Friday February 25, 2022 | NATIONAL & INTERNATIONAL
by Mary P Brooke | Island Social Trends
People in Ukraine are fleeing their country as Russian armies invade. This began on Thursday morning with organized force — including bombs and targeted missile strikes, and so far has not abated.
Those who cannot manage to leave the country are hiding in their homes and underground areas like subway stations.
The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) is calling for neighbouring countries to keep their borders open to those seeking safety and protection from this act of aggression.
Today Canada’s NDP leadership issued a statement by NDP critic and deputy critic for immigration, refugees and citizenship, Jenny Kwan and Blake Desjarlais: “New Democrats are also calling on the government to automatically extend expiring documents and visitor, work and study permits for all Ukrainians currently in Canada. Those who are already here in Canada should not be compelled to return due to the severe risks and danger in Ukraine.”
“Canada is recognized for its historical leadership in humanitarian actions in the global community and we must also play our part now,” says the NDP. “We are calling for the Liberal government to enact new special refugee immigration measures and work collaboratively with the UNHCR to support and resettle those who have been displaced by this escalating humanitarian crisis.”
BC Premier’s comment:
Today BC Premier John Horgan condemned the actions of the Russian government to invade Ukraine “for no good reason”.
Horgan also today acknowledged the media on the ground who are capturing images and bringing them back to the rest of the world to see what is happening.
Since 2018, NDP MPs have been calling for visa-free access for Ukrainians and just last year Daniel Blaikie (presently Finance Critic) sent a letter to the government calling for urgent action.
In 2014, Russia invaded the southern area of Ukraine known as Crimea, which was the beginning of the evident attempt by Russia to claim land that was part of the previous Soviet Union.