A group of Canadian and NATO leaders pose toggether for an official photo.

Photo Credit: Rachel Blaney / Facebook

How NorthIsle is Supporting Ukraine: MP Tells NATO 

Sometimes war can make a distant place feel very close to home

Ukrainian leaders show great strength and ask for more help for their people

It’s not every day that Canadian politicians meet with other world leaders. There’s so much going on here at home. But we’re all connected. And events like the war in Ukraine make places like Europe feel very far away and very close at the same time.

NATO Parliamentary Assembly (NATO PA) met in Lithuania over the weekend. The main discussions? War in Ukraine and the climate emergency.

Two easy topics, right?

North Island-Powell River MP Rachel Blaney attended the meetings. She says what she heard from Ukrainian leaders will stay with her for the rest of her life.

She got to share how folks from NorthIsle are supporting Ukrainian families.

“I was able to share some of the amazing work happening in our riding to support Ukraine and messages of love and solidarity I have heard from my constituents,” she said.

Folks on NorthIsle are throwing benefit concerts. They’re shipping gear to help firefighters. They’re helping Ukrainian refugees settle into a new home. Some are even going to Ukraine to fight.

There’s a lot of support for people affected by this war.

But there’s always more to do.

Blaney said the meeting also discussed how the war would affect the climate crisis. Wars give off massive greenhouse gasses that pollute our atmosphere. And climate change will also lead to more refugees.

“Important and urgent work needs to be done on this file across all the member countries. Investment in this work is critical and must happen now,” Blaney said.

She stated she was honoured to have been able to be a part of the discussions. She looks forward to bringing what she learned back to NorthIsle so we can continue to support folks in Ukraine.

“Hearing the realities on the ground is hard. The impacts on Ukraine are profound,” she said. “The discussion focused on how our countries can continue to collaborate during this time and how we can plan for the long haul.”