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Warkentin voices support for Ukraine, “heartbroken” by allies lack of support

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Grande Prairie — Mackenzie MP Chris Warkentin was in attendance for Volodymyr Zelensky’s speech to members of the Canadian Parliament. Warkentin, who is of Ukrainian descent, says it was heartbreaking watching Zelensky beg countries who should be an ally of Ukraine to step up and do something.

“I think it’s incomprehensible that NATO and their allies haven’t stepped up to do more. We can cheer them on and say that we’re standing by them but unless we take action, and in some cases put our own people at risk, I don’t believe that we can say we are standing with the Ukrainian people,” he says.

Warkentin feels that Canadian leadership could have done better as well on that day.

“It was remarkably tone-deaf for Justin Trudeau and his cabinet not to have a response that was more supportive in some way,” he says.

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Warkentin says that Zelensky is an inspiration to all of us during a time of war.

“His willingness to step out and truly lead his people during a time that is incomprehensible for the vast majority of us…the idea that Ukraine continues to defend themselves and their president stood there with regular people armed and prepared to defend their homeland is remarkable,” he says.

Warkentin is among more than 300 Members of Parliament and Canadian politicians on a “blacklist,” banning them from entering Russia.

“I’m extremely proud to be among more than 300 people on that list and show my support for Ukraine. I count it as a badge of honour and I’m not going to back down. I’m going to continue to actively push our government to support Ukraine and the people who are fighting for their freedom and democratic rights,” he says.

Warkentin feels that Canadian-Russian relations started to deteriorate when Vladimir Putin was elected in 2000.

“He has continued to push the envelope as far back as when Stephen Harper was in office. Harper stood up to him when it came to the annexation of Crimea and that marked the first time in modern history that Putin was working to expand the territory of Russia. Harper was one of the first to announce that Canada would never recognize Crimea as Russian territory,” he says.

Warkentin adds that Russia has continued to push misinformation, built up to this ongoing invasion of Ukraine, and cut ties with Europe and the western world.

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