Ukraine free trade

The free trade agreement signed on July 14 between Canada and Ukraine may be just symbolic.

The free trade agreement signed on July 14 between Canada and Ukraine may be just symbolic, as there is actually very little trade between the two countries.

However, Prime Minister Stephen Harper achieved getting pictures and video footage for his election campaign vault, shaking hands with his Ukrainian counterpart Arseniy Yatsenyuk. Even though it can only really be called pandering, no doubt he’s hoping that Canadians of Eastern European descent will be impressed.

My momma taught me that “You are known by the company you keep,” and that was the moral of one of Aasop’s Fables called The Ass And His Purchaser. Did our PM ever learn the same lesson about the wayward ass at his mother’s knee, when there are media reports of the Neo-Nazi Azov Battalion and Chechen Islamists fighting quite openly for the regime in Kiev against ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine.

Another early lesson learned was “Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.” Somehow our PM also missed that one while growing up, as he was the first Western leader to visit Ukraine after the coup early last year.

Remember that the democratically elected government of President Yanukovych was ousted following the Maidan protests, in which the Neo-Nazis played a large part in overrunning police and seizing government buildings, from where they displayed Nazi flags. Now we have a free trade deal with a country that openly embraces factions that would be vigorously condemned in Canada; more alarmingly, there is every chance that any military arms we may supply to Ukraine could fall into the hands of Neo-Nazis and Chechen Islamists.

The ancient saying from the Sanskrit military book “Arthashastra” comes into play here: “The enemy of my enemy is my friend,” but the question for Canadians is: do we really need friends like these?

May be a good idea for all Canadians, regardless of heritage and ethnicity, to take a look at our strange relationship with dangerous factions in Ukraine before casting a vote in October; pandering and politics does make for strange bedfellows, after all.

Bernie SmithParksville

Just Posted

The Arrowsmith Search and Rescue Society has outgrown its home at the Coombs-Hilliers Fire Department and will soon move to its new operations hall at the Qualicum Beach Airport. (PQB News file photo)
The Qualicum Beach Farmers Market is one of the organizations approved for a grant-in-aid by the Town of Qualicum Beach. (PQB News file photo)
COVID-19: Town of Qualicum Beach awards $80K in relief funds to community groups

Pandemic has put a financial strain on many organizations

The remains of the Mid-Island Co-op in Whiskey Creek along the Alberni Highway on Friday, June 18, after a blaze the day before devastated the gas station. (Michael Briones photo)
VIDEO: Whiskey Creek gas station destroyed by fire after camper van explosion

Nine fire departments responded to the incident, no injuries reported

Black Press file photo
RCMP seek suspect in Vancouver Island-wide crime spree

Crimes stretched from Deep Bay to Qualicum, Ladysmith, Chemainus and Youbou

Things are looking up for Vancouver Island as zero COVID-19 cases have been reported for the first time since October. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Island records zero new COVID-19 cases for the first time since October

For the first time since October, the province is reporting zero new… Continue reading

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Most Read