OTTAWA — Canada will be supplying Ukraine with anti-tank weapons systems and upgraded ammunition to be used in response to Russia’s ongoing invasion, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Monday.
This is in addition to previous shipments of lethal and non-lethal equipment, and comes alongside other countries delivering key support and equipment, Trudeau said.
“Over the weekend, President Putin continued his brutal assault on Ukraine, but Ukrainians have held strong. The whole world is inspired by the strength and intensity of their resistance, and Canada will continue to deliver support for Ukraine’s heroic defence against the Russian military,” Trudeau said.
This is breaking news update… previous version follows.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is holding a press conference Monday afternoon to discuss Canada’s latest response efforts in the face of Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine.
Trudeau will be accompanied by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland, Minister of National Defence Anita Anand, and Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Sean Fraser.
This comes after Trudeau was slated to chair a meeting of the key cabinet Incident Response Group on the situation in Ukraine on Monday, and following a meeting hosted by U.S. President Joe Biden, alongside leaders of other allied nations and NATO on Russian President Vladmir Putin’s attack.
Since the incursion began, almost daily the Canadian government has been making announcements of next steps in responding to the worsening war, from levelling a series of sanctions on key Russian figures and institutions— including prohibiting Canadian financial institutions from engaging in any transaction with the Russian Central Bank—to working on expediting immigration and consular processes for those looking to leave the region.
The federal government is also providing Canadian Armed Forces airlift support to NATO and to deliver additional defence equipment like body armour and night-vision tools to Ukraine, while closing off Canadian airspace to Russian planes and contemplating further lethal aid shipments.
Speaking from the United Nations Human Rights Council, Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly told reporters that “there will be more sanctions coming.”
“Our goal is to put maximum pressure on Russia, and isolate it,” Joly said, applauding those in the cultural, sport and other private sectors who have also gone forward with actions against Russia in recent days.
In the House of Commons—where MPs will be holding a special take-note debate on the pressing situation Monday evening—all parties spoke up in solidarity with Ukraine, pressing the Liberals for more details about Canada’s next steps and offering suggestions.
“The situation in Ukraine is heartbreaking and growing more troubling by the hour. We also know it is constantly evolving and although Conservatives support the government’s actions to date, we do believe there are things that could have been done faster,” said interim Conservative Leader Candice Bergen during question period, calling for Canada to expel Russia’s ambassador to Canada and recall Canada’s ambassador from Russia.
Bergen took part this weekend in an anti-war protest outside of the Russian embassy in Ottawa.
The NDP are calling for Canada to drop its visa requirements for Ukrainians, to avoid those seeking refuge from a “bureaucratic nightmare,” as immigration critic and NDP MP Jenny Kwan put it in a statement.
“Canadians are watching in horror, as hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians seek refuge from the unprovoked Russian invasion. People in this country expect their government to act swiftly to help those in danger… The government has to move quickly to cut the red tape – Ukrainians’ lives depend on it,” Kwan said.