January 26, 2022. OTTAWA, ON. The Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC) welcomes the extension and expansion of Operation UNIFIER, Canada’s military training mission in Ukraine announced today by Canada’s Prime Minister, the Right Honourable Justin Trudeau.
The UCC calls on Prime Minister Trudeau and the Government of Canada to join several NATO allies and immediately provide Ukraine with defensive weapons. Ukraine is facing a crisis of increasing Russian aggression and a possible further Russian invasion, and Ukraine needs arms to defend itself.
“The extension and expansion of Operation UNIFIER will help the Ukrainian Armed Forces strengthen Ukraine’s defenses. This is an important contribution by Canada. However, Ukraine has been at war for eight years and the threat of a further Russian invasion grows every day,” stated Alexandra Chyczij, National President of the UCC. “It is disappointing that the Canadian government is not yet joining our allies in providing Ukraine with weapons. The Canadian people are clear in their support for Ukraine’s right to defend itself, and Canada must do the right thing and provide defensive weapons to Ukraine now.”
The provision of defensive weapons to Ukraine is strongly supported by the Canadian people, would create significant deterrence against a further Russian invasion of sovereign Ukrainian territory, and would assist the Ukrainian people in defending their freedom and their homeland.
According to a survey conducted by Abacus Data on January 20-21, 3 in 4 Canadians support or are open to supporting Canada providing defensive weapons to Ukraine. The number of Canadians (42%) who explicitly support the provision of weapons to Ukraine by Canada outnumbers the number of Canadians who oppose (23%) the provision of weapons by almost 2 to 1.
More information on the survey is available here
Canada’s NATO allies the United States, the United Kingdom, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Turkey, the Czech Republic and others are providing Ukraine with lethal defensive assistance. Canada needs to step up now and join our allies in deterring Russian aggression.
Today’s announcement from the Government of Canada, which also included $50 million for development and humanitarian assistance, is available here