Statement on the Russian army's invasion of Ukraine
The PSAC 610 Executive is deeply concerned by the ongoing invasion of Ukraine by Russia, which began on February 24, 2022, and is in violation of the 1994 Budapest Memorandum.
We stand in solidarity with the democratically elected government of Ukraine, the people of Ukraine, and the Ukrainian-Canadian community in denouncing the violent actions of the Putin administration. We also stand in solidarity with anti-war activists in Russia who continue to protest this invasion, many of whom have been arrested by the Russian state authorities. We call for an immediate cessation of hostilities, and hope that Ukrainians affected by this invasion will be allowed to freely choose their destiny moving forward.
In condemning the actions of the Russian state, we also acknowledge the significant role Canada has played in propping up imperialist governments across the world, as well as the colonial violence under which Canada continues to subject its Indigenous populations locally. In 2020, Canada’s federal government approved the sale of nearly $74 million of weapons to Saudi Arabia, which has been used to fuel Saudi Arabia’s unjust and brutal ongoing war in Yemen.
While we commend the Canadian federal government’s recent introduction of new immigration streams allowing Ukrainian refugees to enter the country, it is important to highlight the stark differences in Canada’s treatment of migrants and refugees from the Middle East, West Asia, and Africa; particularly Syrian refugees who have sought entry into Western countries, including Canada, since a brutal civil war broke out in 2011. We understand that the language being issued from leaders now welcoming Ukrainian refugees can be disturbing and hurtful for those who have family members and loved ones who have been refused entry to Canada on similar grounds.
We also understand that this is a difficult time for our members who are international students from Ukraine, those with Ukrainian heritage, those with Russian heritage, and all those who do not support this war. We would like to remind you our members that we offer support through our mental health fund and financial assistance fund to help cover any costs associated with grief counseling, therapy, and general mental wellbeing. We also have access to the employment assistance (EAP) program through the Western University, which is offered by LifeWorks and offers 24/7 individual counseling, crisis support services, and group therapy.
The PSAC 610 Executive