Langley Advance Times runs a new weekly feature, call it “At Your Service.”
It’s another forum in which to put questions to our local politicians about key issues facing our community and its residents.
Using a basic question-and-answer format, elected officials will be asked one question at a time and given the opportunity to respond (to a maximum of 250 words) on that said issue.
Alternating between elected groups, Langley City and Langley Township councils, Langley school board, Langley MLAs, and Langley MPs each have a chance to participate.
The answers provided will be published in their entirety online each Sunday.
Both Langley MPs were asked the same question: What more can Canada do to provide support to Ukraine in response to the Russian invasion?
MP John Aldag
A. Canada has provided unprecedented support to Ukraine.
We are providing economic, military, and humanitarian relief to Ukraine, while punishing Russia economically.
We have provided $620 million in loans to Ukraine so they can support their economy throughout this war.
We are providing weapons including anti-tank weapon systems and non-lethal aid such as helmets, body armour, and gas masks.
Canada has committed $100 million in humanitarian assistance to Ukraine. This will help provide essential life-saving services such as emergency health services, water, food, and shelter.
Canada has adopted measures to ensure Putin suffers from this war and deter him further aggression. These measures include personally sanctioning over 1,000 people who have been enabling Putin.
We have also excluded Russian banks from the international financial system. These measures will turn Russia into a secluded state, ensuring Putin’s terrible decision is not profitable.
Finally, we have created a Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel, available for individuals fleeing Ukraine. There is no limit to the number of Ukrainians who can apply. This is the fastest, safest, and most efficient way for Ukrainians to come to Canada and eliminates many of the normal visa requirements.
While we have taken these measures and many more, we are continuing to increase support for Ukraine.
We are working with allies to secure additional military support as the war enters a new phase in Ukraine’s east.
Ensuring Ukraine has a full and uninterrupted supply of weapons is critical to their success in repelling the Russian invasion.
MP Tako van Popta
A. Ukrainians are enduring enormous suffering at this time, and many of us feel helpless, shocked, to see what is happening to our friends and their country.
We can provide short-term assistance through the usual channels, such as the Red Cross and other charities and NGOs, but we can also provide temporary or permanent homes for many displaced Ukrainians. Canada needs to be ready to welcome a sudden influx of Ukrainian visitors and refugees.
Conservatives stand with Ukraine, the people of Ukraine, and the more than one million Canadians with ties to Ukraine.
We continue to believe that Canada must strengthen our own defences and renew our commitment to the NATO alliance in the face of the threats from Russia.
In response to President Zelenskyy’s address to the House of Commons in March, CPC leader Candace Bergen stated, “we must do more, together with our allies to secure Ukraine’s airspace. We need to protect at a minimum the airspace over the humanitarian corridors, so that Ukrainians can seek safe passage away from war zones and to allow humanitarian relief to reach those areas under siege.
“Canada must do whatever it can to cut through any red tape and welcome Ukrainians who are fleeing,” she said.
“Although we know that what Ukrainians want most is to be able to live in their home nation, free, sovereign, and peaceful. We can be a haven until peace is restored.”
I couldn’t agree with Ms. Bergen more.
Next week’s Langley City councillors are being asked: What is and should the City be doing to encourage the highest and best use of its industrial lands – to create jobs and strengthen the tax base?
Watch for their answers online Sunday.