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Blair announces additional military assistance for Ukraine

May 2, 2024 | Politics, Featured

Bill Blair

NP-UN National Affairs Desk.

April 26 National Defence Minister Bill Blair announced that Canada is donating $3 million to Ukraine for the production of drones by Ukraine’s domestic defence industry.

This marks the first time that Canada is contributing directly to the production of military drones in Ukraine, and this donation will be made in collaboration with the United Kingdom.

Blair made the announcement during the 21st Ukraine Defense Contact Group (UDCG) meeting, hosted by United States Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin. The meeting was held virtually on the two-year anniversary of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group and brought together representatives from more than 50 countries.
“Ukrainians have been relentless in their fight for freedom, democracy, and the rules-based international order that keeps us all safe. On the two-year anniversary of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group, Canada reaffirms that it will stand with Ukraine for as long as victory takes,” he said.

Minister Blair also confirmed that Canada is providing an additional contribution of approximately $13 million to Czechia’s initiative to procure and deliver large-calibre ammunition for Ukraine.

This contribution comes in addition to last month’s announcement of $40 million and brings Canada’s total contribution to the Czech initiative to over $53 million.

In addition, Blair noted that Canada’s donation of drones from Teledyne FLIR in Waterloo, Ontario, announced in February 2024, will grow by an additional 100 drones – bringing our total contribution of SkyRanger drones to 900.

Delivery of these drones will begin in May.

These donations are funded by the $500 million military assistance package that Prime Minister Trudeau announced in Kyiv on June 12, 2023.

Blair also provided updates on the delivery of other donations:
• The first 10 of 50 Armoured Combat Support Vehicles that Canada will donate to Ukraine will be delivered to Europe this summer. Members of Ukrainian military will be trained on the vehicles in the summer, and the vehicles will move to Ukraine in the fall. These vehicles are built by Canadian workers at General Dynamics Land Systems – Canada facility in the city of London, Ontario.
• The 10 Multirole Boats from Zodiac Hurricane Technologies committed in January are set to be delivered this July, including the provision of commercially contracted training for Ukrainian operators, as well as trailers and spare parts;
• As announced earlier this year, Canada has been contributing to Ukraine’s long-awaited F-16 fighter jet capability by providing training since February 2024. Canada is providing civilian instructors, planes, and support staff contracted from Montreal-based Top Aces Inc. to support pilot and maintenance personnel training for Ukraine’s incoming F-16 fighter jet fleet, under the auspices of the Air Force Capability Coalition.

In addition, Canada is providing language training to 14 Ukrainian air force members at the Canadian Forces language school in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, province of Quebec.

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