On April 17, MP Ted Opitz (Etobicoke Centre), met with the media and members of the Canadian-Ukrainian community at the Taras Shevchenko Ukrainian Community Centre, to present a shipment of non-lethal equipment which is prepared to leave Canada for Ukraine. He was accompanied by Bernard Trottier, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and for La Francophonie.
During the meeting, Mr. Opitz highlighted the work of the Stabilization Support Services, an organization based in Toronto, for its logistical support in delivering the shipment. A total of 238 pairs of goggles, worth $1 million, will be sent to Ukraine.
Mr. Opitz also spoke of the imminent transfer of more than 1,000 medical kits, this time with the support of Patriot Defence, an organization headed by Ulana Suprun in Ukraine. In the months to come, Canada will be providing to Ukraine a mobile field hospital, high-frequency radios and $3 million-worth of explosive-ordnance disposal equipment.
All this equipment is part of the Canadian assistance package for Ukraine announced in November 2014 which also included 30,000 coats, 30,000 pairs of pants, and 70,000 pairs of Gore-Tex boots.
During the meeting, a small group of protesters protested outside the Centre against sending military equipment to Ukraine and against Mr. Harper’s government in general (below).