Kootenay-Columbia MP Rob Morrison praised Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s charisma and noted the importance of Canada’s continued efforts to help the country’s defence against Russia’s military, following the embattled leader’s remarks to Parliament this week.
“I think you can tell he’s very passionate, he’s fighting a fight, he’s staying there, he’s with his people,” Morrison said. “He’s emotional, he’s a true leader. There’s an example of a leader, he’s standing right there and fighting the fight.
“He wants more help of course, and that’s where, for us, with supplies and that, we have to continue helping him.”
Morrison said Canada and potentially NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) should do more to ensure that Ukrainian civilian evacuation routes remain protected against military aggression.
Morrison also added that any local residents with Ukrainian relatives hoping to flee the country should contact his office for help navigating immigration protocols.
Following Zelenskyy’s speech, Russia’s foreign ministry announced a series of sanctions banning Canadian MPs and dignitaries — including Morrison — from entering the country.
“I stand with our friends in Ukraine and am proud to have been added to a list of Canadian Members of Parliament who have been banned from entering Russia,” Morrison said, in a statement. “This is a badge of honour that I accept, and I continue to call on Vladimir Putin to end his illegal invasion in Ukraine.”
On Tuesday, Zelenskyy delivered an emotional address to Canadian politicians and dignitaries, describing the toll of the Russian invasion on the country and urging more international aid and support.
He explained the extent of the damage being done to cities from aerial and artillery bombardment, drawing comparisons from the devastation in Ukrainian cities such as Kharkiv and Mariupol, as if those military strikes occurred in Edmonton or Vancouver.
“Canada has always been, is and, I am sure, will be a reliable partner in Ukraine. Partner of our land, our people of Ukraine, each of our families,” said Zelenskyy, according to an English transcription of the speech posted on the Ukraine government website.
“You came to our aid as soon as we asked for it. You are giving us the weapons and other support we so desperately need now. You have imposed sanctions against Russia — truly moral. Really substantial. However, we see that the war, unfortunately, continues. That Russian troops are not leaving our territory.
“You see that our cities: Kharkiv, Mariupol are not as protected as your Edmonton and Vancouver. That Kyiv is under missile strikes. Like Chernihiv, Zhytomyr, Ivano-Frankivsk and dozens, dozens of our Ukrainian cities that yesterday were peaceful and quiet.”
“That means more needs to be done. Much more. For peace. We all have to do more to stop Russia.”
Zelenskyy also expressed frustration with international hesitancy over establishing a no-fly zone over Ukraine that would stymie Russia’s aerial bombardment capabilities, while also campaigned for further sanctions to cripple Russia’s war efforts.
“You understand how important it is for us to protect our skies from Russian missiles and planes. You can influence this. It seems so to me,” Zelenskyy said.
“You can force even more companies to leave the Russian market. So that there is not a single dollar for the war. If they stay in Russia and sponsor the war, they are not allowed to work in Canada. Let it be so, and it will give us peace.
“You know, perhaps better than many in the world, that this attack by Russia is an attempt to destroy us, to destroy the Ukrainian people. Nothing else. This is their main goal.”
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