Mr. Trudeau: step up for Ukraine, now!


Canada’s response to the pleas from Ukraine has been inadequate and too slow

Wake up and step up, Prime Minister Trudeau! Over 1 million people of Ukrainian descent live in Canada, the largest Ukrainian diaspora outside Europe. These Canadians are looking to you for leadership as they watch Russian invaders destroy their ancestral homelands and massacre their relatives.

What were you thinking when 190,000 Russian soldiers moved to Ukraine’s border? That it would be like the nursery rhyme the Grand old Duke of York, who marched his troops to the top of the hill and then marched them down again? President Biden was clear and unequivocal about the danger. Well before Putin’s invasion took place.

Humanitarian aid is nice, but … it’s only one part of the response that’s needed. OK. I realize that you would like your legacy as PM to be social programs and climate change. However, sometimes events come and smack us in the face. Then, we have to change our plans.

What business is this of mine, an Anglican priest? My answer is that Jesus Christ wasn’t the Prince of Peace. I’ve said this before. Jesus was, to put it crudely, a shit disturber. And, like President Zelensky and his brave compatriots, he was prepared to die rather than give in to the machinations of the leaders of his day.

So, somewhat grudgingly, Canada eventually gave Ukraine a few anti-tank weapons. President Zelensky received them gratefully and put tthem to good use. We claimed at the time that we couldn’t spare anything more. That, like Old Mother Hubbard, our cupboard was bare.

But suddenly, we have found a supply of modern artillery at the back of the cupboard. 130 heavy artillery pieces, and associated munitions, some of which can be precision-guided to their targets. But even now, Prime Minister, you say that there will be a further announcement on the matter “in a few days”. That just doesn’t cut it. The time for an announcement is now.  Ship the armaments immediately. Otherwise, it may be too late.

Ukraine desperately needs armoured vehicles to attack the invaders. Last week, retired General Rick Hillier commented that the Canadian forces have some 800 of these vehicles.

He suggested that we could replace any that we choose to ship to Ukraine by placing an order with General Dynamics, which manufactures them in London Ontario. Let’s face it, Prime Minister, you haven’t been squeamish about selling them to Saudi Arabia, which has used them in its dirty war in Yemen.

So, Prime Minister Trudeau, I urge you to send both armoured vehicles and heavy artillery to Ukraine at once. The time for fence-sitting is over. President Zelensky and the Ukrainian people need to know that Canada stands at their side. They deserve no less.