‘Russia feels stung’: Northern MPs react to travel ban

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Two liberal MPs from the North have been banned from traveling to Russia, after being named on what the Russian Foreign Ministry calls its “blacklist”.

Yukon MP Brendan Hanley and Northwest Territories MP Michael McLeod are on the list along with hundreds of other names, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his foreign and defense ministers, other leaders federal parties, MPs from all parties and heads of various Ukrainian Canadian governments. Groups.

Nunavut NDP MP Lori Idlout was not banned from traveling to Russia, however.

“I think Russia feels stung,” Hanley said, noting that Canada’s support for Ukraine amid an unprovoked Russian attack has been early, strong and consistent. “There are probably not many ways for Russia to retaliate, and that was obviously one of them, to go after parliamentarians.”

Yukon MP Brendan Hanley said on Tuesday that support for Ukraine in the House of Commons was “so visible and so strong” – and that could be part of the reason Russia has banned hundreds of Canadian politicians to go there. (Radio Canada)

McLeod said it was “interesting” that he was on the list. “I’m not a world traveler,” he noted. “I think I was put on the list because I’m an MP.”

Ukrainian President’s call to Ottawa

Hanley was in Ottawa for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s speech to Canada on Tuesday.

He said the blacklist may have been linked to the “so visible and strong” support in the House of Commons that day.

“Most of the MPs were there in person, and the senators were there on the floor of the House of Commons. The gallery was almost full,” Hanley said. “It was pretty amazing to be there.”

Canadian MPs and guests cheer as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is projected onto a giant video screen before addressing the Canadian Parliament, Tuesday, March 15, 2022 in Ottawa. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)

McLeod watched Zelensky’s speech virtually from his home in Fort Providence, Northwest Territories, and said it “really struck a chord with all of us.”

Addressing parliament via video link, Zelensky spoke of the suffering in Ukraine and said 97 children had been killed since the start of the war. His speech was peppered with references to Canadian cities and monuments.

Hanley said it was hard to say the world was doing enough for Ukraine, after seeing the devastation unfold there every day.

Zelensky reiterated his calls for Western nations to establish a no-fly zone over his country to block Russian airstrikes that kill civilians. Hanley said the decision, which risks extending the conflict, is ultimately up to NATO.

McLeod, meanwhile, wants more to be done to ensure Ukrainians can get out of their country safely.

“There has to be an effort to ensure that those trying to leave – and many are – are protected… especially if they are women and children.”

Along with other Western powers, Canada has imposed sanctions on Russian President Vladimir Putin, his close political allies, senior government officials and billionaire oligarchs who control Russian industry and other entities overseas.

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