February 24th, 2023
NDP Statement on the one-year anniversary of the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine
The NDP critic for foreign affairs, MP Heather McPherson (Edmonton Stratchona), made the following statement:
"It has been one year since Putin launched his illegal full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Putin’s brutal war has murdered and violated tens of thousands of Ukrainians and displaced hundreds of thousands more. Ukrainians have lost their loved ones and their homes and have watched in horror as their cities burn.
Through it all, Ukrainians have defended themselves and their country with courage, and love. They are heroically fighting for all of us - for democracy, international law, and a world order based on justice and accountability. Their spirit and resilience in the face of this genocide shine bright.
Canadians stand with Ukraine.
We stand with the Ukrainians who are defending their country and with those who have been forced to flee. We stand with the Ukrainian-Canadians who are deeply worried for their friends and family. And we stand for democracy and against the violence and genocide that Putin has brought to Europe.
But as we mark this appalling anniversary, we know that Canada must do more to help Ukrainians and to build the peace they so deserve.
Canada’s sanctions regime isn’t working as well as it should. Sanctions are critical to holding Putin’s oligarchs accountable for their complicity in this illegal war, but the Liberal government has been slow to impose sanctions, has failed to seize assets, and has been very weak on enforcement and transparency. This must change.
Russia must be held accountable for its aggression and for its crimes against humanity. Promises are not enough. Canada’s pledge for sexual violence support and for a special tribunal must be accompanied by significant financial commitments. Canadian support for demining efforts is essential to making Ukrainian land safe, and this funding must be delivered swiftly.
We must guarantee that Canada continues to be a safe haven for those fleeing this war and Ukrainian refugees must finally receive the same support as refugees from other conflicts.
Ukrainians will continue to need humanitarian support and, eventually, support to rebuild. Canada must be there for them now and in the future, to help ensure peace and stability for Ukrainians who have already suffered so much.
The war has impacted global food security, impacting vulnerable people around the world. Canada must do more to stop starvation and block Putin’s attempt to use food as a destabilizing weapon of war.
And Canada must end its silence on nuclear disarmament. In this terrifying and dangerous moment, we must all recommit to rid the world of nuclear weapons.
Today, and every day, New Democrats stand for peace, justice, and democracy for Ukraine, and for all."