Local and regional leaders in Flin Flon and across the north have shared their support for Ukraine after the recent Russian invasion of the country.
Russian military forces breached the country’s internationally recognized borders late last month and have staged an ongoing military invasion of Ukraine, the largest conventional military attack on a sovereign nation in Europe since the Second World War. The invasion has left hundreds of people dead, has included Russian attacks on Ukrainian civilians and displaced hundreds of thousands - possibly millions - of people fleeing the carnage.
At the March 1 meeting of Flin Flon city council, councillor Ken Pawlachuk used his councillor’s comment time to voice his support for his own ancestral homeland and condemn the Russian actions.
“Most people, I think, know what’s going on in Europe… I thought some thoughts and prayers from the City should go to the country of Ukraine,” said Pawlachuk.
“This could change the world as we know it. It’s very, very serious and hopefully it gets resolved sooner rather than later.”
Other members of council also spoke on the invasion, sharing Pawlachuk’s thoughts on the invasion.
“It is unbelievable that in this day and age, something like this could take place. Our thoughts and prayers go out all the people of Ukraine. I know in Flin Flon, there’s probably 80 per cent of people who have links to Ukraine and history there,” said Mayor Cal Huntley.
Other prominent figures and organizations for the region have also spoken out, including Churchill-Keewatinook Aski MP Niki Ashton, who represents northern Manitoba (including Flin Flon) and Desnethe-Missinippi-Churchill River MP Gary Vidal, who represents northern Saskatchewan (including Creighton, Denare Beach and part of Flin Flon) in the House of Commons. Members of Parliament of all federal parties condemned the Russian invasion and ongoing military action within the country.
“Solidarity with the people of Ukraine. Russia must cease its attack. Canada must be a voice for peace. We need a global security agenda based on peace. Nobody wins in war,” reads Ashton’s statement.
“Proud to stand with MPs and staff from all parties in support of Ukraine,” reads a statement from Vidal.
At a provincial level, members of Manitoba’s main parties in legislature also condemned the invasion across the board.
“We stand with Ukraine today and every day,” read a statement from the Progressive Conservative (PC) Party of Manitoba, the province’s current ruling party.
“Manitobans today are deeply troubled by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The Manitoba NDP stands with the people of Ukraine and the Ukrainian community in Manitoba and Canada and we condemn Russia’s violent imperialism. We will continue to work with the Manitoba Ukrainian community to identify ways to help those who are in danger,” reads a statement from the Manitoba NDP and its MLAs, addressed from party leader Wab Kinew.
Business leaders and groups near and far also lent their support with Ukraine, including the Flin Flon and District Chamber of Commerce, the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.
“The Flin Flon and District Chamber of Commerce stands with Ukraine and the Ukrainian business community during this devastating time for their country,” reads a statement issued by the chamber.
“Like many Canadians, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce are appalled by the further Russian invasion of Ukraine,” reads a joint statement issued by both groups.
“We support efforts by Canada and its allies to take strong measures to end the conflict. The recent actions by the Russian government strike at the rule of law and international norms, which are the foundations of our democratic societies and our economic system. Like many Canadians, we express our solidarity with the Ukrainian people and the Ukrainian business community during these tragic times for their country.”