Is Canada Helping Ukraine?

Canada is a supporter of the Ukraine and its’ determined desire for independence. Since 2014, Canada has provided Ukraine with humanitarian assistance and support for its’ security sector and peace initiatives. At present, the Canadian Embassy has moved from Kyiv to a temporary location in Lviv. Work at the Embassy has been suspended until the staff can be assured security from attack.

Photo by/Ricardo Gomez Angel

In order to facilitate a faster and smoother transition for fleeing Ukrainians to find refuge in Canada, the Canadian government has donated a substantial amount towards establishing special measures for immigration. As of writing, 2.8 million men, women and children have left Ukraine and an uncounted number are homeless within the country. For the students, workers and visitors who are forced to remain here, the Canadian government is providing open work permits, permanent resident travel documents, proofs of citizenship, visitor visas, study permits and passports, applications for adoption.

As regards military assistance, Canada has extended and expanded UNIFIER (the Canadian Armed Forces’ training and capacity-building mission in Ukraine) and contributed ten million dollars for the provision of lethal and non-lethal equipment and ammunition. To provide strategic advice, the Ukrainian Defense Reform Advisory Board elected to appoint a senior representative from the CAF to the Board. Since January 2019, Canada and the United Kingdom have shared duties as the Contact Point Embassy for NATO situated in Kylv and Canada alone continues to support NATO’s partnership with the Ukraine’s Joint Working Group on Defense Reform by supplying language training, staff officer training and peacekeeping training for military and civilian personnel.

As this war progresses Canada hopes to be adding further ways to assist refugees. Money is always needed and at present $620 million has been provided in loans.

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As soon as allowed, independent Canadian organizations went into action setting up Emergency Field Hospitals. Between Ukraine, Poland, Romania and Moldova, various Canadian disaster response specialists were alerted and care was taken to help those suffering in Western Ukraine as the fighting escalated into a war that rages on still. Churches and citizen groups have been raising money to support humanitarian efforts abroad; such efforts include the provision of blankets, food, medical supplies and shelter. An indeterminate number of Canadians have applied to to fight alongside the Ukrainian forces. On this topic, the Canadian government has remained strangely silent. According to laws relevant to fighting for a foreign power, Canadians are within their rights to support Ukraine but prohibited from supporting Russia. Why? The Canadian government considers this war to be illegal.

What is truly unfortunate is that the situation is so chaotic, delivering aid to the war torn areas is almost impossible. Many, if not all, non-profit groups report that conditions are swiftly deteriorating. Those who have been stationed there since last year have turned their homes into safe havens for refugees and orphans. The Russian military has cut off food, water, heat and first aid from major Ukrainian cities through siege tactics and indiscriminate aerial attacks, making the establishment of humanitarian corridors for civilians fleeing the war, subject to unscheduled detours and postponed departures.

Prime Minister Trudeau stated in a public announcement given recently, “Canada calls on Russia to immediately cease all hostile and provocative actions against Ukraine and withdraw all military and proxy forces from the country.”

The tragedies of this war will never be fully known. French philosopher Denis Diderot described war as “a convulsive and violent disease of the body politic” for which no doctor or cure exists.

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