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QUESTION PERIOD — Global Affairs

Support for Ukraine

February 29, 2024

My question is for the Leader of the Government.

Obviously, I’m in favour of support and grants for Ukraine. However, one of the measures that the Prime Minister’s Office announced last Friday caught my attention, and that is the government’s plan to allocate $4 million in public funds for “Gender-inclusive demining for sustainable futures in Ukraine.”

I found that phrase rather confusing. I kept reading and the press release provides some clarification by indicating that a gender and diversity working group will be established to promote gender-transformative mine action in Ukraine.

Leader, I’m totally confused. Can you explain the connection between clearing anti-personnel mines and gender?

Hon. Marc Gold (Government Representative in the Senate) [ - ]

Thank you for the question.

The Government of Canada is a major, stable and dedicated ally for the Ukrainian government and its people. We are responding to requests to the best of our ability based on the interests of the Ukrainian government and civil society.

There is more than one way to help Ukraine. Of course, military aid is essential, but there’s also work being done in areas that are important to this sovereign country, which has a very good relationship with Canada.

I understand all of that.

I see that you are using talking points because you don’t like the question. What is the connection between demining and gender identity? It makes no sense. What’s all this about?

Senator Gold [ - ]

As I tried to explain, there’s no need to make a direct link. The important thing is that we’re responding to the needs of the Ukrainian people and doing so on that government’s terms. It is the wise, healthy and appropriate way for two sovereign countries to proceed.

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