Reserve Values

Located in the East Coast Boreal Natural Region of Parks Canada’s world-class, national parks system, Akami–uapishku – KakKasuak – Mealy Mountains National Park Reserve of Canada will protect approximately 10,700 square kilometres of a stunning array of pristine landscapes, vegetation and wildlife. Canada’s newest and 46th national park will protect cultural landscapes of importance to Innu, Inuit, southern Inuit and other people in the region.

The focal point of the park reserve is the Mealy Mountains themselves – the rugged mountains that give the area its name. Their glacially-rounded and bare rock summits, which overlook Lake Melville, reach to 1,100 metres.

Easterly from the mountain tundra of the Mealy Mountains is a dramatic transition to a lush forested landscape, which gently descends toward the coast until it meets the frigid waters of the Labrador Sea. This is a landscape of undisturbed watersheds and pristine wild rivers with breathtaking rapids and waterfalls.

The beautiful White Bear, North and English rivers include both Atlantic salmon and trout, and their valleys will offer exceptional hiking opportunities to visitors. Where the park reserve fronts the Labrador Sea, an extensive, 50-kilometre stretch of unbroken sandy beaches known as the Wunderstrand can be found. This spectacular beach is recorded in Viking sagas relating their voyages of exploration along the Atlantic Coast.

The park reserve will play an important role in wildlife conservation. It protects a significant portion of the range of the threatened Mealy Mountains caribou herd, including key habitat along the coast and on offshore islands. Extensive landscapes of boreal forest, which are home to caribou, wolves, black bear, marten and fox can be found both just north of Sandwich Bay as well as along the south shore of Lake Melville. Toward the south, extensive wetlands provide important habitat for migratory birds such as ducks and geese.

With the signing of the park establishment agreements, planning work will begin to guide conservation and visitor experience programs. As well, collaborative efforts with Aboriginal groups and the tourism sector will further enhance the natural and cultural tourism opportunities that will eventually be available to visitors.  The national park reserve will provide outstanding opportunities for all Canadians to appreciate and enjoy this landscape, including Aboriginal cultural experiences and outdoor recreational opportunities such as canoeing, back country camping, and hiking.

Establishing a national park reserve in the Mealy Mountains protects a representative example of Canada’s East Coast Boreal Region, achieving important progress towards the goal of creating a system of national parks that represents the rich diversity of Canada’s landscapes. It will also contribute to Newfoundland and Labrador’s objective of protecting examples of each of the province’s ecoregions.

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Harper Government Invests in Improvements to Medicine Hat's ...

July 31, 2015 – Medicine Hat, Alberta – Western Economic Diversification Canada

Today, LaVar Payne, Member of Parliament for Medicine Hat, on behalf of the Honourable Michelle Rempel, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification Canada, announced support of $134,902 for South Grandstand Stampede Grounds under the Government of Canada’s Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program.  

In Economic Action Plan 2015, the Government of Canada announced further support for communities with the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program. Thanks to a commitment of $150 million, communities from coast to coast to coast will see support for improvements to local infrastructure, creating a lasting legacy as Canada prepares to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Confederation in 2017.

The Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program will help fund renovations, expansions and rehabilitations to existing infrastructure that provides community and cultural benefits for the public. The Program represents one of several infrastructure-related initiatives that the Government of Canada has undertaken to generate well-being and prosperity across Canada.

Quick Facts

  • Since 1887, the Medicine Hat Exhibition & Stampede Company has hosted exhibitions to bring urban and rural people together. Upgrades to the South Grandstand Stampede roof and HVAC systems will ensure this time honoured tradition continues for generations to come.
  • The Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program is one of several infrastructure-related initiatives that the Government of Canada has undertaken to generate well-being and prosperity in communities across Canada.


“As Canada prepares to celebrate its 150th anniversary of Confederation, our Government is helping to renovate, expand and rehabilitate existing infrastructure that provides community and cultural benefits for Canadians. With investments through the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program, we are improving life for Canadians while creating jobs and economic growth.”

– LaVar Payne, Member of Parliament for Medicine Hat

“The Medicine Hat Exhibition and Stampede is an Agricultural Society that brings urban and rural people together to celebrate our Western Heritage. To accomplish this, large investments have been made in buildings and facilities, including the South Grandstand, that require periodic upgrades and enhancements. Repair and maintenance of the roof and HVAC equipment in this facility will assist the Medicine Hat Exhibition and Stampede to ensure community objectives are met.”

– Jim MacArthur, Medicine Hat Exhibition and Stampede Company Ltd.

Additional Links


Donna Kinley
Regional Communications Manager
Western Economic Diversification Canada
Telephone: 780-495-6892

Jim MacArthur
General Manager
Medicine Hat Exhibition and Stampede Company Ltd.
Telephone: 403-527-1234

WD Toll-Free Number: 1-888-338-WEST (9378)
Teletypewriter (TTY): 1-877-303-3388
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Minister Holder and MP Ambler announce new research facility to boost ...

Unique collaboration would see the National Research Council of Canada and Xerox working together to accelerate the commercialization of advanced materials research outcomes

July 31, 2015 – Mississauga, ON

Canadian manufacturers will benefit from a new centre to be built in Mississauga that will help businesses to develop smart materials for the medical, automotive, aerospace and defence industries around the world. The Honourable Ed Holder, Minister of State (Science and Technology) and Stella Ambler, Member of Parliament for Mississauga South announced today that the National Research Council of Canada will invest $25 million to build the new Advanced Materials Manufacturing Centre in Mississauga and will collaborate with Xerox to bring these advanced materials to market. The manufacturing sector is a key driver of Canada’s economic prosperity, employing approximately 1.7 million Canadians.

The collaboration between the National Research Council of Canada and the Xerox Research Center of Canada aspires to drive innovation towards emerging technologies that will benefit Canada’s evolving manufacturing sector.

The new facility will be co-located on the Xerox Research Center of Canada campus – in response to Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s November 2014 announcement of $380 million toward federal laboratories. This is part of a larger $5.8 billion commitment to build and renew public infrastructure across the country. Investments in Canada’s infrastructure improve productivity and create jobs, growth, and long-term prosperity from coast to coast to coast.

Designed to serve as a catalyst for innovation in advanced materials, the partnership and state-of-the-art facility would provide world-class expertise and infrastructure to both private and public sector researchers for the development and integration of novel, smart materials for a wide range of products.

Quick Facts

  • Unique in Canada, researchers at XRCC – a division of Xerox Canada Inc. – remain at the global forefront of materials innovation. Advanced materials, sustainable materials, printed electronics, additive manufacturing, and continuous processes are among the areas of expertise at the XRCC.
  • Budget 2015 proposed investments in world-class research and development with over $1.5 billion in funding over five years to advance the Government’s renewed science, technology and innovation strategy.
  • Since 2006, the Government has provided a significant level of funding to support investments in public infrastructure across the country. Economic Action Plan 2013 included $70 billion for public infrastructure over ten years, including the $53 billion New Building Canada Plan to support provincial, territorial and municipal infrastructure that contribute to economic growth, job creation and productivity.


“The success of Canada’s economy, the prosperity of its communities, and the well-being of its families depends on advancing cutting-edge science, technology, and innovations. Through the partnership announced today, our government is looking ahead to the new and innovative products and production methods that will push Canadian companies to the forefront of high-tech manufacturing.”

The Honourable Ed Holder, Minister of State (Science and Technology)

“Our government is committed to moving ideas from the lab to the marketplace more quickly. This new facility will help develop the next generation advanced materials needed to position Canadian manufacturers to be more competitive on global markets while creating jobs in Mississauga and across Canada.”

Stella Ambler, Member of Parliament, Mississauga South

“We understand the importance of providing manufacturers with the competitive edge they need to bolster their global competitiveness as they strive to grow and prosper. Companies that adopt advanced manufacturing technologies and processes have a significant advantage to deliver high value-added activities and products.”

John R. McDougall, President of the National Research Council of Canada

“More than four decades ago Xerox made a significant contribution to Canada’s knowledge infrastructure with the establishment of the Xerox Research Center Canada, our global advanced materials research facility. By pairing our amazing researchers and laboratory infrastructure with NRC’s, to focus on areas such as the Internet of Everything, a formidable collaboration can emerge that will accelerate innovation – right here in Canada and globally.”

Sophie Vandebroek, Chief Technology Officer, Xerox Corporation, and President, Xerox Innovation Group

“Innovation is a critical success factor for Canada’s long-term economic resilience. Today’s announcement signifies our enduring commitment to supporting Canada’s capacity to innovate and commercialize research outcomes in partnership with NRC.”

Paul Smith, Vice President, Xerox Research Centre of Canada

Related Product

Associated Links


Media Relations Team
National Research Council of Canada
1-855-282-1637 (toll-free, 24/7, in Canada only)
1-613-991-1431 (elsewhere in North America)
Twitter: @nrc_cnrc

Scott French
Director of Communications and Parliamentary Affairs
Office of the Minister of State (Science and Technology)

Bill McKee
Public Relations
Xerox Canada

Ebola response mission closes although crisis not over yet

Listen /

Fatoumata Lejeune. Photo: UNifeed

“Considerable progress” has been made in combating the deadly Ebola disease in West Africa but the UN remains steadfast in its commitment to getting to zero cases.

That’s according to the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who officially closed the UN’s emergency response mission in the region, UNMEER, on Friday.

More than 11,000 people died in the three most badly affected countries; Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Maria Carlino asked UNMEER Spokesperson Fatoumata Lejeune about the UN’s strategies to end the epidemic and support social and economic recovery.

Duration: 2’05″

The Federal Gas Tax Fund at work in Prince Edward Island

Prince Edward Island receives first installment of its 2015 allocation to support local infrastructure

July 31, 2015 – Ottawa, Ontario – Infrastructure Canada

The Government of Canada is proud to announce that the first installment of the annual allocation of the federal Gas Tax Fund has been made available to Prince Edward Island municipalities. The annual $2-billion federal Gas Tax Fund allocation will provide $15 million in 2015-2016 to help Prince Edward Island communities build and rehabilitate their infrastructure.

Every year, municipalities benefit from the support and flexibility of the federal Gas Tax Fund. They can pool, bank and borrow against this funding, providing significant financial flexibility to plan infrastructure projects over the long term. Projects are chosen locally and prioritized according to the infrastructure needs of each community. Since 2006, municipalities across Prince Edward Island have benefited from close to $120 million towards funding for local infrastructure priorities under the Fund.

Between 2014 and 2024, Prince Edward Island municipalities will receive an estimated $163 million in new federal infrastructure funding through the Gas Tax Fund.

Quick facts

  • To date, $15 billion has been made available to Canadian municipalities through the federal Gas Tax Fund, with close to $22 billion flowing over the 10-year duration of the renewed agreements.
  • On average, the federal Gas Tax Fund supports 80 projects per year in Prince Edward Island, such as:
    • a new wastewater treatment plant in North Rustico;
    • the purchase of a new, wheelchair-accessible bus with a bike rack in Cornwall;
    • a new bridge in Wellington;
    • energy-system upgrades to the South Shore Professional Building in Crapaud; and
    • the replacement of an aging bridge in Cardigan.


“Since 2006 the Government of Canada has made significant improvements to the federal Gas Tax Fund, taking concrete action on its commitment to ensure it delivers flexible, indexed and predictable long-term funding to communities across Canada. Investments through the federal Gas Tax Fund are helping Prince Edward Island’s municipalities address their local infrastructure priorities, while contributing to creating jobs, promoting productivity and supporting economic growth. This first installment of 2015 will continue to benefit residents across the province.”

– The Honourable Gail Shea,
Regional Minister for Prince Edward Island, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, and Member of Parliament for Egmont

Associated links


Vincent Rabault
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Infrastructure, Communities and Intergovernmental Affairs and
Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec

Infrastructure Canada
Toll-free 1-877-250-7154
Twitter: @INFC_eng
Website: Infrastructure Canada

Federal Government Provides Enhanced Funding to Koala Place

Child and Youth Advocacy Centre will enhance services provided to the Cornwall region

July 31, 2015 – Cornwall, ON – Department of Justice.

Today, Guy Lauzon, Member of Parliament for Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry, on behalf of Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada Peter MacKay, announced funding of $160,000 over two years to the Koala Place CYAC Advancement Project.

Child Advocacy Centres (CACs) and Child and Youth Advocacy Centres (CYACs) help child and youth victims and their families navigate the criminal justice system. They provide a safe child- and youth-friendly environment where a coordinated team of professionals work to meet the specific needs of each person. The work of a multidisciplinary team in a CAC or a CYAC can greatly reduce the emotional and mental harm to child and youth victims involved in the criminal justice system.

In Economic Action Plan 2015, the Government committed to provide additional funding to CACs and CYACs. Starting in 2016-17, the Government will provide $5.25 million over four years, and $2.1 million on an annual basis thereafter, to make the support and services provided by CACs and CYACs more accessible in communities across the country.

Quick Facts

  • The Koala Place CYAC will receive $160,000 in funding as follows:
    • $80,000 in 2015-16
    • $80,000 in 2016-17
  • The funding will be used to enhance the work of Koala Place to provide a comfortable, neutral, confidential, physically and psychologically safe child-friendly environment for children and youth who are victims of abuse, and to help them navigate the criminal justice system to greatly reduce the emotional and mental harm to the child.
  • For example, it will allow Koala Place to enhance the Multi-Disciplinary Team (health, police, child protection, mental health, Crown Attorney, and medical) to ensure the most effective coordinated response possible for every child/youth victim or witness and their family, and establish a case review process that includes all Multi-Disciplinary Team partners.
  • Since 2010, the Government of Canada has invested $10.3 million through the Victims Fund for new or enhanced Child Advocacy Centres and Child and Youth Advocacy Centres across Canada.
  • Additionally, the Government has put in place several pieces of legislation to help protect children. These include the Safe Streets and Communities Act, which received Royal Assent in March 2012; the Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act, which came into force in March 2015; and the Canadian Victims Bill of Rights, which came into force this month. In addition, the Criminal Code amendments contained in the new Tougher Penalties for Child Predators Act, which also came into force this month, will put an end to sentencing discounts for child sex offenders who commit crimes against multiple children.


“Our Government understands that Canada’s youngest victims of crime need special services and support. I am proud to announce funding to Cornwall’s Koala Child and Youth Advocacy Centre as they provide much-needed, specialized care to the Cornwall Region.”

Guy Lauzon
Member of Parliament for Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry

“Child and Youth Advocacy Centres play a new and vital role in helping victims receive services within safe, child-focused environments. Victims deserve the support of Government and community agencies as they heal and navigate the criminal justice system.”

Peter MacKay
Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

“We are extremely pleased to receive ongoing support from Justice Canada. Koala Place would not have come so far, so quickly, to address the critical issue of child abuse if not for the support. This investment will allow us to further enhance and improve our Centre to ensure that children, youth and families receive services that are coordinated, consistent, child/youth friendly, culturally relevant, age appropriate, and not duplicated. We share a responsibility to ensure children, youth and their families have the support they need to move forward and lead healthy lives. Helping to give every child and youth the chance to live a safe, healthy and happy life is the most important work we can do.”

Elyse Lauzon-Alguire
Executive Director – Koala Place, Child and Youth Advocacy Centre

Associated Links



Follow Department of Justice Canada on Twitter (@JusticeCanadaEn), join us on Facebook or visit our YouTube channel.

Latest from OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine based on ...

This report is for the media and the general public.

The SMM monitored the implementation of the “Package of measures for the implementation of the Minsk agreements”. Its monitoring was restricted by the parties and security considerations*. The SMM conducted crater analysis in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, after shelling impacted civilians and residential buildings. The SMM met with two persons being held at a pre-trial detention centre in Kyiv following their arrest at a checkpoint in the Donetsk region. An SMM patrol was threatened by an armed “DPR” member east of Mariupol.

In “Donetsk People’s Republic” (“DPR”)-controlled Donetsk city the security situation appeared relatively calm, with only sporadic explosions heard by the SMM. From Donetsk city centre, the SMM heard 15 explosions on the night of 29 July. The SMM heard eight explosions caused by incoming 122mm artillery fire and also small-arms fire while at the Joint Centre for Control and Coordination (JCCC) observation point at the central railway station in Donetsk (8km north-west of Donetsk city centre).

The SMM observed multiple instances of shelling impacting on civilians and civilian objects. In “DPR”-controlled Horlivka (37km north-east of Donetsk), in the area of Pereslavskaya Street, the SMM was told by residents that shelling had taken place around 22:00hrs on 29 July. The SMM observed a direct impact to the roof of a house. A resident told the SMM that as a result of the shelling, one woman had been killed and her son and husband had been injured and hospitalized. Analysis on four craters out of four impacts identified was inconclusive. At another area, on Marshal Grichko Street, the SMM observed a direct impact to a house that was still on fire. The SMM observed that the western-facing walls of residential buildings were hit and damage (windows blown out, shrapnel marks on walls, holes in roofs) had been caused to these and other buildings in the area.

In another area of Horlivka (Rtutna Street), the SMM observed impacts to the western sides of apartment buildings, and some shrapnel marks on eastern façades. The walls of buildings were damaged and windows were shattered. The SMM saw a destroyed electricity post and noted a gas leak from a ruptured pipe. Three residents told the SMM that shelling had begun at around 04:00hrs on 30 July. According to them, one man had been killed and two elderly women and a 14-year-old child were injured. The SMM analysed five craters out of five impacts identified. The SMM found remnants of shells in the craters, assessed to be from 120mm calibre mortar. The SMM assessed the direction of fire as incoming from the west-north-west. 

The head and deputy head of Horlivka trauma hospital no. 2 together told the SMM that six people (two elderly women, two men and two children) had been injured as a result of the shelling and brought to the hospital, among them two children (one aged seven and the other 14 years). According to them, the seven-year old was severely injured. The 14-year old child had suffered minor injuries and had been released, they added. They said three other injured persons had gone to the hospital; one had been released and two were hospitalized. The SMM visited the injured and observed their condition.

At the Horlivka city morgue, an employee confirmed to the SMM that bodies had been brought there, but could not give numbers. After consulting with the head of the morgue, the SMM was told they must have approval from the “ministry of the interior” of the “DPR” before information was shared. The SMM was unable to confirm fatality figures.

Representatives from the JCCC office in government-controlled Dzershinsk (54km north of Donetsk) accompanied the SMM to several areas in the town that they said had been hit by a late evening/early morning shelling on 29/30 July. The SMM observed 12 impacts caused by mortar and artillery and conducted crater analysis at two locations. The SMM assessed the direction of fire to have been from an east-south-east direction. At least five houses had suffered direct hits, destroying roofs and walls. Telephone, electricity and gas infrastructure had also been affected and repair works were observed by the SMM. Several residents expressed concerns about the presence of Ukrainian soldiers in their neighbourhood. At the Dzershinsk central city hospital, the SMM verified that two civilians and one Ukrainian soldier had been killed, and that one civilian and one soldier had been injured in the shelling.

The SMM met with the respective JCCC representatives of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and Russian Federation Armed Forces at the coke and chemical plant in government-controlled Avdiivka (17km north-west of Donetsk). Both informed the SMM of a 26 July shelling (122mm artillery) of the plant, which according to them originated from the area of Spartak and Donetsk airport, to the south of the town. The JCCC representatives told the SMM that on the same day, a 50-year-old woman had been killed and one person had been injured by a grenade. In Avdiivka, the SMM saw three craters, assessed by the SMM to have been caused by 122mm calibre artillery, and the remnants of a multiple launch rocket system (9K51/BM-21 Grad). The team also observed three houses with holes in their roofs and windows blown out. Due to damage sustained, it was impossible to say which side of the houses had been hit. Additionally, the SMM saw a shed with a collapsed (south-facing) wall and three craters nearby, assessed by the SMM to have been caused by 122mm artillery rounds. No crater analysis was conducted.

Residents (mostly middle aged men and women) in government-controlled Opytne (21km north-west of Donetsk) told the SMM that all children had been relocated from the village, leaving 70 adults, the majority of whom lived in basements. They said they endured shelling on a daily basis. Residents said they have also have limited food, water and electricity and must travel to the outskirts of the village to draw water from a well.

In an area east of “DPR”-controlled Oktiabr (28km north-east of Mariupol), an SMM patrol was stopped by two “DPR” members in a civilian pick-up vehicle, who ordered the patrol to return in the direction they had just travelled*. “DPR” members escorted the patrol back to a “DPR” checkpoint, where one armed man exited his vehicle and stood in front of the lead SMM patrol vehicle. After shouting and behaving aggressively, he took a 12.7mm heavy machine-gun from the vehicle, loaded it with shaking hands, and pointed it at the SMM. Acting aggressively, he approached the lead SMM vehicle and gave an ultimatum: depart the area through Oktiabr or take his escort to the next checkpoint. The SMM patrol turned around and left Oktiabr, and returned safely to base in Mariupol.

In government-controlled Putylyne (44km north-west of Luhansk) the SMM heard some 25 explosions emanating from a south-easterly direction, at a distance of 4-6km.

In government-controlled Krymske (43km north-west of Luhansk) a Ukrainian Armed Forces commander showed the SMM four impact craters (within 10-20m from one another) in a field, which he said were caused by shelling on 29 July between 23:00 and 23:30hrs. The SMM examined shell fragments and assessed them to be consistent with 122mm or 152mm artillery. A resident in her fifties told the SMM she had heard shelling on 29 July around midnight.

The SMM visited four warehouses in Luhansk city, where the SMM saw a convoy of 45 trucks deliver “humanitarian aid”. An interlocutor responsible for the warehouses said the convoy came from the Russian Federation and brought foodstuffs (408 tons), medical supplies (44 tons) and school textbooks (100 tons).

At a “Lugansk People’s Republic” (“LPR”) training area near Uspenka (23km south-west of Luhansk), the SMM observed a live-fire exercise. The SMM observed 15 armed “LPR” members securing the site. The SMM observed main battle tanks (T-64, T-72) and mortars (72mm), but could not ascertain an exact number.

Staff at the main hospital and ambulance station in “LPR”-controlled Alchevsk (40km south-east of Luhansk) told the SMM that there was a general lack of medicine, particularly analgesics. Hospital staff said they are resupplied from Luhansk only when medicines are available. According to interlocutors at the ambulance station, they received some supplies just over a week ago but that was not enough to cover all their needs.

The SMM revisited three “DPR” heavy weapons holding areas. At two of the sites all weapons previously recorded were in situ. “DPR” members at the third site refused to let the SMM record the serial numbers of weapons*. At this site, the SMM did observe that two towed artillery pieces (122mm D30) were still missing, as previously reported on 26 July. The SMM revisited eight Ukrainian Armed Forces holding areas and found that all weapons were missing from five sites. At the other three sites, all weapons were in situ. The locations of all the sites were in compliance with the respective withdrawal lines.

At one location in a government-controlled area, in violation of the respective weapons’ withdrawal lines, the SMM observed an MBT (T-64).

The SMM met with two detained persons currently held at the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) pre-trial detention centre in Kyiv in the presence of the SBU investigator in charge of the case (see SMM Daily Report 30 July 2015). The SMM assessed their general condition and their understanding of the criminal procedures they are facing. Both men have been accused of participation in terrorist activities following their arrest by Ukrainian border guards at a checkpoint in government-controlled Berezove (31km south-west of Donetsk) on 25 July. One detainee claimed to be a member of the Russian Federation Armed Forces and the other a “DPR” member. One of the detainees stated that he had met with his lawyer. Both said they have not communicated with their families despite having been given the opportunity to do so.

The SMM continued to monitor the situation in Kherson, Kharkiv, Dnepropetrovsk, Odessa, Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk and Chernivtsi.

* Restrictions on SMM monitoring, access and freedom of movement:

The SMM is restrained in fulfilling its monitoring functions by restrictions imposed by the parties and security considerations, including the presence – and lack of information on the whereabouts – of mines, and damaged infrastructure. The security situation in Donbas is fluid and unpredictable and the ceasefire does not hold everywhere. Self-imposed restrictions on movement into high-risk areas have impinged on SMM patrolling activities, particularly in areas not controlled by the government. Most areas along the Ukraine-Russian Federation international border, particularly those controlled by the “LPR”, have ordinarily been placed off limits to the SMM.

Denied access:

  • In “LPR”-controlled Sievero-Hundorivskyi (45km south-east of Luhansk),  “LPR” “border guards” stopped the SMM, examined letters providing “unrestricted access”, before asking the SMM to leave the border zone. One “LPR” member instructed the SMM to obtain authorization from “border guard” headquarters in order to patrol in the area. The SMM left the area.
  • The SMM was stopped by two armed men wearing military uniforms in the vicinity of “LPR”-controlled Yasne (25km south-west of Luhansk) and was told that it was not allowed to proceed due to a live-fire exercise nearby. The armed men said they had been instructed to allow only civilians to proceed. The SMM requested to meet the “commanding officer” and while waiting, the SMM observed approximately 15 vehicles pass by, including one bus. The vehicles were not stopped or searched. After waiting 30 minutes, the SMM left without meeting the “commanding officer”.
  • “DPR” members at a heavy weapons holding area refused to let the SMM record the serial numbers of weapons.
  • “DPR” members prevented the SMM from travelling east of Oktiabr (28.5km north-east of Mariupol).

For a complete breakdown of the ceasefire violations, please see the annexed table.