Demonstrate, Donate and Contact your MP to support Ukraine

February 19, 2023

LNAK continues to support Ukraine in its fight to regain the land taken in the Russian invasion. Our website continues to carry detailed information and resources related to the crisis. The Public Affairs Section has a mandate to keep government and the media informed about issues related to Latvian security, which are also intertwined with the tragedy unfolding in Ukraine.

LNAK is grateful for Canada’s contributions to NATO and Latvia’s security and will continue to advocate for increased support from the Canadian government.

We urge all to support and participate in the demonstrations being organized by the Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC). Since the war began one year ago, there has been a tremendous response from Latvian communities in Canada. It is not an exaggeration to say that Latvians have made up the largest non-Ukrainian group at many rallies. This turnout has been gratifying and we must continue to grow our participation going forward. It is important because governments are interested in whether support for causes holds or if changes take place. The Canadian government is providing Ukraine with significant amounts of support—its contribution places them fourth among countries providing aid. However, although Canada is a wealthy nation, it has only allocated a little more than one billion euros for military aid to Ukraine. Latvia and Estonia, on the other hand, have each provided support valued at one-third of a billion euros. Latvia's contribution is approximately one percent of the country's GDP. Ukraine needs to continue receiving both financial and humanitarian aid, but the outcome of this war will depend on the military power it will be able to deploy on the battlefield.

The UCC will mark one year since the Russian invasion by holding demonstrations in at least 20 cities across Canada. Please visit the UCC website to find out what is taking place in your city or region. In Toronto, there will be a march from Yonge–Dundas Square to Nathan Phillips Square. Please bring your Latvian flags!

A variety of organizations and individuals have donated to Ukrainian causes over the last year, but in recent months there has been a significant decline in donations. LNAK invites all to give as they are able because we are approaching a critical turning point in the war and Ukrainian land must be taken back from Putin and Prigozhin’s occupying army. The brutal Russian attacks on Ukrainian civilians continue to take place resulting in many casualties and deaths. A list of trustworthy organizations doing good work to alleviate suffering in Ukraine can be found on the LNAK website.

Another important way to help Ukraine is to contact your member of parliament. LNAK Public Affairs urges Latvians in Canada, their friends, and family members to contact their members of parliament, regardless of whether they are in opposition, a cabinet minister, or the prime minister. MPs must be made aware of their constituents’ perspectives. Many people in Canada and other democratic countries do this every day and staff in MPs’ office keep track of how many people communicate their views on particular issues. The important thing is to make contact either by writing a letter, sending an email, making a phone call, or dropping in at their constituency office. What and how you say it is a personal choice, but samples can be found on the LNAK website to help you start the conversation.

Our goals in Canada and Latvia are the same—we seek maximum support for Ukraine’s military needs to ensure that this war does not or does not spread further. There is no other way to ensure Ukraine’s independence and Latvia’s long-term security.  Russia is hoping that Western countries will lose interest and support for Ukraine will wither away. Let’s not let that happen!

Demonstrating, donating, and speaking with your member of parliament are established ways of shaping political thought in democratic societies. Each of us can find an appropriate action and be an ambassador for Latvia, Ukraine, and Europe.

Alberts Upeslācis
LNAK Public Affairs Section