Canada pledges $60 million in military aid to Ukraine before meeting of NATO allies

Defence Minister Bill Blair pledged another $60 million to support Ukraine's military campaign with Russia. During a January 1 phone call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau renewed Canada's unwavering support for the war-torn nation.

Canada pledges $60 million in military aid to Ukraine before meeting of NATO allies
The Canadian Press / Spencer Colby
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It's official: Canada is sending more foreign aid to Ukraine.

According to Defence Minister Bill Blair, Canadian taxpayers will provide Ukraine's F-16 fighter jets with spare parts and ammunition, worth an estimated $60 million.

Ahead of NATO meetings in Brussels, Belgium, Blair clarified the funds are part of a comprehensive $500 million military aid package announced last year. The totality of Ukrainian foreign aid is in excess of $9 billion.

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland pledged ongoing financial support to the war-torn country last April. "We will be there until Ukraine wins the war," she earlier told reporters.

Cabinet also proposed an additional $200 million in military aid and $84.8 million in civilian assistance to pay Ukrainian pensions and deliver essential services to the country. In July, Trudeau announced $541 million in new funding and projects "to provide long-term, multi-year commitments" to Ukraine's security.

"It’s one thing to promise the money," said Freeland on August 25, 2022. "It’s another thing for that money to hit Ukrainian bank accounts. You don’t need to trust me about this," she added.

During a January 1 phone call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau renewed Canada's unwavering support for the war-torn nation's counter-offensive against Russia.

The conflict nears its two-year anniversary, in which Blair reaffirmed Canada’s commitment Wednesday to supporting Ukraine well into the future.

"I am grateful to Prime Minister Trudeau for his willingness to assist us in protecting the Ukrainian sky, particularly by providing additional NASAMS [National Advanced Surface to Air Missile] systems and missiles," said Zelensky at the time. A NASAMS is a short- to medium-range ground-based air defence system that protects against drone, missile and aircraft attacks.

Canada purchased a $406 million surface-to-air missile system from the U.S. for Ukraine in January 2023 with associated munitions to deter Russian aggression. The system has reportedly still not arrived in Ukraine.

"As Russia's invasion of Ukraine enters its second winter, Ukrainians can count on Canada's support — for as long as it takes," Trudeau posted on X, formerly Twitter.

Zelensky thanked Canada "for the reassurance" they will continue to provide Ukraine with "military and financial assistance."

However, an internal Department of Finance poll published by Blacklock’s Reporter showed that fewer than a third (32%) of Canadians support more financial aid for Ukraine. Only 36% of Canadians oppose ongoing help, whereas 33% have no opinion.

"I know all Canadians are inspired by the [courageous] people of Ukraine," said Freeland, who did not reference the Research On The State Of The Economy poll in her remarks at the time.

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