The Ontario government has announced that it is providing $300,000 in humanitarian aid for Ukraine as political leaders in the province expressed support for the country Thursday amid Russia’s invasion.
In the Ontario legislature Thursday morning, political party leaders condemned Russia’s attack and said they stood with the Ukrainian community.
“Last night, we witnessed a violent attack on a sovereign nation by a despot, a thug,” Premier Doug Ford said.
“We witnessed Vladimir Putin’s war of aggression begin in Ukraine.”
The premier highlighted the contributions Ukrainians have made to Canadian society and said without the Ukrainian people “the Canada we know and love today would not be the same.”
“Canada shall never waver in standing against tyranny,” Ford said.
“Canada shall never waver in our support of Ukraine.”
Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath also condemned the invasion.
“This morning, we stand in solidarity with the people of Ukraine, all Ukrainians who call Ontario and Canada home, and Ukrainians worldwide,” she said.
“I join global leaders and peace-loving people around the world in condemning this unprovoked attack by the Russian Federation and the violent invasion Putin is using to drag people into the horrors of war.”
Horwath called on the federal government to ensure Canada welcomes Ukrainian refugees, commit to family reunification, and provide humanitarian aid.
John Fraser of the Ontario Liberal Party also condemned the attack and spoke of the contributions Ukrainians have made to Canadian society.
“There is evil in the world,” Fraser said.
Ontario Liberal Leader Steven Del Duca said on Twitter that he is “proud to stand with and for an independent Ukraine.”
“I rise today to unequivocally condemn the military invasion and bombing of Ukraine by Russia,” Ontario Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner said in the legislature.
Russian President Vladimir Putin defied international pressure and launched a wide-ranging attack on Ukraine Thursday, telling the West not to intervene in what appeared to be the beginning of conflict in Europe.
Attacks have since been reported in several areas throughout Ukraine.
$300K will be donated to Canada-Ukraine Foundation
In a press release issued Thursday afternoon, the provincial government announced it would be giving $300,000 to the Canada-Ukraine Foundation.
The government said it will be used to support humanitarian needs, including medical aid, as well as emergency shelter and food security in Ukraine.
The province said it will also be “ready to assist” anyone fleeing Ukraine who needs settlement services.
GTA mayors react
Mayors in the Greater Toronto Area have also reacted to the Russian invasion, stating that they stand with local Ukrainian communities.
“As shocking events unfold in Ukraine, I stand in solidarity and in sorrow with my friends in Toronto’s wonderful Ukrainian community and with the people of Ukraine,” Toronto Mayor John Tory said in a tweet.
Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown called on the federal government to accept Ukrainian refugees who may be displaced as a result of the invasion.
“Should the Ukrainian government need help with those displaced by this senseless war, I ask the federal government to set up a special immigration stream for Ukraine,” Brown said.
Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie said her prayers go out to the city’s Ukrainian community and their loved ones “during this deeply troubling time.”
— With files from Global News