UCC Welcomes Canada’s Defence Committee Report on Ukraine, Calls on Government of Canada to implement recommendations

NP-UN National Affairs Desk.

The Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC) has welcomed the report published today by the House of Commons Standing Committee on National Defence, Canada’s Support to Ukraine in Crisis and Armed Conflict.

Among its recommendations, the Committee has called for the provision of lethal weapons to Ukraine and the strengthening of sanctions against Russian officials responsible for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“The Defence Committee report demonstrates strong support for Ukraine across all parliamentary parties in Canada, as the Ukrainian people bravely defend their country against Russian aggression and implement far-reaching and comprehensive reforms” states the UCC in a media release issued December 11.

“The UCC thanks the Standing Committee on National Defence for their far-reaching study of Ukraine and the Committee’s recommendations. Many of the recommendations are policy positions for which the UCC has long advocated,” stated Paul Grod, National President of the UCC, who testified at Committee hearings that informed this report. “The UCC calls on the Government of Canada to move swiftly to implement the Committee’s recommendations.”

Among the 17 recommendations of the Committee, in particular the UCC welcomes the following:

Recommendation 1

That the Government of Canada continue to provide strong military training to the Ukrainian Armed Forces and that it look for opportunities to expand the type of training and support provided by the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) through Operation UNIFIER.

Recommendation 2

That the Government of Canada strengthen Canada’s contribution to military, police, justice, and anti-corruption training beyond the expiration of current funding agreements.

Recommendation 5

That the Government of Canada advocate for a United Nations peacekeeping mission in Ukraine that respects its territorial integrity.

Recommendation 7

That the Government of Canada provide lethal weapons to Ukraine to protect its sovereignty from Russian aggression, provided that Ukraine demonstrate it is actively working to eliminate corruption at all levels of government.

Recommendation 8

That the Government of Canada add Ukraine to the Automatic Firearms Country Control List.

Recommendation 17

That the Government of Canada expand Canada’s sanctions, including implementing the Justice for Victims of Corrupt Foreign Officials Act (Sergei Magnitsky Law), against those responsible for contributing to the armed conflict in Ukraine and work with its allies, including NATO, to maintain and enhance their sanction regimes against Russian operatives.

The recommendations were also welcomed by the Official Opposition.

Conservative Members of Parliament on the Standing Committee, James Bezan, Randy Hoback, and David Yurdiga, issued the following statement that same day.following the tabling of the committee’s report, Canada’s Support to Ukraine in Crisis and Armed Conflict:

“We are pleased to see key recommendations in the Conservative Caucus’ Ukrainian Defence and Aid Package reflected in the Standing Committee on National Defence’ report on the war in Ukraine. Russia’s illegal war in Ukraine has led to the deaths of over 10,000 individuals and has displaced over 1.6 million Ukrainians. The Liberal government must do its part to aid in the restoration of Ukraine’s sovereignty, and put an end to Russian hostilities.

“The report, supported by both Conservative and Liberal members of the committee, sets out 17 recommendations on assisting Ukraine in its current conflict, including Conservative policy advocating for a UN peacekeeping mission in Ukraine and providing lethal defensive weapons.

“Canada has long been a steadfast ally and supporter of Ukraine, but more can, and must be done. The recommendations in the report are crucial to helping the Ukrainian people combat Russian aggression in Donbas and Crimea and in developing its democratic and civil society systems. We strongly urge the government to accept the committee’s recommendations.”