The QP Clip: The House unites behind Ukraine

The exchange you can’t miss from this afternoon’s Question Period


Vladimir Putin has managed to unite the House of Commons. The government had shunned opposition parties from its official delegation to Ukraine as that country faces Russian intervention and possible conflict in Crimea. But today, as the western world reacts in haste to Putin’s military intervention, the House stood together. NDP Deputy Leader Megan Leslie opened her second question to the government with a declaration that New Democrats “stand with the government and with Canadians who are condemning these very troubling actions.” All sides rose to applaud.

Immediately after Question Period’s conclusion, Tory MP Ted Opitz introduced a motion to the House and requested unanimous consent. He received it in short order. Here’s what MPs declared.

That this House strongly condemn Russia’s provocative military intervention in Ukraine; call upon Russia to withdraw its forces and respect the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine, as per the commitments in the 1994 Budapest Declaration and under international law; reaffirm the legitimacy of the Government of Ukraine and Ukraine’s territorial integrity; support the Government’s decision to recall Canada’s ambassador in Moscow for consultations and to suspend the Government’s engagement in preparation for the G-8 Summit; encourage the Government to work with like-minded partners, including through multilateral forums, to de-escalate the current situation; affirm the Ukrainian people’s right of self-determination, free from intervention; and stand with the Ukrainian people as they pursue a free and democratic future.

This follows a unanimous expression of “deep concern” about Venezuela the House passed late last week.

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The QP Clip: The House unites behind Ukraine

  1. The House needs to unite in doing something useful for THIS country…

    Warning: Attempted channel change in progress.

    • What? You mean that Trudeau’s not in parliament….. again? Meanwhile the grownups are discussing the most important issue in international affairs in over a half a decade. Ya, change that channel all you want.

      • LOL Harp is just trying to divert everyone’s attention from his many scandals. I doubt he even knows where Ukraine is.

        • Oh Emily…I guess this was meant as an attempt at humor? You generally are better than that. :)

          • Just being truthful Paul

    • Emily knows better. As always.

      We should just get rid of our government – no, ALL governments the world over – and put Emily in charge. She could run the world in between comments, so great and thorough is her knowledge of all things.

  2. I agree.. maybe we should focus on ourselves…?

  3. So … the west backs a corrupt government who plays both sides (west / Russia). Corrupt gov. hesitates on EU. West backs protesters to topple democratically elected corrupt gov. Chaos ensues and factions that pose a threat to Russia’s interests present themselves. Just as corrupt as the ones they disposed. Russia moves to secure interests. West has a hissy fit. huh? As if the west / US is the only country in the world that can illegally enter a country and occupy it. The US / EU is joke under the divine leadership of this moronic president….
    PS… the mainstream media’s propaganda on this whole mess is so transparent its comical… I am sure a lot of readers of Maclean’s will have a hard time swallowing this comment, I have a suggestion. Find other news sources besides MSNBC, CNN etc.

    • It’s almost like Russia invoked its’ famous Monroevski Doctrine
      or sumpin’ …

    • The MSM’s mission now is to make it appear that this isn’t all a direct result of Obama’s weak leadership and foreign policy.

      • The roots of this are to be found long before 2007 and involve a lot of the West. I not would expect you to understand that because it is clear you have no inkling of the politics and hypocrisy over the last 20 years or so that have led to this situation. So simple-minded political point scoring is all that you can resort too.
        20 years takes in many more leaders than those currently in office and the current bunch are actually the least culpable for the mess we now find ourselves it. I include Stephen Harper and David Cameron as well as Obama in that statement too as people who have had this situation thrust upon them.

        But just in passing what do you think Obama could have done to prevent the invasion and probable secession of the Crimea?

        Go on, tell us what he could have done to have prevented this action?

        • He coulda not got elected.[ just saving Rick the work of “thinking” it out]

        • Obama could have shown over the years that he’s not a terrified little community organizer who cares only about domestic politics and fundraising for the DNC. Syria, Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan are all examples that Obama will not use America’s military strength to defend anyone or anything. If Putin had even an inkling that there might have been reprecussions for this, he very well might have let the Ukraine be. But he’s seen far too many examples that Obama is determined to ensure that the USA is no longer a global super power. He knew that Obama would do nothing.

          Or, Obama could have left defense budget alone instead of cutting it to pre-2001 levels.

          And make no mistake about it, this isn’t done yet. This will show other crazy regime’s that they can be belligerent and hostile to American allies and not have to fear the wrath of the USA.

          • Oh my the chickenhawks have suddenly become strategic and tactical geniuses. Makes me wonder why we train Generals when all we have to do is ask the extreme right what to do?
            US was in Afghanistan and were reinforced repeatedly under this President – futile actions made so by the fact that the previous President lost focus and decided to divide his command and start an illegal war elsewhere. Afghanistan was definitely lost once that happened.
            US was in Iraq and increased the presence of the Navy and drones under this President.
            US attacked Gaddafi in Libya and that led to a very stable country free of Al Qaeda didn’t it? It was probably this excursion that informed him that doing likewise in Syria would be just as effective. That and putting boots on the ground if he could in Syria would result in a Syria that looks like Iraq right now.

            As for Putin, he had to cross a border into neighbouring territory ostensibly inhabited and controlled by Russians directly from Russia. That isn’t hard and would be hard to combat/prevent even if the US was at full strength and on standby. Georgia and the two ethnic Russian enclaves are a fine example of the same happening when a Republican inhabited the Whitehouse. The fact that the outcome was similar in both cases probably indicates that Putin isn’t worried what anyone thinks, he’s going to do it anyway. To be honest he isn’t frightened of the US no matter who is in office, that’s why he was put in power and why he is still there.

            Defence spending in 2001 didn’t have to take into account the global economic crisis of 2007. When facts and reality change so do plans and strategies, unless you base your policy on dogma that is.

            The Crimea will form an autonomous republic in much the same way as Bush and Rice forced the emergence of Kosovo against all international laws, including the ones being used now to try and condemn Russia and that will be that.

            The biggest problem most rightwing loons have is that they think the world can be controlled by fear and the threat of US power. All Putin has done is shown that he has learned how to play this game by watching what happened in the past and using it against us. We can either learn from this or we can continue to empower people like him with our precedent setting short cuts.

            You clearly favour the not learning approach where as I favour the not f**king up in the first place approach; something that would happen if we looked at the long term consequences of our actions before carrying them out.

  4. A lot has happened since 1994 and a lot of the actions that have failed to “respect the territorial integrity and sovereignty of countries” have been carried out by those now whining the loudest.
    I feel for the people of the Ukraine and their suffering, but the root causes for their suffering go back to the actions of Nato and the West from after the Bosnian conflict through Iraq to Kosovo and Georgia. The West ignored any international laws about respecting territorial integrity when it suited them after insisting that they be respected in Bosnia (Dayton) and now someone is using their precedent to mask their own strategic moves we are crying like babies.
    This is what happens when people don’t look beyond the next election for the implications of their actions. This is what happens when simple-minded black/white thinking is employed because it suits the base and this is what happens when we have governments who have no foreign policy experience.
    Now the same simple minded fools are scrambling to do something even though they have no clue what to do because of their ignorance and earlier foolishness and so called anti-elitism. We failed to learn form Georgia. S Ossetia and Abkhazia and now the Ukraine is suffering.
    The Crimea is gone. N Cyprus is still in the hands of the Turks and the Russians are much more formidable than the Turks. We will not go to war with Russia, so what will we do? That’s what our useless party infested parliament should be looking at, not trying to cobble together a hypocritical statement of condemnation for public show.
    That and also putting procedures in place to ensure that we don’t mess up this royally again in the future and commit acts that set a precedent again that comes back to haunt us in the future.

    • Yah, this is all the West’s fault.

      • Not all, but our part in this cannot be ignored, unless we wish to be in a similar situation 20 years down the road yet again.
        We claimed the right to do this in Kosovo based on exactly the same reasons that the Russians are giving now in the Crimea, except ethic Russians live in the Crimea to a much greater degree than ethnic Albanians lived in Kosovo. Also the Crimea once belonged to Russia until Khruschev gave it to the Ukraine SSR and Kosovo was always part of Serbia, so the Russians aren’t doing anything we haven’t done but with more reason than us.

        • Our response to Kosovo was a direct result of a humanitarian crisis, in which one population (Serbs) wanted to completely purge another (Albanian muslims). The West had ZERO interest in establishing new borders or insisting on Kosovo independence until it became painfully clear that this was the only way we could prevent a mini-holocaust from happening. I am by no means painting all Serbs as black hats and the other Balkan ethnicities as white hats (there were few if any white hats in that ugly, miserable conflict) but let’s face it, it was the ethnic Albanian population that was at serious risk of mass genocide.

          The situation in Crimea is complicated, and ethnic Russians there are right to be worried about being cut off from the mother country. Many Ukrainians hold a bitter, seething resentment towards Russia and Russians, and there are legitimate historical reasons for that. But this conflict today is the result of a decision by the Russia-dominated Soviet Union back in 1954 to make Crimea part of the Ukraine. It was seen as merely an administrative decision at the time, since Soviets (and the rest of the world for that matter) could never imagine a time when the Soviet Union would fall apart and Ukraine, Belarus et. al. would assert their independence. This administrative decision, which has nothing to do with the West, has now come back to bite them.

          Many ethnic Germans felt cut off and isolated in Czechoslovakia after WWI left them stranded on the wrong side of the border. However, that does not mean that Hitler was right to invade the Sudetenland. Putin’s actions in Crimea are looking an awful lot like Sudetenland 1939. And we all know how well that turned out. I should state here that I am not predicting anything similar happening here. There’s just no way NATO and the rest of the West are going to risk WWIII over a peninsula that wasn’t even a part of the Ukraine until 1954. But that doesn’t make what Putin is doing right.

          • Kosovo was the result of Western guilt in having messed up in Rwanda and Bosnia and on hearing of purported atrocities in Kosovo they over reacted and decided that the terms of the Dayton Accord whereby territorial boundaries would be respected would not apply in Kosovo. Those rumours of atrocities were found to be well over hyped and post separation investigations revealed similar amounts of killings on both sides.
            Nato also took advantage of a weakened Russia at the time to ignore Russia as the third party in any protection force and to enforce the breaking up of Serbia into the two parts. Russia at the time tried to make the West aware of what they were doing by insisting that such an action be made a precedent but Condi Rice tried to pull the Sui Generis move and enforce the break up of a sovereign state anyway. Her rationale was that negotiations were taking too long and the US had other countries to invade.
            The language the Russians are using to justify their actions today very much mirror that that the US used in Kosovo and the actions of securing airports etc mirror such events as the “Rush to Pristina.”
            Putin is not right in what he is doing, but we were just as wrong in how we handled and justified Kosovo. Putin is justifying what he is doing in just the same terms as we did in Kosovo including invoking a “Responsibility to Protect” by preventative action.
            Two wrongs don’t make a right, but the precedent we set is hard to argue against just because it is used against us. Who knows maybe we’ll think long term before we decide to break long standing agreements next time.. if there is a next time.

          • Except he’s not protecting anyone. He’s protecting a military base and violating an agreement made by Boris Yeltsin in 1991.

          • Again you really aren’t informed of the situation. Putin is claiming that he is intervening to protect ethnic Russians in the Crimea after the legally elected government was forced to leave by a mob.

            “It’s completely legitimate under Russian law, and given the
            extraordinary situation in Ukraine, this threat and the threat to our compatriots, Russian citizens and the Black Sea Fleet,” Churkin told a meeting of the UN Security Council in New York, reading out loud the March 1 letter from Yanukovych.”

            Whether you agree with that or not, he has stated that it isn’t just about the base. Oh and remember the government that was forced to leave the capital was democratically elected, even Harpers website has a congratulatory message to the ousted PM congratulating him on winning in a fair election. Ethnic Russians in the Crimea do have reason to be worried as the fact that the new government has suspended language rights that target them illustrates. What is next?

            As for treaty violation, are you sure you want to go there with respect to just how many treaties the US and Nato have ridden roughshod over since 1991. We broke the mold on this one and that precedent is being used to justify this action today.


    It’s nearly always worth a look at what Saunders is thinking before making your mind up about stuff like this. It’s worth trawling through his twitter feed too. There’s a link there to a pretty interesting article in the New Republic that posits Putin may not know what he wants, which is a truly scary thought.
    I don’t think it does any good in the end to belabor the many hypocrisies and miss steps of the west in similar situations; other than to keep some perspective and to crowd out the jingoists who may think war shouldn’t be the very last option on the table.[ something still has to be done about it]
    People who are dumping on Obama should remember Bush did squat over Georgia. And while i don’t want to offer any kind of apologist cover to Putin, maybe it wasn’t a good idea to try and induct Ukraine into NATO, unless there was an overwhelming consensus in the country for such a move. OTOH the fact that Putin would oppose another free state becoming a member of a purely economic union like the EU says a lot about the man.Scary times for all.

    • Yup, Dubya did squat about Georgia. LBJ did squat about Prague, and Eisenhower did squat about Hungary. Reagan ran from Lebanon.


      Obama is just being villified because he’s black

      • I don’t want to go there – you can’t prove it anyway.
        As for the others…it’s amazing how quickly the prospect of being remembered as the guy who launched ww3 can sober a president up.

        • LOL yeah, not something anybody wants to do.

          • Really?? Playing that worn-out card?

          • Cons think everything is a game.

          • But that has nothing to do with your race card…maybe you can take that one back.

          • See….there’s your problem. You can’t connect the dots.

            There is no card game going on Paul….race or otherwise.

          • You’re trying to play a card in a game of dominoes.

          • I’m sorry EmilyOne. I thought you had said “Obama is just being vilified because he’s black”. My bad!!

          • Mmmm and it’s not a game.

            I don’t play games….so be serious or be gone.

      • You’re an idiot. All those presidents took criticism from hardliners over their decision to do nothing in those crises. And I don’t even have to mention Neville Chamberlin. He’s still taking it on the chin 75 years later, for not initiating WWII. (He wasn’t black either). Race has nothing to do with it.

        • Starting a WAR, everytime a war-mongering “hardliner” wants one, does NOT always make it RIGHT, and the final results definitely prove it. !
          Just look at (Junior)Bushes disastarous 2nd led invasion of Iraq, and Afghanistan, and for what…?, it’s still going on.
          I don’t even have to mention vietnam, do I ?
          anyway, thousands of examples like this can be found throughout history.
          now run along.

          • You completely misunderstood my comment. But that’s OK.

      • You just jumped the shark Emily.

        • LOL ahhh imitation….running out of lines areya?

  6. Seems like the distance of geographical separation is direct proportional to the ardor of the “strong support”, as long as someone else sacrifices. But hey, nice, if meaningless platitudes, it’ll play well in St. Boniface.

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