On Tuesday, Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland pledged ongoing subsidies to Ukraine until it “wins the war.” After committing to additional loans and grants in Budget 2023, taxpayer aid to the war-torn country is $8 billion and counting.
“We will be there until Ukraine wins the war,” said Freeland.
“Ukrainians right now are fighting for the fundamentals of democracy, for the U.N. Charter — for the values and principles that underpin our country and so many others,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Wednesday at a press conference. “That’s why we stand with Ukraine.”
The finance minister commended Ukraine for “heroically resisting Putin’s barbaric invasion.”
“Ukrainians have been fighting for their country, sovereignty and the future of Ukraine. But in Mariupol and Bakhmut and the freezing, muddy trenches across Ukraine, they have also been fighting our fight for democracy,” she said.
“That is the reason why Canada is also resolute. We want to make sure Ukraine wins this war.”
According to an internal Department of Finance poll published by Blacklock’s Reporter Tuesday, 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.
Ottawa’s budget document, A Made In Canada Plan, said current loans, grants and military aid to Ukrainians totalled $5.4 billion with “an additional loan of $2.4 billion for 2023.” 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.
“It’s one thing to promise the money,” said Freeland on August 25. “It’s another thing for that money to hit Ukrainian bank accounts. You don’t need to trust me about this.”
“It was an honour for me and my family to host [Prime Minister Denys Shymyhal] at my home in Toronto last night and to welcome him to Canada,” she said. “Canada is grateful to you, and democracy is grateful to you.”
On Tuesday, a pro-Russian threat group is believed to have distributed a denial of service (DDoS) attack that has blocked access to the prime minister’s official website to coincide with the government’s meeting with Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal.
“As you know, it’s not uncommon for Russian hackers to target countries as they are showing steadfast support for Ukraine, as they are welcoming Ukrainian delegations or leadership to visit, so the timing isn’t surprising,” said Trudeau on the incident.
He added that Russia bringing down a government website “[would not] cause us to rethink our unequivocal stance of doing whatever it takes for as long as it takes to support Ukraine.”
According to a 2019 Bank of Canada report, Database Of Sovereign Defaults, the war-torn country defaulted on its foreign debts last July 21 — joining 146 other countries that have defaulted on their debts since 1960, according to Blacklock’s Reporter.
“Looking ahead, we conclude defaults are likely to pick up again over the next decade given growing public debt burdens in many advanced and emerging market countries,” said the BoC report. “Government debt defaults are a recurring feature of public finance.”
“Defaults had their biggest global impact in the 1980s, peaking at US$450 billion or six percent of world public debt by 1990,” said Sovereign Defaults.
“The frequency of such events may be on the rise again and could be more closely correlated with rising public debt burdens than at any time since the 1930s,” wrote the Bank of Canada. “With many advanced and emerging market governments grappling with fiscal challenges, these are trends worth watching alongside other potential risks to global financial stability.”