Divergent views on how best to help Ukraine mark emergency Commons debate


Published January 31, 2022 at 8:56 pm

OTTAWA — All parties in the House of Commons agree that Canada must stand in solidarity with Ukraine but they’re showing sharp divisions over how best to do that.

In an emergency debate tonight on Russia’s military buildup along its border with Ukraine, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is reiterating his government’s commitment to expand and extend a military training mission in Ukraine, provide a $120-million loan and other non-lethal aid.

But Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole calls those empty gestures and is calling on the government to provide lethal defensive weapons to Ukraine.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh is firmly opposed to that idea and argues that only diplomacy and sanctions will prevent escalation of the conflict.

Bloc Quebecois MP Stephane Bergeron, meanwhile, contends that Canada’s actions are helping to escalate tensions and there can be no diplomacy without direct talks with Russia.

Russia has positioned about 100,000 troops across Ukraine’s border along with tanks and other heavy artillery, raising fears across Europe and the NATO military alliance of an imminent invasion — something Russia has denied.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 31, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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