March 06, 2014 - 4:59 AM
VICTORIA - British Columbia Premier Christy Clark is speaking up about the crisis on Europe's Crimean Peninsula, saying Ukrainians must be free from threats, intimidation and violence when deciding their own political future.
The weeks-old conflict has seen Russian forces occupy the peninsula, which is home to its Black Sea naval fleet, after the ouster of Ukraine's pro-Russian president.
Speaking in the B.C. legislature, Clark says Canadians take pride in welcoming people, regardless of ethnicity, race, culture or faith, and the descendents of Russian and Ukrainian immigrants have strengthened the country.
She says the dispute is no longer diplomatic, Ukrainian territory has been breached in violation of international law, and Ukrainian sovereignty must be respected.
Opposition NDP Leader Adrian Dix supports Clark's statement and condemned the Russian incursion, saying Ukraine isn't a jigsaw puzzle where pieces can be removed.
Green Party MLA Andrew Weaver says half of his family is in the Ukraine, including a cousin who was recently raising money to buy bulletproof vests for doctors.
News from © The Canadian Press, 2014