North Okanagan-Shuswap MP Mel Arnold is going to bat for Ukraine amid rising tensions with neighbouring Russia.
In response to a letter penned by Vernon resident Andrea Malysh calling for Canada to take stronger action in support of Ukraine, Arnold said the Conservative caucus has been pushing and continues to push the Trudeau government to provide more support to Ukraine.
“Conservatives have clearly stated that with more and more signs of a potential Russian invasion of Ukraine, the time for waffling by Prime Minister Trudeau must end,” Arnold said.
The MP said Ukraine has been clear in its request for lethal defensive weapons to help defend itself as more than 100,000 Russian troops line its border, pointing out that the U.S., U.K., Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Czech Republic and other countries have already provided weapons to Ukraine.
“The refusal by Prime Minister Trudeau to provide lethal defensive weapons calls into question the Liberal government’s support for Ukraine in their fight against Russia’s aggression. The time for half measures has long passed,” Arnold said.
In line with Malysh’s list of actions Canada should take, Arnold also called on the federal government to extend and expand Operation UNIFIER and also restore radar-satellite imaging, as well as use sanctions against Russia.
Arnold said Canada’s own security is “inextricably tied” to that of NATO and Europe, and wants Canada to stand up for its values on the international stage by supporting Ukraine and NATO allies in the face of escalating Russian aggression.
“Conservatives have a track record of standing up for Ukraine and other allies in the region in the face of Russian aggression,” he said, citing Canada being the first Western country to recognize Ukraine’s sovereignty under Prime Minister Brian Mulroney in 1991, the creation of Operation UNIFIER — Canada’s military training mission in Ukraine — and a free trade agreement with Ukraine in 2010.