Support for Ukraine is unwavering
Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 23/03/2022 (436 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
On Dec. 2, 1991, Canada became the first western country in the world to recognize Ukraine’s independence and since then the two countries have had a very special relationship.
In 2014, a pro-Russian president of Ukraine and other elected parliamentarians tried, but failed, to weaken Ukraine’s ties to the west in favor of strengthening ties to Russia through trade agreements. Canada supported Ukraine in the aftermath with military training and other forms of aid. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s first signed international trade agreement was with Ukraine in 2016.
I visited the Maidan (Independence Square) in Kyiv in 2014 and saw first-hand how the people of Ukraine wanted freedom, democracy and individual rights. In my opinion, Russian president Vladimir Putin played a critical role back then and now he is showing the world how cruel a human being can be. The horrors of war are many, and what Putin is doing today in Ukraine is evil.
Back on Feb. 24, Putin authorized a full-scale military invasion of Ukraine. The war in Ukraine today is the greatest threat to world order since the Second World War. National sovereignty and territorial integrity allows people in democracies around the globe to live free and without fear. Canada has no option, as we must support a rules-based international order as we work with other allied countries in support of Ukraine. We all need to recognize that the attack on Ukraine is an attack on democracies around the world.
Canada will continue to work with NATO and all other allied countries in order to deal with Russia and support Ukraine. Prior to Feb. 24, Canada provided training for over 33,000 Ukrainian soldiers and had previously provided some military equipment and aid. We have also provided other types of support, such as sovereign loans, cyber-security support and expertise along with expanding Operation Reassurance to bolster NATO’s eastern flank, which includes placing approximately 3,400 military personnel on standby to deploy to the NATO Response Force, should they be required.
Nevertheless, we also see a need for lethal weapons as well as humanitarian support for hundreds of thousands of people fleeing Ukraine.
Canada has, and continues, to send lethal aid to Ukraine’s military and that aid has been helpful in many ways. As a nation, the people of Canada have responded by contributing millions of dollars towards humanitarian aid as has Ottawa and many provinces. NATO is looking to countries such as Poland and Canada to be there to help with the flood of people leaving Ukraine, and Canada has been very clear — our doors are open and there are no limits for entry into Canada for those fleeing Ukraine.
Economically, Canada is working with the world to make sure that economic sanctions against Russia are effective. It would appear to be working, as Russia’s economy is being hit hard which will cause internal problems for Putin.
It is difficult and disturbing to watch the news at times, because for me war is hell on earth. It amplifies the cruelty of humankind, and we see that in Ukraine today. On March 31, I will host a virtual public meeting on Ukraine. If you are interested in taking part, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Winnipeg North constituency report
Kevin Lamoureux is the Liberal Member of Parliament for Winnipeg North.