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Freedom Heart Ukraine

Politicians talk Ukraine, Canada’s support at Independence Day celebrations in Toronto

Aug 29, 2023 | News, Canada, Featured

L-R: MP James Maloney, Amanda Simard, MP Yvan Baker, minister Ahmed Hussen

Yuri Bilinsky
New Pathway – Ukrainian News

The war in Ukraine is entering its 19th months, with the heavy fighting on several fronts and continuing devastating Russian attacks against Ukrainian civilians. The speeches and conversations by the Canadian politicians at Ukraine’s Independence Day celebration in Toronto on August 19 reflected upon this grim reality.

MP Yvan Baker (Liberal, Etobicoke Centre), who was on the stage with his colleague MP James Maloney (Etobicoke Lakeshore) and MP Ahmed Hussen, the minister of International Development, said that Canada is one of the leading countries in supporting Ukraine around the world, providing $5 billion in financial aid that’s the most of any country on a per capita basis. Canada has also provided almost $2 billion in military aid of all kinds of weapons, tanks, guns, rockets. grenades, howitzers, etc. Within Operation UNIFIER, Canada has trained 37,000 Ukrainian soldiers.

L-R: MP James Maloney, Amanda Simard, MP Yvan Baker, minister Ahmed Hussen

Baker talked about the CUAET program where Canada has already welcomed over 160,000 Ukrainians with around 800,000 visas granted. “Canada continues to support Ukraine and will continue to support until Ukraine wins this war,” was Baker’s key message.

Baker also delivered another message that he called important, that Ukrainian Canadians need to be “conscious of other politicians”. He provided the example of some politicians south the border, who say that the war in Ukraine doesn’t affect the United States and their security and doesn’t contribute to inflation. “If those kinds of politicians were ever to take power, this would be a great threat to Ukraine,” said Baker.

Baker explained to NP-UN that although there are many MPs who support Ukraine, “We have a very similar problem here in Canada as in the United States. Unfortunately, as leader of the Conservative Party, Pierre Poilievre has never advocated for any military, humanitarian, and economic support for Ukraine, has never called out Russia for its acts of genocide against the Ukrainian people and has never raised this issue in Parliament except to echo Donald Trump’s false narrative about the war, which includes statements that the war doesn’t contribute to inflation and doesn’t affect us in Canada.”

“I think that this is very damaging and I encourage the community to speak with Pierre Poilievre and MPs of all parties to make sure that the MPs are taking the actions necessary to support Ukrainian people until they win,” added Baker.

The leader of the official opposition, Pierre Poilievre, who was present with his wife Anaida and spoke after Yvan Baker, focused his speech on the broad spectrum of Ukraine-related issues. He started with emphasizing “celebrating freedom” “from the shackles of the evil empire, the Soviet Union, possibly the most vicious killing machine in the history of the world,” that Ukrainians broke off of 32 years ago. He mentioned the Holodomor, the Soviet prison camps and said that Ukrainians never gave up hope and fought on for the dream of independence and freedom “from communism, fascism and other forms of socialism”. Today, as “Ukrainians continue to fight for that same freedom and independence, Canadians stand with Ukrainians,” he said.

Pierre Poilievre and his wife Anaida at Independence Day celebrations on August 19

Poilievre also said that Canadians owe a special debt of gratitude to the Ukrainian people because so many of them have helped develop this country. He called Ukrainians “the greatest farmers in the world” when he remembered those who built Saskatchewan and Alberta.

Poilievre said that all of Canada today stands “united with your Ukrainian values of faith, family and freedom, and we will stand with Ukrainians always in defense of those values abroad”.

To NP-UN’s question after the speech if the Conservatives will support Ukraine, Poilievre said, “Yes, we support Ukraine, the conservatives have always supported Ukraine, we believe in Ukrainian independence from Russia”.

To the question, what Canada should do for Ukraine’s victory, Poilievre said that the country should start exporting more of its energy to break a European dependence on Putin. “Europe is funding Putin’s war by buying his natural gas and his oil. We have the sixth biggest supply of gas of any country on Earth, we don’t export a single, solitary cubic foot of it because it’s stuck in the ground. We need to build natural gas liquefaction facilities and sell it to the European market to break European dependence on Putin”.

We asked the leader of the opposition whether, if elected, his government will continue the support that the current government is providing for Ukraine, he said, that his government “can do a better job”. “The Liberal government has been incompetent, they have underfunded and mismanaged our own armed forces, depriving us of our ability to influence the rest of the world favorably in the conflict. When Prime Minister Trudeau asks the Americans to do more, they say ‘wait a sec, you don’t even have a fully funded military of your own in Canada’. So we have to pull up our socks to support our armed forces and have a stronger role on the world stage that we can support freedom in places like Ukraine”.

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