Refugees fleeing conflict from Ukraine arrive to Zahony, Hungary, on Feb. 27, 2022. South Surrey-White Rock MP Kerry-Lynne Findlay said one way Semiahmoo Peninsula residents can help is to be ready to welcome those who flee to Canada. (AP Photo/Anna Szilagyi, File)

Refugees fleeing conflict from Ukraine arrive to Zahony, Hungary, on Feb. 27, 2022. South Surrey-White Rock MP Kerry-Lynne Findlay said one way Semiahmoo Peninsula residents can help is to be ready to welcome those who flee to Canada. (AP Photo/Anna Szilagyi, File)

‘Strange feeling’ to be on Russia’s banned list: South Surrey-White Rock MP

Findlay says residents can help by staying informed, donating to Ukrainian relief

South Surrey-White Rock MP Kerry-Lynne Findlay said it was “a strange feeling” to see her name added this week to the growing list of Canadian politicians banned from Russia – but not entirely unexpected.

As the shadow minister for national defence, she is “obviously very involved in trying to let Canadians and people here at home understand what’s happening with the Russian invasion of Ukraine,” Findlay said Friday (March 18).

“I have been speaking out on behalf of Ukraine and against Russian aggression, particularly. These are very serious, serious issues.”

According to Russia’s TASS news agency, the Russian Foreign Ministry announced sanctions against countries and territories that have imposed sanctions against Russian companies and citizens, including the U.S. and Canada.

In a statement about personal sanctions against “top officials, parliamentarians and anti-Russian figures in Canada,” the ministry said that Ottawa is in a “Russophobic rage.”

“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,” reads the statement.

“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.”

Findlay, noting “a lot” of parliamentarians who have been vocal about the invasion were left off the list, said Canada is standing with Ukraine.

She described recent bombings that have all but destroyed Mariupol as war crimes; inflicted using thermobaric weapons that “literally suck the air out of the lungs” of victims.

The invasion, she added, has “become personal really fast to an awful lot of Canadians” – including her own family, as her husband’s roots are in Ukraine.

“Many, many Ukrainian immigrants were part of the building of this nation, and it matters.”

READ ALSO: Russia keeps up attacks in Ukraine as two sides hold talks

Findlay said an important point being overlooked is that when Ukraine became a sovereign nation, “they gave up their nuclear arms for a guarantee by the world, including Russia, of being allowed to move forward as a sovereign nation.”

“This is being ignored by the dictator who’s running Russia,” she continued.

“He seems to have czarist ambitions of returning to a Russian empire that is much larger than his footprint now.”

While the conflict is happening on the other side of the world, Findlay said there are things people who call the Semiahmoo Peninsula home can do, including supporting legitimate humanitarian-relief organizations, and being “willing to open up their homes” to Ukrainians seeking refuge from the conflict.

“They are very much relying on the kindness of strangers,” Findlay said.

“Here at home, I think keeping alive and aware to the news from over there, and sending what support and aid and prayers that people can muster, is very, very important.”

– with files from the Aldergrove Star



tholmes@peacearchnews.com
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