More voices from Clarington, Oshawa, Whitby join chorus in support of Ukraine

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Published February 28, 2022 at 3:42 pm

Mayor from across the GTA and Hamilton want more financial support from senior levels of government to assist with Ukrainian refugees.

More voices from throughout Durham Region have joined the ongoing chorus of support for Ukraine in the face of Russia’s “reprehensible and unjustified attack,” as described by Pickering Mayor Dave Ryan.

Calls of condemning Russia and supporting Ukraine first rang out last week on the heels of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s breach of the Ukrainian border on February 24.

Citizens and leaders across Durham Region voiced their condemnation in the following days. Ryan, Ajax Mayor Shaun Collier and Oshawa Mayor Dan Carter all made their support of Ukraine known.

Concerned citizens took to the Oshawa streets holding an anti-war rally in front of Bloor Street’s St. John the Baptist Ukrainian Orthodox Church the day after Russian troops entered Ukraine.

“As these shocking events continue to unfold in Ukraine, our hearts break for the innocent victims who are impacted.” said Durham Regional Chair John Henry in a brief statement released February 24, “Ukrainian Canadians are an integral part of what makes this country, and Durham Region, a better place to call home. I stand in sorrow with Durham Region’s Ukrainian community and with the people of Ukraine. ”

Whitby Mayor Don Mitchell released a statement in solidarity with Ukrainians, saying the news of Russia’s invasion, “is deeply disturbing. There are no winners in war and we stand with the people of Ukraine, their families and all Ukrainians who have made Whitby their home in condemning these aggressive attacks on this independent nation.”

That day the town raised the Ukrainian flag above town hall and lit the building with the national blue and yellow to show support, “in the global plea to end these attacks against Ukraine that are bringing unnecessary suffering to so many.”

“It is our hope that these small actions instill hope and strength in our Ukrainian-Canadian residents and let them know that we stand with them during this very difficult time,” Mitchell concluded. Clarington also lit up their town hall in Ukrainian blue and yellow.

With the Russian invasion now in it’s fifth day, as the capital of Kyiv and other major centres are increasingly surrounded, more people and organizations across the Region continue to  lend their support to Ukraine.

Ontario Power Generation, from it’s plants in Clarington and Pickering, declared their support for Ukraine in a simple statement saying OPG “joins Canadians in standing with the people of Ukraine.”

“We acknowledge how worrisome this conflict is for many, particularly for those with family or friends in the conflict zone,” said Lakeridge Health in their statement of solidarity.

After nearly a week under siege, and following Putin rattling his nuclear sabre, Ukraine and Russia entered talks aimed at possible ceasefire. However the Belarus-hosted summit ultimately came to naught after hours of discussion.
Shortly thereafter, Ukrainian President signed an official request to join the European Union, a largely symbolic gesture that remains expected to rankle Putin who has long sought to keep Ukraine within Russia’s sphere of influence.
The UN reports that over 500,000 Ukrainians have fled their home country over the last several days. Many have settled into surrounding states such as Hungary, Moldova, Poland, Romania and Slovakia.
Canada, alongside many allies, has eased immigration processes for Ukrainian refugees. Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced program to settle Ukrainians into 20,000 available jobs, and the dedication of $30,000 of aid on February 25.
The federal government has also dedicated two loans to the Ukrainian government totalling $260 million, $25 million in military aid and will match up to $10 million in donations from Canadians for humanitarian aid.
Durham residents can help Ukraine defend its sovereignty with contributions to the Ukraine Humanitarian Crisis Appeal through the Canadian Red Cross, which the federal government will match.
“Our thoughts continue to be with those who have been unjustly affected,” said Henry. “We continue to stand against unnecessary aggression and violence. Because we are stronger when we stand together, for peace and unity.”
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