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Still No Liberal Plan, Still No Peace in Ukraine

More than three months after the federal election, the Trudeau Government still has not articulated a clear and comprehensive plan to help Ukraine, even though the country is holding back the Russian invasion.

In comparison to the last blog post “The Liberals and Ukraine,” let’s examine the record of the Trudeau Government over the last three months.

1. “Who is going to cham­pion Ukrain­ian issues in the new gov­ern­ment is yet to be seen, but the front-runner has to be Chrys­tia Free­land (University-Rosedale, Ontario).

      • Arguably, Conservative MP James Bezan from Manitoba led the charge to support Ukraine under the previous government, including support for the Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement (CUFTA) that was signed prior to the last election. Chrystia Freeland is Canada’s new Minister of International Trade and therefore she is responsible for implementing this important agreement as per her Ministerial Mandate LetterYet, Minister Freeland hasn’t been formally tapped by the Prime Minister to be the advocate for strengthening Canada-Ukraine bilateral relations.

2. “It remains to be seen if the new gov­ern­ment can con­tinue to pro­vide as much sup­port to Ukraine as the pre­vi­ous Con­ser­v­a­tive government.”

3. “Accord­ing to Ms. Free­land, the Lib­er­als sup­port ini­tia­tives in the House of Com­mons to assist Ukraine and called for addi­tional mea­sures to be taken such as travel bans on indi­vid­u­als with close ties to the Russ­ian Pres­i­dent and have busi­ness con­nec­tions in Canada. More­over, she has also urged that Russ­ian banks be excluded from the SWIFT (Soci­ety for World­wide Inter­bank Finan­cial Telecom­mu­ni­ca­tion) sys­tem. Nei­ther of these ini­tia­tives, how­ever, was included in the Lib­eral plat­form, so they can­not be con­sid­ered as offi­cial elec­tion promises.

      • As we can see, Minister Freeland made some strong statements when she was in opposition. Can Minister Freeland and the Trudeau Government revisit these promises now that they are in charge of Global Affairs Canada and our nation’s foreign policy?

4.  “In fact, the only offi­cial promise out­lined in the Liberal’s plat­form was a com­mit­ment to continue Canada’s par­tic­i­pa­tion in NATO’s Oper­a­tion REASSURANCE in cen­tral and east­ern Europe as well as the multi­na­tional train­ing mis­sion in Ukraine (Oper­a­tion UNIFIER).”

      •   As noted, this is the only official commitment made by the Liberals on Ukraine.
      •   This blog mentioned in November, “the NDP’s elec­tion plat­form did not have a posi­tion on Ukraine, while the Con­ser­v­a­tives pro­vided an exten­sive list of com­mit­ments, includ­ing more funds to com­bat Russ­ian dig­i­tal pro­pa­ganda and enhanced mil­i­tary and defence co-operation with Ukraine.” Therefore, the Liberal’s fallback position on Ukraine could be that they never promised a comprehensive plan of actions prior to the election in the first place.
These four points are important to keep in mind when Canadians talk to their Members of Parliament about Ukraine. This blog will revisit the government position on Ukraine again to keep Canadians informed about this issue.


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