Ottawa, ON – The Hon. Candice Bergen, Leader of the Conservative Party of Canada and Official Opposition, issued the following statement on Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine:
“Putin’s invasion of Ukraine is the first major European conflict since the Second World War, and a serious violation of international law and our collective humanity.
“This unprovoked attack, coming on the heels of a joint pact between the Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China, is the most serious threat to the rules-based international order since 1945 – and because of that, a serious threat to global peace and security.
“While we support the actions taken to date by the Government of Canada, Conservatives are calling on the government to take immediate additional actions:
- Declare Russia’s Ambassador to Canada Oleg Stepanov persona non grata and expel him from Canada;
- Recall Canada’s Ambassador from Moscow;
- Issue an order of general application directing the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to adopt a new broadcasting policy to revoke licenses of state-controlled broadcasters that spread disinformation and propaganda, so that Russia Today (RT) is taken off Canada’s airwaves;
- Isolate Russia internationally, by seeking Russia’s removal from organizations like the G20 and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE);
- Implement visa-free travel from Ukraine to Canada.
“The Conservative Party of Canada believes it is time to take the threat of Russia seriously over the medium and long term and propose the following actions:
- Develop a robust plan to defend Canada’s Arctic security and sovereignty and;
- Reform the pipeline approval process, to make it possible to build new pipelines to tidewater, recognizing energy as vital to Canadian and European defence and security.
“It’s time to take seriously Canada’s Arctic security and sovereignty. Canada, like Ukraine, shares a border with Russia. We can no longer afford to take our peace and security for granted. The government needs to come forward with a robust plan for Canada’s Arctic that will,
- Modernize NORAD’s early warning system;
- Fix Canada’s broken military procurement system;
- Accelerate the National Shipbuilding Program;
- Purchase F-35 jets; and
- Work in closer cooperation with Scandinavian countries and the U.S. to ensure Arctic peace and security.
“The Liberal government has failed to recognize that Canadian oil and gas is vital to Canadian and European security. We need to get new pipelines built to tidewater to displace Russian natural gas. Russia supplies 40 per cent of Europe’s natural gas and uses this to intimidate Europe and Ukraine, threatening to cut off supplies to Europe. If supplies are cut, people will freeze, industry will shutter, and Europe’s GDP will plummet.
“Canada is the world’s fifth-largest natural gas producer, but we can’t export gas to Europe to assist European democracies because we can’t get pipelines built. This Liberal government must get serious and realize our energy sector is not only vital to our economy, but vital to our security, and is in line with ESG goals.
“Conservatives stand with Ukraine, the people of Ukraine, and the over one million Canadians with ties to Ukraine. We understand that Canada’s security is inextricably tied to that of Europe. We believe that Canada must strengthen our own defences and renew our commitment to the NATO alliance in the face of the threats from Russia and China.”