Parliament: Speaking on Operation UNIFIER and Support for Ukraine

Elizabeth May

Madam Chair, I applaud the remarks of my friend, the member for Edmonton Strathcona. The focus on media and civil society, the people of Ukraine who are crying out for help, humanitarian aid, and really in the circumstances we face right now, that focus is one which in addition to the trade the minister spoke of, the economic stability will help. Training Ukrainian soldiers, from my point of view, is the riskier part of the equation. However, supporting civil society is something we should unquestionably be redoubling.

Linda Duncan – Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Madam Chair, one of the things the Government of Canada could do is support the interaction and trade between farmers and small business in Canada with farmers and small business in Ukraine. We always talk about the backbone of the Canadian economy being small business, yet what are we doing to support and foment that kind of trade?

When I travelled in Ukraine and I talked to local governments, civil society, and small business, they are looking for that kind of support. Are we simply going to support the oligarchs and get Canadian or American companies matched up with the oligarchs to exploit gas, or are we going to do something different and lend direct support to small business and Ukrainian Canadian communities here to build that in Ukraine?