Courtenay-Alberni MP Gord Johns aims to advance the needs of Ukrainians impacted by the war. (PQB News file photo)

Courtenay-Alberni MP Gord Johns aims to advance the needs of Ukrainians impacted by the war. (PQB News file photo)

Courtenay-Alberni MP Johns calls for more support for Ukrainian refugees

Constituents given chance to hear about humanitarian efforts

Courtenay-Alberni MP Gord Johns recently hosted a virtual event to allow constituents to hear about the impacts of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and to learn about the growing need for humanitarian supports.

Johns was joined by the NDP Critic for Foreign Affairs and International Development, MP Heather McPherson, Ukrainian MP Lisa Yasko and participants from the Canada-Ukraine Parliamentary Program.

“Across the country, Canadians have been horrified by the images and reports we’ve seen and read about Putin’s brutal war against Ukraine,” said Johns. “Millions of Ukrainians have been forced to flee their homes and community members across Courtenay-Alberni are eager to find ways to help. We’ve heard there is an urgent need for more settlement supports for Ukrainians who have come to Canada including language training, childcare, and support for higher learning. I will work with my NDP MP colleagues, provincial counterparts, and community organizations to advance these needs.”

READ MORE: Ukrainian mother finds safety in Canada, but drawn back to homeland to help

New Democrats have called on the federal government to provide increased aid to Ukraine as well as the removal of visa requirements so those fleeing violence can come to safety in Canada. Those seeking refuge are almost exclusively women, children and seniors who are in an incredibly vulnerable situation.

Yasko joined from the war zone in Ukraine to speak about the devastating impacts of the war and stressed the urgent need for aid.

“Most of all, we want the war to end. But for now, we are learning to live under such conditions,” said Yasko. “Therefore, in addition to weapons, Ukrainians need a lot of help: both those who left Ukraine and those who remained. “We need help in rebuilding our destroyed cities and infrastructure. We need help in demining territories. We also need help to resume the educational process. After all, we have to develop the country later, and we need specialists. Ukrainians also need humanitarian aid.”

Johns encourages Canadians who want to learn more about the crisis or support Ukrainian refugees to get more information through the Ukrainian Canadian Congress or United 24, an initiative launched by Ukraine’s President Vladimir Valensky.

— NEWS Staff

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