Alberta is donating more than $10 million in aid to Ukraine, including $5 million for non-lethal military equipment.
Premier Jason Kenney announced the funding at a news conference on Friday.
He says the $5 million donation to the Ukrainian World Congress’s Unite with Ukraine campaign will equip 5,000 members of the Territorial Defense Force with body armor, helmets, bulletproof vests, first aid kits care, communications equipment and fuel.
“Provincial governments don’t have international development programs, but we feel so strongly about it, in part, I think, because of the deep historical and human connection between Alberta and Ukraine,” he said. declared.
“We are so devastated to see acts of aggression reminiscent of the terror that was unleashed in Europe between 1938 and 1945.”
The war in Ukraine sparked new global alarm on Friday after Russian forces attacked a key nuclear power plant in the south.
Officials say the ensuing fires have now been extinguished and no radiation leaks have been detected. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky spoke with world leaders immediately after the attack, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Meanwhile, Russia continued other attacks on cities across Ukraine overnight.
Kenney announced an additional $5 million for humanitarian assistance — on top of a $1 million donation the province made in late February — to be distributed by the Canada Ukraine Foundation.
He added that the provincial government will also donate $360,000 to the Congress of Ukrainian Canadians — Alberta Provincial Council for its Alberta Stands with Ukraine campaign.
An Alberta scholar and longtime Ukrainian expert said it makes sense for Albertans to offer support to the country and its citizens, but he’s not convinced that offering military support is the best way to go, being since it falls under federal jurisdiction.
University of Alberta historian David Marples said Alberta’s large population of Ukrainians would make it a prime location for an influx of Ukrainian refugees, and believes universities of Alberta could help by sponsoring displaced Ukrainian students.
“It would be, for me, a broader way of doing it and something like the province itself could take initiatives separately from the federal government,” he said.
The funds announced Friday follow other actions Alberta has taken in recent days in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, including the divestment of Russian securities and Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis’ banning of new stocks of Russian-made alcohol.
Kenney said Friday he has also asked Labor and Immigration Minister Kaycee Madu to fast-track any Ukrainian applications for permanent residency through Alberta’s Advantage immigration program.