FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 3, 2022
ILLEGAL RECRUITMENT OF CANADIANS FOR WAR IN UKRAINE
It’s reprehensible that the Trudeau government is failing to enforce its own laws on the recruitment of Canadians to fight in foreign wars. Here is the law.
- 11(1) Foreign Enlistment Act:
- 11(1) Any person who, within Canada, recruits or otherwise induces any person or body of persons to enlist or to accept any commission or engagement in the armed forces of any foreign state or other armed forces operating in that state is guilty of an offence.
In Hamilton, a portal has been set up to “Fight For Ukraine.” Its creator, businessman Chris Ecklund stated in an interview with the Hamilton Spectator, “This is not a recruiting tool.” However, the website contains a direct link to the International Legion of the Defence of Ukraine, a body set up by Ukrainian President Zelensky to recruit foreigners for combat in Ukraine. By his own admission in the article, Ecklund admits to aiding and counselling those who intend to fight for Ukraine and to help the wounded return to Canada.
In addition, Ecklund’s portal lists the Ukrainian Embassy and two consulates in Canada, in Toronto and Edmonton, for Canadians to contact who wish to join the Ukrainian International (Foreign) Legion. According to the Foreign Enlistment Act, embassies are limited as well to recruiting their own nationals for foreign wars.*
The conflict in Ukraine is a very serious crisis, that has the potential of spreading into a wider European and even world war. It’s important, therefore, that Canada play a useful role in de-escalating the conflict, rather than fuelling the fighting, as it is now, with funding, lethal arms, and mercenaries.
The Hamilton Coalition To Stop The War calls for a peaceful resolution of the conflict in Ukraine through de-escalation, dialogue, and international diplomacy.
We note that, in the wake of the war hysteria over Ukraine that is gripping this country, respect for the rule of law is being over-ridden by government officials and is escalating the conflict. Therefore, we call on the Government of Canada to enforce its own laws preventing the recruitment and enlisting of Canadians in the International Legion of the Defence of Ukraine.
For more information, please email the Hamilton Coalition To Stop The War at firstname.lastname@example.org
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* (2) Subsection (1) does not apply to the action of foreign consular or diplomatic officers or agents in enlisting persons who are nationals of the countries they represent and not Canadian nationals, in conformity with the regulations of the Governor in Council.