Canada to subject Russia to 35% tariffs, provide safe haven for Ukrainians

Most of those fleeing are seeking refuge in Poland, but as you'll learn in this report, more than 100-thousand have gone to Hungary. Here's why.

Canada has outlined new measures to target Russia’s economy, and is promising to provide a “safe haven” for Ukrainians fleeing the violence.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland announced Thursday morning that Russia’s “Most Favoured Nation” status has been revoked.

She says that means the country will no longer benefit from low tariffs with Canada, a historic move.

“Russia and Belarus will be subject to a tariff of 35 per cent on their exports to Canada,” Freeland said.

It’s the same position placed on North Korea, and Freeland is urging all other countries to follow suit with more severe sanctions.

“The economic costs of the Kremlin’s barbaric war are already high and they will continue to rise,” Freeland said regarding the impacts these measures will have on Russia.

Visas still required to come to Canada

While many were hoping that Canada would announce it was also temporarily removing the visa requirement for refugees, the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship of Canada Sean Fraser outlined two new programs would be created, but many requirements would remain in place which have been barriers for people to flee Ukraine to Canada.

“For those who need a safe haven while the war ravages their homeland, we are creating the Canada Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel Policy,” Fraser said.

While the program promises to provide the fastest way to welcome as many Ukrainians as possible to stay for up to two years, applicants will still have to qualify through an application form for security and background screening.

However, Fraser says many of the requirements have been waved.

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“Everyone who arrives under this new stream will also be eligible for an open work permit or study permit that will allow them to take a job with any Canadian employer or enroll in an education program,” he explained.

“I’ve heard from the Ukrainian Canadian communities of many fleeing the violence but want to return to their homeland and to their families when the war comes to an end. I’ve heard that others, particularly those with family in Canada, may wish to stay. That is why we are also introducing an expedited path to permanent residency for Ukrainian seeking to reunite with family members who are already in Canada through a new family sponsorship or program,” Fraser said.

More military aid on the way

“While Putin’s attacks have steadily intensified, so has our military support for Ukraine in coordination with our allies. We will leave no stone unturned when it comes to supporting our friends in Ukraine as they fight for their lives and their right to exist,” Federal Minister of Defence Anita Anand said Thursday.

She says Canada will send 4,500 rocket launchers and 7,500 hand grenades.

“These weapons will be drawn from the Canadian Armed Forces existing stockpiles and will be transported to the region as quickly and safely as possible. Given the nature of the conflict, we are not providing details relating to transit,” Anand said.

In addition to more military support, she says Canada will provide $1 million to purchase high resolution modern satellite imagery.

“This capability will provide Ukraine’s military with a strengthened ability to monitor the movement of Russian forces in and around their territory,” she said.

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