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Canada considers giving Azov Battalion further assistance
Revelation that Canadian support for the Ukrainian military has gone toward helping far-right extremists hasn't stopped the Defence Ministry from entertaining sending more troops to Ukraine
New Canadian Defence Minister Anita Anand is contemplating the deployment of hundreds more Canadian troops to western Ukraine to assist in training a Ukrainian military that includes the avowedly neo-Nazi Azov Battalion.
Canada is also considering other actions, such as moving a warship into the Black Sea or redeploying CF-18 fighter jets currently in Romania, according to a Globe and Mail report that makes no mention of the far right’s role in the Ukrainian military.
This comes after a study from George Washington University revealed that members of the Azov-affiliated Centuria movement boasted of support from NATO forces, including Canada, and that Canadian military officials met with members of Azov in June 2018 — a year after they were briefed on the group’s Nazi ties.
But when it comes to confronting Vladimir Putin, all is apparently forgiven.
The catalyst for this potential escalation, which would add to the 200 troops Canada has stationed in Ukraine, is Russia’s amassing of troops and military hardware on its border with Ukraine — more than 1,000 kilometres from where Canadian Forces are stationed.
According to the Ukrainian military, there are now 94,000 Russian troops, around 1,200 tanks and 330 warplanes, as well as other equipment, stationed along the Ukrainian border.
From Mark MacKinnon at the Globe:
How to respond to Russia’s renewed pressure on Ukraine looms as Ms. Anand’s first major international test since she was appointed Defence Minister last month, replacing Harjit Sajjan. She and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau must calibrate whether a further Canadian show of support for Ukraine would help dissuade Mr. Putin – or push him to take action.
This paragraph is revealing of Canada’s overinflated ego on the global stage.
It should go without saying that, no, Putin is not going to be dissuaded or pushed to take action based on Canada’s troop deployments.
But broadly speaking, yes, further NATO action in Ukraine will certainly feed into the siege mentality that has driven much of Russia’s post-Soviet behaviour.
This is the second time this year Russia has boosted its military presence on the frontier with Ukraine. In April, Putin drew back once he was granted a one-on-one meeting with President Joe Biden.
So give the guy another meeting, Joe, what’s it to ya?
Rather than sabre rattling against Russia, perhaps Canada should use its limited influence to encourage our Ukrainian allies to clean house.
In other news …
The scathing report from Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development Jerry V. DeMarco calls Canada the “worst performer of all G7 Nations” and says its policies are playing a “large role in the dangerous accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.”
“Despite commitments from government after government to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions over the past three decades, Canada has failed to translate these commitments into real reductions in net emissions. Instead, Canada’s emissions have continued to rise,” DeMarco said.
The commissioner also pointed out that the federal Liberal government’s investment in the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion and low carbon tax regime stand in stark contrast to its grandiose rhetoric on the climate crisis.
In a separate audit, DeMarco found that a $675-million interest-free loan program for oil and gas companies to reduce emissions and retain jobs didn’t do much of either.
After a Saturday climate rally on Vancouver Island, Suzuki said that “there are going to be pipelines blown up if our leaders don't pay attention to what's going on."
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney likened Suzuki to a mobster: “It's like in the gangster movies where they say, 'You know, nice little pipeline you've got there. It'd be a terrible thing if something happened to it.'“
Alberta NDP energy critic Kathleen Ganley also pretended Suzuki was calling for people to blow up pipelines.
Through his eponymous foundation, Suzuki said Thursday: "Any suggestion that violence is inevitable is wrong and will not lead us to a desperately needed solution to the climate crisis. My words were spoken out of extreme frustration and I apologize."
Kuttner, who uses they/them pronouns and is the first openly transgender party leader, placed sixth in the 2020 leadership race that Annamie Paul won.
According to the Green Party constitution, a leadership race must occur within six months of the appointment of an interim leader.
Edited by Marino Greco
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