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Over 500 Canadian troops at ‘high readiness’ in case of invasion of Ukraine – National

The Canadian commander of a multinational battle group in Latvia says he is working to ensure his troops have enough supplies and can talk to each other, as tensions rise between the NATO military alliance and Russia feed fears of a new war in Europe.

Canada has more than 500 troops in Latvia as part of a larger NATO reassurance mission first launched in 2017 in response to concerns about Russian aggression in Eastern Europe.

The Canadian contingent includes about 350 soldiers mainly from Valcartier, Quebec, who form the core of a 1,000-man NATO battle group stationed at Camp Adazi, about 30 kilometers northeast of Riga, the Latvian capital. .

Read more:

Ukrainian Canadians worried about conflict with Russia: ‘I fear for my family’

This battle group also includes military personnel and equipment from nine nations of the alliance, including Poland, Spain, Italy and the Czech Republic, all of which fall under the command of the lieutenant colonel. Dan Richel.

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In an interview with The Canadian Press on Thursday, Richel said one of his main responsibilities since taking command last month has been to ensure that the various contingents are able to communicate quickly and accurately with each other. others in the field.

“English is a second language for pretty much everyone in the battle group right now,” he said. “They are all NATO countries, obviously, so their tactics are generally the same. We just have to make sure everyone has the same understanding of all the terminology.

Clear communication would be essential in the event of a Russian invasion, which the battlegroup is specifically designed to defend against. It is also important to ensure that the NATO force has fuel, ammunition and other supplies to fight.


Click to play video: ''Don't Panic: ''Ukrainian President Addresses Nation Over Possible Conflict With Russia''







‘Don’t panic’: Ukrainian president addresses nation on possible conflict with Russia


‘Don’t panic’: Ukrainian president addresses nation on possible conflict with Russia

The battle group is designed for conventional warfare, that is, the battle with an army similar to that of Russia. Although Canada’s contribution is primarily infantry with armored vehicles, other partners have contributed tanks, artillery and other equipment.

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“We all come with very different gear, different gear that uses different ammo and requires different support,” Richel said. “It’s a challenge that I think we handle quite well.”

The Canadian commander said the main objective of the battle group was to train and prepare for a possible attack, as it has done since its creation five years ago.

“The battle group itself is already a high-readiness combat unit,” Richel said. “I would say what you see here today is a lot of what you would have seen in the other rotations as well.”

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Biden predicts Russia will ‘intervene’ in Ukraine and test Western leaders

In addition to those assigned to the battle group, Canada also has about 200 support personnel and a headquarters in Riga responsible for the overall planning and coordination of NATO efforts in Latvia.

Similar battlegroups led by Britain, Germany and the United States were established in Estonia, Lithuania and Poland respectively. The Liberal government has said Canada will lead the mission in Latvia until at least March 2023.

Designed to defend against a Russian invasion, the battlegroups’ small size means they would almost certainly be overwhelmed in a real war. Instead, their primary goal is to deter Russian aggression, with the idea that an attack on one would draw in all of NATO.

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Click to play the video: “Questions remain about the additional assistance the Canadian military can provide to Ukraine”







Questions remain about how much the Canadian military can help Ukraine


Questions remain about how much the Canadian military can help Ukraine

The Russian government has in recent weeks asked the alliance to withdraw all its forces from the region, including those from the Baltic and Poland, after mobilizing around 100,000 troops on the Russia-Ukraine border.

Canada, the United States and other NATO members have rejected the request, sparking growing concerns that an armed conflict between the two sides could start in Ukraine and spread to the rest of Europe. from the east.

Asked Wednesday whether the government would repatriate Canadian troops from Latvia and Ukraine if Russia attacked, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau underscored Canada’s commitment to NATO’s Baltic members.

“We are in Latvia to defend the Baltic states – Latvia, Lithuania and the states of Eastern Europe – against any incursion by Russian forces,” he said in French during a briefing on the COVID-19 in Ottawa. “We will continue the important work that NATO is doing to protect its eastern front.”

© 2022 The Canadian Press

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Positive feedback on the first episode of Veteran Hunters

The second installment of the Veteran Hunters television series premiered last night on the Canada Sportsman channel and will continue to air at various times over the coming weeks.

Titled “Pheasants a Plenty,” it captures a two-day pheasant festival for veterans and first responders hosted by the non-profit organization Veterans Hunter at Wessex Game Birds in Carstairs, AB.

It follows the first episode, titled “Anxious for Antelope”, which began airing on December 27.

Veteran Hunters founder Todd Hisey said the show’s sponsors received a positive response to the first episode. This includes Jeff McClounie, COO for Steelhead Ventures, among the show’s sponsors.

Hisey says it’s possible to get other sponsorships for his show and programming. Their fundraising runs from January to Match before the spring hunts begin.

“Any businesses or organizations in Cochrane or Calgary and area that would like to partner with us to provide donations to the organization or consider an opportunity to sponsor the TV show would be greatly appreciated,” Hisey said.

Veteran hunters also attend the Grand Valley Safari Club’s annual fundraising dinner on January 29.

The dinner started almost 20 years ago as an occasion for a few hunters to come together to swap stories and has grown into an evening that attracts over 300 people. Safari Club president Kevin Firkus said he has raised around $250,000 over the years for many worthy causes.

Hisey says the veterans appreciated the opportunity to be among the partners for the evening.

“It’s a great opportunity for the community, ranchers, hunters and outdoor enthusiasts, to come together for an evening and raise money for worthy causes,” says Hisey.

Veteran Hunters will have items up for grabs in the Silent Auction. At their booth, you can learn more about the organization, its fair and meet some of their hunter hosts.

A few tickets are available and can be purchased by contacting Veteran Hunters through their website. here or by emailing Firkus at [email protected]

Hisey had a 22-year career as an officer in the Canadian Army with deployments to Bosnia, Kosovo and Russia. In 2018, and after nearly six years of treatment for PTSD, it was determined that he could no longer work in a traditional role. In January 2019, he launched The Veteran Hunters with a website, podcast, and social media presence to continue giving back to the community and helping fellow soldiers.

Photo/Veteran Hunters

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WARMINGTON: Ford one-man army in snow battle

Content of the article

Why call in the military when the Premier of Ontario is patrolling in the snow?

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Granted, there were no complaints from Etobicoke Edwin Kandic about this kind of personalized service from Doug Ford.

“I was stuck on Wincott Dr. for about two hours, and it was cold,” said the 26-year-old, who was trying to get to his warehouse job.

Then he noticed that someone had stopped.

“It was a guy in a Ford pickup truck. I said, ‘Oh my God, it’s Prime Minister Doug Ford,'” recalls Kandic, who had never seen the politician in person before. was shocked. He told me to get in the truck.

Kandic left his car on the side of the road, so he could accept the prime minister’s offer to drive him home in about 15 minutes.

“He was a nice guy,” Kandic added. “I thanked him for helping me.”

For Ford Nation, it was the familiar style of retail politics for which the premier and his late mayor brother, Rob Ford, became famous.

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Within minutes there were cynical comments, but as anyone who knows Doug Ford will attest, it wasn’t contrived.

That’s what Doug Ford does. Coming out to help, whether it’s a flood, an ice storm or a heavy snowfall, is part of the Ford brand. It’s letting Doug be Doug and not the guy who sometimes looks like he’s been held hostage by the Pandemic Industrial Complex.

It certainly seemed like the Prime Minister was enjoying every minute he spent shoveling cars through snow banks. In his own way, it seems he was reminding his caucus of what he was supposed to do.

“I’m the taxi driver today, the snow plow and everything else,” the prime minister told Kandic.

Move on, Batman, Spider-Man and Superman. It was Fordman to the rescue.

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Of course, there are people who will throw snow at this story and complain about everything a leader does.

But for me, it was just fun to see Ford Nation alive and well. Admittedly, when you’re two years old in an endless pandemic, sometimes you just need a reminder of a time when it was okay to smile or to be able to see one.

The only thing missing was a range of free Fordfest burgers instead of a vaccine or rapid test.

Who would have thought that a snowstorm would bring so much humanity and warmth?

We apologize, but this video failed to load.

‘Just helping out’ and ‘making sure people are safe in their cars,’ Ford said CP24 George Lagogianes in a live TV hit. “Anything I can do to help them, you do what you have to do.”

Many more have received such help from a premier whose “For the People” campaign slogan was dusted once again during a shutdown that crippled the province even more than the snowstorm.

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Lagogianes declared Ford an “army of many” about 23 years after Toronto called in the Canadian military to help deal with the snow. The Prime Minister, who is seeking re-election on June 2, played it all down.

‘Prime Minister or no Prime Minister’, people are ‘here to help their neighbors right now,’ Ford says CP24.

Kandic said he could vouch for the prime minister who helped him when he really needed it.

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“As he was dropping me off at home, Premier Ford said, ‘Let me know if there’s anything else I can do to help you. “”

As a matter of fact.

“My car is still stuck in a snow bank,” teased Kandic, who will need a drive back to retrieve his car once the snow plows pass.

But the Prime Minister is quite busy at the moment. Ford was still making calls on the road Monday afternoon.

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COVID-19 vaccine targeting multiple variants needed: expert

OTTAWA – Health Canada’s chief medical adviser says variant-specific vaccines can be approved faster than general vaccines first issued to fight COVID-19, but one targeting the Omicron strain likely won’t be ready in time to help with the last wave.

Dr Supriya Sharma said what is really needed are vaccines that can potentially stop more than one variant at a time, including those to come.

Omicron became the dominant variant in Canada in just over two weeks, and the Public Health Agency of Canada said Friday that it will now be responsible for more than 90% of all COVID-19 cases.

Studies suggest that two doses of the existing mRNA vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna are not effective in preventing Omicron infection.

However, several studies suggest that vaccines are excellent for keeping symptoms mild, preventing hospitalizations, shortening stays and reducing the standard of care for those admitted to hospital. Fewer vaccinated Omicron patients, for example, require mechanical ventilation.

Both Pfizer and Moderna are working on new versions of their vaccines that specifically target the Omicron variant.

Moderna hopes to have its product tested early this year. Pfizer said it could have 100 million doses ready as early as March, and Canada has contracts for boosters from both companies that would also include vaccines for variants.

But Sharma said even with the accelerated vaccine variant review process, it’s “probably not” fast enough.

“By then, from what we know of the Omicron wave, it may well be over,” she said. “And then the question is always, ‘is there another variant coming up?’

The solution, she said, likely lies in vaccines that can target more than one variant at a time.

The World Health Organization’s COVID-19 vaccine technical committee said the same on Jan. 11, noting that Omicron is the fifth variant of concern in two years and “probably won’t be the last.”

Booster shots that increase antibody development have become the immediate response to Omicron for many governments, including Canada.

Dr. Srinivas Murthy, a British Columbia pediatrician and co-chair of the WHO’s clinical research committee on COVID-19, told The Canadian Press that boosters are not a viable long-term option.

“Boosting your exit from a pandemic is inevitably going to shoot you in the foot in the sense that you’re going to have a future variant that’s going to emerge that’s going to cause problems,” he said. “He’s going to escape your shots, and then you’re going to have to figure it out.”

Omicron does not entirely avoid existing vaccines, but a future variant might, he said. Much of the problem stems from the fact that the original vaccines train the body’s immune system to recognize what’s called the spike protein found on the surface of a virus, and that spike protein undergoes a significant mutation. .

Think of the mutated spike protein as a bit of a disguise that makes it harder for the immune system to recognize the virus and mount a defense to kill it.

Omicron has over 50 mutations, and at least 36 are on the spike protein.

Multivalent vaccines that use the spike protein of more than one variant, or that target the genetic components of a virus rather than the spike protein, may be the ones that could offer protection against both this pandemic and against the next new emerging coronavirus.

“It’s a pan-coronavirus, where it’s looking at big, broad neutralizing responses and you don’t have to update it every season and so on,” Murthy said. “It’s been the holy grail of influenza vaccinology for several decades. We haven’t gotten there yet, because influenza is a bit tricky, but we think it’s doable for coronavirus, in particular.”

The US military has a version heading into phase 2 trials that can attach several advanced proteins. A vaccine with the specific spike proteins of the five COVID-19 variants of concern would likely be more effective, even against future variants, as they all share some of the same mutations and what one might miss another can catch. .

Moderna is working on multivalent vaccine trials using combinations of the original virus’ spike proteins and one of the variants, or two of the variants together. It is unclear when they would be ready for use.

Sharma said that while vaccines don’t work as well against the variants as they do against the original virus, to her “they’re still miraculous.”

“To have a vaccine that was developed so quickly, that still has, through multiple ΓǪ variants with boosters, up to 70, 80% efficacy against serious illnesses, conditions, hospitalizations and deaths” , she said. “It’s miraculous for a new vaccine against a new virus.”

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on January 16, 2022.

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Canada must prepare for a potentially hostile government in Washington

In the 155 years since Confederation, most Canadians have rarely thought about national security. For the first 60 years after Confederation, we were protected by the British Empire. Then, in August 1938, United States President Franklin Roosevelt, during a visit to Kingston, Ontario, said, “I assure you that the people of the United States will not stand idly by if the domination of Canadian soil is threatened. Since then, our national security has been guaranteed by the United States.

It would be wise for Canadians to rethink this dependence on the United States. Since Donald Trump’s election to the White House in November 2016, we have seen a rise in right-wing extremism fueled by Trump’s irresponsible and sometimes dangerous rhetoric. We have seen massive unrest in cities across the United States as people protest against police violence against minorities. On January 6, 2021, we witnessed the infamous uprising as Trump supporters attempted to prevent election certification. Since then, the right-wing media and Trump have continued to “fan the flames” of fury and outrage. The majority of the Republican Party seems to tolerate this.

Why should we care, you may ask. We live in Canada after all. We need to be concerned about this, because violence can very easily spread across our borders. Prime Minister Lester Pearson knew this when he deployed Canadian troops to the border crossings between Windsor, Ontario and Detroit, Michigan during the Detroit Riots in July 1967. President Richard Nixon moved American troops to the border areas near Quebec during the October Crisis. of 1970. Both leaders knew that their primary duty was to protect their citizens and they took steps to achieve it.

The modern Republican Party is nothing like the party of decades past. This is not the party of Dwight Eisenhower, Nixon, Ronald Reagan, etc. This is a party that embraces violence, intolerance, disregards logic, reason and science (witness the horrific deaths in pandemic ‘red’ states) and opposes rights reproduction of women. These values ​​upheld by the current Republican Party are totally foreign and repugnant to most Canadians. We also have to believe that the Republicans oppose most of the values ​​that are dear to Canadians.

If the Republicans take control of Congress in November and the White House in 2024, it will mean Canada has a potentially hostile government across the border. We must prepare for it and do it immediately. What actions should we take?

We must first ensure that we can protect our borders. That means we have to make sure that we can mobilize enough military personnel and deploy them to any part of the border that is needed quickly. It will also require a change in military policy in Canada. Currently, army reserve units have very little ammunition available to them in their arsenals. In an emergency, ammunition would be brought to them from larger bases. This must change. We need to be able to mobilize our reserves and they can’t wait for enough ammunition to deploy to the border.

Next, we need to be able to show a potentially hostile Republican president that no threat will come to the United States via Canada. This means, for example, that we must have a modern, well-equipped air force that can destroy any threat entering Canadian airspace and heading towards the United States. No US president would hesitate to order US military forces into Canada if he felt Canada had failed to deal adequately with a crisis that could threaten the United States. We cannot give them any excuse to do so.

The current Republican Party is not a friend of Canada and could indeed threaten us if it regains power. This means that we must be prepared to keep a respectful distance and ensure that we can defend our people.

Craig Wallace is a Hamilton resident and author of five books.

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“A life full of adventures”: the Métis community mourns the loss of Saskatchewan. Louis Roy, WWII Veteran

One of the oldest Métis veterans of the Second World War died Tuesday at the age of 101 in a long-term care home in northern Saskatchewan.

Louis Roy leaves in his family the memory of a kind man who paved the way for his 10 children and his many grandchildren.

“He was just a very respected man. He lived a fulfilling life full of adventures and experienced so much wisdom,” his granddaughter Glenda Burnouf said.

Roy was born on August 2, 1920 in Île-à-la-Croix. His first language was Cree. His father died when he was 12, so the family moved to Beauval in 1932. Roy attended boarding school at Île-à-la-Croix.

He enlisted in the Canadian army in February 1942 at the age of 21, according to a biography prepared by his daughter Julie Roy.

He underwent basic and advanced training where he learned to drive and other skills such as map reading, weaponry and communication.

“It really formed the basis of his life and professional skills to come,” Burnouf said.

He served in the infantry in Ireland, Spain, Portugal, Italy and England until his discharge in October 1945.

Métis Nation-Saskatchewan Veterans Affairs Minister Mervin Tex Bouvier is from the same area as Roy and says he was a role model in the community.

“Everyone knew Louis Roy because it’s like a family from Green Lake to La Loche,” Bouvier said. “He was highly respected by his peers and his people.”

Bouvier says the area does not have a Legion branch presence and MN-S plans to assist in the proper recognition of Roy and other Métis veterans who have contributed to the fabric of the community.

“I really want to look at cemeteries and recognize who they were and where they served,” Bouvier said.

Manitoba Metis Federation President David Chartrand also acknowledged Roy’s death.

“Louis was one of many brave Métis citizens drafted to serve in the Canadian Armed Forces against the evils of the world, while facing discrimination at home,” Chartrand said.

Roy was the first Métis veteran to receive a $20,000 recognition payment from Ottawa in 2019 for the way he was treated after returning from fighting.

Burnouf said that after the war Roy earned his living as a trapper, hunter and fisherman. He married, founded a home near Beauval and raised 10 children.

At 43, he began a career as a carpenter. He worked for the Department of Northern Services and the school division until his retirement at age 65.

In 2005, at the age of 85, Roy downsized and built himself a one-bedroom house on the banks of the Beaver River. He lived there alone until he was 100 years old.

She says it’s nice to see her grandfather recognized for his contributions.

“He took it upon himself to provide for his family and learn a career and now the recognition is coming, which I’m very grateful for,” Burnouf said.

She says she can see some of her noble traits and values ​​in her children and grandchildren.

“It’s good to see that he lives in all of us.”

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Ukraine dust off Cold War bunkers in case of Russian invasion, many believe it won’t happen

Under an administrative building in Kiev, a concrete stairwell leads to a thick metal door – the entrance to a Cold War-era air raid shelter. It is just one of hundreds of shelters that city officials are inspecting in case the simmering conflict in eastern Ukraine turns into a full-scale Russian invasion.

“Our goal is to have shelters for 100% of our population,” said Nikolai Budnik, director of the city’s shelter system, as he showed CBC on Monday a bunker built in 1986.

Due to the recent escalation of tensions between Ukraine and Russia, he said, authorities are inspecting shelters and restocking supplies stored inside, such as gas masks.

Diplomatic talks on several fronts to ease ongoing tensions

While Russian officials have denied that they are planning an offensive, US and Ukrainian intelligence sources estimate that around 100,000 Russian troops are amassed near the Ukraine-Russia border.

A series of high-level diplomatic talks are underway in an attempt to ease escalating tensions and avoid the risk of war.

US and Russian negotiators met in Geneva on Monday, and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg is due to meet Russian officials in Brussels on Wednesday. Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau, meanwhile, discussed the extension of Canada’s military training mission and the prospect of new sanctions against Moscow during an appeal with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Tuesday.

Supplies are lined up in an air raid shelter in the Ukrainian capital, Kiev. The shelters are being assessed to ensure they have enough space and supplies for the nearly three million people who live in the city. (Jean-François Bisson / CBC)

The particular shelter that CBC visited this week is outfitted with old bunk beds and water tanks and is meant to house essential workers to keep the city running and utilities running in the event of an attack.

Russia has issued a series of demands and repeatedly warned of the dangers of crossing its so-called red lines, gestures by the West towards Ukraine that would trigger a response from Russia. He warned, for example, that Ukraine should never be allowed to join NATO, although the United States has already called the request a non-starting.

Officials on both sides have expressed doubts that diplomatic talks will lead to a breakthrough, but that doesn’t mean all Ukrainians believe a bigger war is imminent or even likely.

Inside one of the Cold War era bomb shelters in Kiev being prepared for possible use again. (Jean-François Bisson / CBC)

“Not the Ukraine of six or seven years ago”

In Kiev’s historic Podil district, crowds strolled through a holiday market on Monday. Some sipped mulled wine, and others took a ride on a Ferris wheel.

“I wouldn’t say we care a lot,” said Oksana Dalko, 23.

“Ukraine now is not the Ukraine of six or seven years ago… we have a strong army now.”

Oksana Dalko, 23, says that while Ukraine traditionally looks like Russia, Ukrainians wish to be more like Western democracies. (Corinne Seminov / CBC)

Ukraine has grown its military in recent years with the help of allies, including the United States and Canada. In 2021 alone, the United States provided $ 400 million in military assistance to Ukraine, and Canadian troops helped train the country’s soldiers on Operation UNIFIER.

A war between Ukrainian forces and Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine has continued since 2014, killing around 14,000 people. But, about 750 kilometers into the country’s capital, Dalko says there are few signs of an imminent threat.

The Donbass region in eastern Ukraine is currently divided into government-controlled territory, in yellow, and that held by Russian-backed separatists, in orange. The opposing parties have been fighting since 2014. (SRC)

An invasion poses an economic risk

Volodymyr Korniienko, 27, was among the crowd at the holiday market.

He doesn’t think Ukraine will be allowed to join NATO for years to come, but that it will eventually happen and says Russia should just accept it.

He says he is also not worried about the apparent political stalemate.

“I’m pretty sure that no kind of military escalation will happen on the Russian side,” he said.

“Even if Russia invades Ukraine, it won’t make economic sense.”

Volodymyr Korniienko, 27, believes Ukraine will eventually join NATO, but says the ongoing fighting in the Donbass region means it is unlikely to happen anytime soon. (Briar Stewart / CBC)

He is referring to the new punitive sanctions that the United States and NATO have threatened to impose if Russia launches an attack. Officials have hinted that the sweeping measures could include financial sanctions that could target Russian assets abroad, which would deal a heavy blow to the country and in particular to the ultra-rich elite who have investments and accounts. banking abroad.

“They depend on it a lot,” said Illia Ponomarenko, 29, a defense reporter for the Kyiv Independent, an English-language news site.

“Our enemy is nasty but not stupid. They still need their billions in the West. They take advantage of the villas in the south of France.”

Journalist Illia Ponomarenko said Russia’s growing rhetoric was part of a plan to intimidate Ukraine and put pressure on the West. (Jean-François Bisson / CBC)

He worked for the Kyiv Post, Ukraine’s main English-language newspaper, until the owner abruptly sacked all of the newspaper’s staff in November. He and some of his colleagues banded together to start the Kyiv Independent.

Ponomarenko, from the Donbass region in eastern Ukraine, says he has seen three wars and two revolutions in his life. Thus, he feels less anxious about the situation today than it did last spring, when Russia also amassed troops near the Ukrainian border.

“It was a real apocalyptic atmosphere here in Kiev. I have to admit I was scared. I was really scared.”

A psychological campaign

Now, he says, he’s less emotional. If Russia had wanted to take over all of Ukraine, it would have tried in 2014 when it annexed the Ukrainian peninsula from Crimea, he said.

He suspects that the war rhetoric this time is more of a psychological campaign by Russia to maintain its influence.

Ponomarenko says the more Westward Ukraine leans and develops its democracy and civil liberties, the more likely Russian residents are to take notice.

“They will start to wonder … ‘if the Ukrainians can do it, why can’t we do it too?'”

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More than 3,700 crowns deposited locally as part of national ceremonies

Major General Darren Werner clears snow from a marker before placing a wreath. Werner was the guest speaker at the ceremony. This year, more than 3,700 crowns were presented.

Volunteers roam the cemetery, laying wreaths on veterans’ graves after a wreathing ceremony across America on December 18 at the Clinton Township Resurrection Cemetery.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

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CLINTON TOWNSHIP – Bagpipes played “Amazing Grace” as volunteers gathered, wading through the snow.

Locally, this year’s Wreaths Across America event took place on December 18 at the Clinton Township Resurrection Cemetery.

Now in its 10th year in Clinton Township, Wreaths Across America unites those who have served with those who currently serve, and others, such as youth groups and organizations.

The Wreaths Across America website says its mission to remember, honor and teach is accomplished by coordinating wreath laying ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery, as well as at over 2,500 additional sites in 50 US states, at sea and abroad.

“Our children need to know what the veterans have done for their freedom,” said event organizer Karen Straffon. “They cannot be forgotten just because they are in a grave.”

In 2012, approximately 728 crowns were laid during the Resurrection. In 2018, that number rose to over 3,000 crowns. This year, more than 3,700 crowns were presented. Straffon estimates that around 450 volunteers were on site.

She noted that funds are raised year round for wreaths, which come from Maine.

In recent years, an honorary ceremony has been held at the Fern Hill Country Club. Due to the pandemic, the ceremony coincided with the outdoor gathering.

A wooden flag made by Flags of Valor veterans was presented to the Township of Clinton for their continued support of the veterans, and to Sgt. Adam Thurau, an Iraq war veteran.

“We honored him for the work he did,” Straffon said. “He worked so hard. His story is horrible, and he also has a wife and five children. “

She added that in Iraq, Thurau drove a vehicle and was the only one who survived.

“We want to make PTSD out in the open that it is working on it, but still has a way to go,” Straffon said.

Major General Darren Werner, Commanding General of the US Army Tank Automotive and Armaments Command, Army Materiel Command, was the guest speaker.

“When I have the opportunity to come out and be a part of one of the incredible commemorative recognitions in Clinton Township, I am very happy to come and participate,” he said.

“As a General, posted to Michigan and Commander of Detroit Arsenal and US Army Tank Automotive Command, I am extremely proud. As a youngster who grew up in the thumb and spent my formative years in school here, I’m proud to be back.

Werner said that of all the commemorative events happening at the cemetery, Wreaths Across America has to be the happiest.

“As we go out and celebrate the lives of those who have touched us in the past, those people, our family and friends who have served our nation, to step out and remember them during this very special time. “said the two-star general. commented.

Werner said it was a day of remembrance, honor and thanksgiving.

“We remember all the brave men and women of our armed forces who have committed to selfless service to protect and defend our Constitution,” he said. “It’s a freedom that is close to our hearts. “

Clinton Township Supervisor Bob Cannon said it has become an annual tradition to lay wreaths at the graves of deceased veterans until December.

“It is a way of expressing our appreciation and of paying homage to the sacrifices made for our country by our soldiers,” he said. “December is a time of traditional family reunions. “

Cannon called the event a great learning opportunity for children to understand the sacrifices made by the military.

The laying of the ceremonial wreaths was carried out by members of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Merchant Navy, Canadian Army, Air Force, Space Force and POW / MIA.

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Maple Ridge Sally Ann gets kettle campaign proceeds at critical time – Maple Ridge News

The Salvation Army Department Ridge Meadows has once again surpassed $ 100,000 in fundraising thanks to its annual Christmas Kettle Campaign.

This follows a year in which the campaign raised an unprecedented amount of $ 138,000.

The exact number is not yet known, as revenue from the six-week campaign is still being calculated, the local charity said in a press release.

The funds are coming at a critical time. The organization is seeing an increase in demand for programs and services due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“This year has been tough for a lot of people,” spokesman Mark Stewart said. “Due to almost two years of living in a pandemic, a lot of people are still struggling. We are seeing an increased need and we are relying on the public to help us meet the demand. “

Programs such as Community and Family Services are seeing more and more families and individuals using their Emergency Bridge Hamper program. And with this recent cold weather purchase, the Community Meal Program is operating 24/7 to keep vulnerable people safe and warm throughout the day and night.

The agency says every dollar raised through the Red Kettle campaign will stay in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows, where it’s used to fund essential programs and services, 365 days a year. The Salvation Army strives to provide the necessities of food, clothing, and shelter, while delivering life-changing programs, such as emergency baskets, youth programs, and advocacy.

“The people of Ridge Meadows have been incredibly generous this holiday season,” said Stewart. “Every year we ask them to help their community, and every year they come together to meet the demand and we can’t thank them enough. “

With money still running out, the organization hopes to reach its provincial goal of $ 5 million. Nationally, the organization hopes to meet its goal of $ 21 million.

In addition to individual donors, The Salvation Army thanked corporate partners, including Walmart, Costco, BC Liquor Stores, Canadian Tire, Save-on-Foods, Sobeys and many more, who generously donate and place Christmas kettles in their stores and at ringers.

“A special thank you to our wonderful volunteers and community partners who have supported this campaign with hours of their time over the holiday season. “


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Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows Salvation Army




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Canadian army

Part of Devon belongs to Canada

Brown road signs emblazoned with a distinctive maple leaf symbol on a red and white flag are the first clues on the Devon Trail to a story that resembles the plot of a historical novel and is indelibly linked to the foundations of the Canada and the abolition of slavery.

Pointing to both the A30 and the A35, tourist markers guide visitors to a small chapel accessible by a right of way through the grounds of a large country house near Dunkeswell, four miles from Honiton .

The stone Wolford Chapel, its beautiful antique interior and small garden near Wolford Lodge, was donated to the Canadian community in 1966 in memory of an English serviceman who made a huge impact across the country. Atlantic during the late 18th century and launched a campaign to free all slaves.



Wolford Chapel, near Honiton and the final resting place of John Graves Simcoe

As the first lieutenant governor of Upper Canada and founder of Toronto (which he first named York), John Graves Simcoe is a household name in the province of Ontario and he even has a public holiday, a city, a lake, streets, schools and buildings that bear his name. His life story, however, is less well known in his homeland and in the county of Devon where he was both raised and buried.

John was born 270 years ago – February 25, 1752 – in Cotterstock, Northamptonshire, the son of Royal Navy Captain John Simcoe and his wife, Catherine. Captain Simcoe served on HMS Pembroke alongside the great explorer James Cook, teaching him to sail. He was held prisoner by the French in Quebec, then released, but died on the St. Lawrence River and was buried at sea.

After the loss of his father and the death of his three siblings, young John was raised in Exeter by his mother and attended Exeter Grammar School. He was orphaned at the age of 14 when Catherine died, and he was later placed under the wing of his esteemed and kind godfather, Admiral Samuel Graves, at Hembury Fort House, near Honiton. John briefly visited Eton, followed by Merton College, Oxford, and played with the law, before embracing the admiral’s military influence and joining the army at the age of 18.



John Graves Simcoe
John Graves Simcoe

A captain at only 23, John became commander of the Grenadier Company of the 40th Foot, traveling to Boston to participate in the American War of Independence. After putting pressure on his superiors, in 1777 he was promoted to major and took command of the Queen’s Rangers, a regiment of Americans loyal to King George III, and under this new leadership acquired a solid reputation as a formidable fighting force.

In 1781 John, then 31 years old and lieutenant-colonel, was returned invalid to England. He spent time recovering at Hembury Fort House, where another orphan was taken in by the admiral.

Teenage heiress Elizabeth Posthuma Gwillim was 15 years younger than him, but educated, artistic, spirited and a perfect match for the recovering officer. The couple fell in love with each other and married on December 30, 1782 at St Mary and St Giles Church, Buckerell. Elizabeth used her substantial inheritance to purchase land to build their family home, Wolford Lodge, and the Little Chapel where they could worship.



A sketch by Elizabeth Posthuma Simcoe
A sketch by Elizabeth Posthuma Simcoe

John immersed himself in politics, served briefly as an MP for the rotten St Mawes district of Cornwall, and wrote a book about his military experiences across the Atlantic, and four girls arrived quickly.

But he was an ambitious and action-hungry man, and in 1792 he returned to Canada to become lieutenant-governor of the new province of Upper Canada, later Ontario. This time he was accompanied by Elizabeth and one of their daughters, sailing from Weymouth and leaving the other children at home in Devon with parents.



Wolford Chapel sign

A year later, after much campaigning and negotiation, John successfully introduced the Anti-Slavery Act, a law against discrimination between natives of Africa, America or Europe in the province. Slavery was phased out over the next two decades, with as many as 40,000 slaves fleeing to the province from other parts of North America to gain their freedom in what became the Underground Railroad. . By 1810 there were no longer any slaves in Upper Canada, while the rest of the British Empire took another 24 years to come to this.

During her husband’s tenure, Elizabeth became fully engaged intellectually, communityally and personally. She documented her stay in Upper Canada in a comprehensive journal of her experiences as well as sketching hundreds of scenes capturing the early colonial Yorks (aka Toronto), some of which are held in the British Museum. A series of townships in central Ontario are named Gwillimbury in his honor.



Head of the Lake, a 1796 sketch of Lake Ontario by Elizabeth Simcoe
Head of the Lake, a 1796 sketch of Lake Ontario by Elizabeth Simcoe

In 1796 John was in poor health and the family – now with several other children – returned to Devon where he was able to recover. He never returned to Canada. He briefly led an expeditionary force to the French colony of Santo Domingo (now Haiti) in the Caribbean before being appointed Lieutenant General and Commander of the British Army Western District of Somerset, Devon and Cornwall, in 1801.

At the age of 54 he was appointed Commander-in-Chief in India to replace Lord Cornwallis who had perished shortly after his arrival. But John fell ill and never started his journey. He died in Exeter on October 26, 1806 and was buried in Wolford Chapel, where Elizabeth and five of their children also rest.

The coats of arms of the Simcoe and Gwillim families are painted on the walls of the chapel and the family headstones placed around the exterior walls of the building, while the Canadian flag proudly flies outside.

Publisher Sir Geoffrey Harmsworth inherited the Wolford Chapel from his late father Sir Leicester in the 1920s. In September 1966 he presented the proceedings to Premier John Robarts, representing the people of Ontario at a ceremony in the chapel. It remains a place of pilgrimage for many Canadian visitors and a charitable foundation ensures that the chapel is maintained and ready to welcome them.



The memorial to John Graves Simcoe and his son Francis in Exeter Cathedral
The memorial to John Graves Simcoe and his son Francis in Exeter Cathedral

There is a commemorative plaque to Lieutenant General John Graves Simcoe at Exeter Cathedral, with a poignant footnote marking the death of John and Elizabeth’s eldest son Francis, lieutenant of the 27th Infantry Regiment, who fell at the siege of Badajoz, Spain in 1812, aged 21.

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