Clarington, Pickering-Uxbridge, Oshawa, Whitby MPs among 300+ Canadians banned from Russia

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Published March 15, 2022 at 3:09 pm

Parliament Hill Ottawa

Numerous Durham Region MPs are on Russia’s new list of more than 300 Canadians now blacklisted from the the country in a backlash against sanctions Canada imposed on the Federation after its invasion of Ukraine.

The move comes mere hours after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addressed the House of Commons to plead for additional aid.

Russian forces invaded Ukraine nearly three weeks ago on February 24, encroaching on sovereign territory Russia claims seeks independence from its neighbour.

Ukraine meanwhile has characterized the invasion as an assault on its sovereignty and democracy in an attempt to annex Ukrainian territories of Luhansk and Donetsk.

Ukraine faces invasion on four fronts as Russia pushed from the east through the Russo-occupied Donbas and Crimea region, and from the north through Russian ally Belarus.

As of March 9, observers from the United States estimate Russia has lost between 3,500 and 6,000 soldiers. Russia claims to have lost far fewer at less reporting less than 500 deaths. Ukraine estimates it has lost 1,300 soldiers and between 2,300 and 20,000 civilians since the invasion began.

More than 3 million Ukrainians have fled their homeland in the last few weeks and more than 1.8 million people are displaced inside the country as Russian forces encroach and bomb civilian centres in Kyiv, Kharkiv and Odessa among numerous others.

Canada, the first nation to recognize Ukraine’s independence from the USSR in 1991, was quick to announce supports for the country. Adding to the sanctions against Russia imposed following the 2014 annexation of Crimea, Canada announced a slew of sanctions against the Putin regime, Russian banks and individuals connected to the government on February 22 and 24 and again on March 11.

In addition to sanctions, Canada is sending lethal and humanitarian aid to arm and feed the Ukrainian people and their defenders. Additional supports have also been fast-tracked to ease the settlement of Ukrainian refugees on Canadian soil.

In response to Canada’s moves the Russian government announced the sanctions against a flurry Canadians, mostly politicians, on March 15.

The list includes Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, recently returned from a European trip to plan with Canada’s NATO allies in the United Kingdom and the increasingly concerned Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, which like Ukraine were once part of the USSR prior to the Soviet collapse.

Also cited is the Ministers of Defence Anita Anand, Foreign Affairs Melanie Joly and International Trade Mary Ng among other Cabinet members.

All major federal party leaders were also listed including Interim Conservative leader Candice Bergen, NDP leader Jagmeet Singh Bloc Quebecois leader Yves-Francois Blanchet

The blacklist extends to Durham Region as well with Durham MP and former Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole, Oshawa MP Colin Carrie, Pickering-Uxbridge MP Jennifer O’Connell and Whitby MP Ryan Turnbull making the list.

Ajax MP and Leader of the Government in the House Mark Holland, however, did not crack the list of 313 names banned from Russia. Deputy Prime Chrystia Freeland, once a Russia-based reporter and Ukrainian-Canadian herself, has been banned since 2014.

In addition to MPs numerous members of the National Council of the Canadian Ukrainian Congress, members of a committee to build a memorial for the victims of communism, businessman and philanthropist James Temerity, Treasury Board director Mona Fortier and FINTRAC director Sarah Paquet provoked enough of Russia’s ire to be listed as well.

“This step is forced and taken in response to the outrageous hostility of the current Canadian regime, which has tested our patience for so long,” said Russia in a statement translated via Google.

“Every Russophobic attack, be it attacks on Russian diplomatic missions, airspace closures, or Ottawa’s actual severing of bilateral economic ties to the detriment of Canadian interests, will inevitably receive a decisive and not necessarily symmetrical rebuff.”

In his address to the House of Commons, for which he received a three-minute standing ovation, Zelenskyy said, “Basically what I am trying to say is that you will need to do more to stop Russia, to protect Ukraine, and by doing that to protect Europe from Russian threats. They are destroying everything: memorial complexes, schools, hospitals, housing complexes.”

Prior to Zelenskyy’s address Joly released a statement saying, “Canada will not relent in its support of Ukraine and its people. President Putin made the choice to (further) his illegal and unjustifiable invasion, and he can also make the choice to end it by immediately ending the senseless violence and withdrawing his forces.”

A full list of banned Canadians can be read on Russia’s website.

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