MP Bezan and MP Opitz Call for Restraint in Ukraine
Ottawa, Ontario- Canadian Members of Parliament James Bezan (Selkirk-Interlake) and Ted Opitz (Etobicoke Centre) made the following joint statement regarding the renewed violence in Ukraine:
"We are heavyhearted and disappointed by the escalating violence in Kyiv and the increasing number of reported deaths of peaceful protestors. We are disgusted by the callous behaviour demonstrated by PresidentYanukovychand his regime, and angered by the excessive and fatal actions used by government authorities. Brutal force will not solve the problems in Ukraine.
"Only on Monday, Ukrainian anti-government protestors began to withdraw from their occupied government buildings as a show of optimism for their promised amnesty, following a few weeks of calm that had awoken a new hope within the country. Unfortunately, the Ukrainian government refused to register a bill that would limit President Yanukovych's powers which resulted in the protestors taking further action. These actions were grievously countered by the Ukrainian Government and more riot police were deployed who are reportedly carrying live ammunition and grenades into the conflict.
"We echo the Government of Canada's call for all sides to show restraint and to cease all acts of violence immediately.No act of violence or repression today will go unnoticed by the Government of Canada, and we will work with our allies in the international community to ensure that those responsible will be held to account.
"Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird has announced further assistance to provide medical care for Ukrainian activists through a contribution to a Ukrainian non-governmental organization, including vital supplies, first aid kits and training. We know that thisurgent medical relief will ensure that treatment is provided to the courageous activists injured while speaking out peacefully in support of democracy.
"We join with all Canadians who standunited with the Ukrainian people, who believe in freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law.Ukraine’s aspirations to enjoy independence, freedom, peace, justice and prosperity are rights that Ukrainians have earned through years of struggle and hardship. The road Ukraine finds itself on today is only leading it to anarchy, imperialistic authoritarianism and upheaval.
"Minister Baird is consulting with our allies and like-minded nations to build a coordinated path forward in the coming days. All options remain available, including through the deployment of targeted sanctions against those responsible.
"The democratic aspirations of the Ukrainian people can and will be met through a political solution. We call on the Ukrainian government to work with the opposition and demonstrators to respond to their legitimate calls for a true democracy.