Ottawa: Canada has announced that it will be sending $25 million in military equipment to Ukraine including helmets, body armour, gas masks, and night-vision gear to aid Ukraine’s defence against Russia’s attack. Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Anita Anand, Minister of National Defence, announced the Canadian aid to Ukraine in a joint news release on Monday.
The Canadian Armed Forces will also be providing two C-130J tactical airlift aircraft and a team of 40-50 personnel for at least two weeks to help NATO’s efforts in Europe. “We are working with our allies to ensure Ukrainian military personnel are properly equipped and together with our partners in Poland, we are working to deliver necessary military materials without delay,” Joly said.
Anand said that Canadian aid to Ukraine would also include cyber security experts to help Ukraine “defend its networks against cyber attacks that are increasingly forming part of modern-day warfare”. She also said, “The intent is for it to be used by NATO and in support of the delivery of this aid,” said Anand, adding that although a combat mission in Ukraine isn’t on the table at the moment, Canada is eager to help defend its ally against Russian military aggression in other ways.
Their announcements came hours after Transport Minister Omar Alghabra said he was closing Canadian airspace to all Russian aircraft operators in retaliation to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s attack on Ukraine.
Rallies, with hundreds of people outside British Columbia’s Legislature in Victoria and another outside Kelowna City Hall, were held in support of the Ukrainian people on February 27. People also flooded downtown Toronto’s Yonge-Dundas Square and its surrounding roads, with many carrying signs of support for Ukraine or condemnation of Putin.
A meeting of the incident response group, a cabinet committee, is scheduled to be chaired by Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau today. Trudeau is also expected to participate in a meeting hosted by United States President Joe Biden along with the leaders of France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Poland, Romania, the United Kingdom, the European Union, and NATO, to discuss the situation.