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Trudeau: Conservative rival abandoning Ukraine under Trump's influence

by Martin Fornusek November 24, 2023 10:09 PM 2 min read
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during a news conference on Sept. 22, 2023, during President Volodymyr Zelensky's visit to Ottawa. (David Kawai/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
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Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said his domestic political rival, Conservative Party leader Pierre Poilievre, was turning his back on Ukraine under the influence of Donald Trump, Reuters reported on Nov. 24.

Trudeau, elected for Canada's Liberal Party, criticized the Conservatives for voting against a bill to implement a free-trade agreement with Ukraine.

All 109 Conservative lawmakers in the House of Commons voted against the bill that gathered unanimous support from other parties in a preliminary vote on Nov. 21.

"I've actually boasted … that it's not a political debate in Canada: all parties in Canada stand with Ukraine," Trudeau said at the Canada-EU Summit in St. John's.

"So it is particularly troubling to see … that suddenly the Conservative Party of Canada would choose not to stand with Ukraine in something that they need."

Poilievre, whose party is leading in the polls ahead of the 2025 elections, said he did not support the bill because it would force Ukraine to adopt a carbon tax. According to the bill, the two countries should "promote" carbon pricing and mitigation.

The Conservative leader insists his party supports Ukraine, as well as free trade with Ukraine.

"I really think it speaks to how pathologically obsessed Trudeau is with the carbon tax that, while the knife is at the throat of Ukrainians, he would use that to impose his carbon tax ideology on those poor people," Poilievre told reporters on Nov. 22.

"The last thing they need is a carbon tax when they're trying to rebuild from war and from this illegal invasion by Russia."

The standing prime minister voiced skepticism of Poilievre's justification.

"To see the Conservative Party of Canada decide not to support Ukraine with something they need with the absurd excuse that it's because Ukraine is going to put a price on pollution, is ridiculous," Trudeau commented.

The prime minister believes that the Conservative Party, traditionally one of Ukraine's most resolute defenders, was changing its stances under the influence of U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump.

Former president and the Republican Party's polls favorite, Trump has criticized the level of support Washington throws behind Kyiv. His allies in Congress have also been stalling further funding for Ukraine.

Worries about the unity of the pro-Kyiv coalition grow as several parties skeptical of Ukraine aid secured electoral victories in recent weeks, namely in the Netherlands and Slovakia.

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