Help Ukrainians

  • March 28, 2022

The President of the Canadian Bar Association, Stephen Rotstein, writes to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland, Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly and Immigration Minister Sean Fraser to urge them to take immediate action to bring vulnerable Ukrainians to Canada.

We “add our voice to those around the world deeply troubled about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine ordered by President Vladimir Putin,” Rotstein says. “Russia’s attack on the territorial sovereignty of Ukraine is a serious breach of peremptory norms of international law and the laws of Ukraine. We condemn this act of aggression, and we call for respect of international humanitarian law.”

The CBA supports the Canadian government’s response and actions to date relating to the hostilities in Ukraine. Rotstein stresses the need for the government to continue pursuing “diplomatic solutions that further assist in the resolution of this conflict and accountability for any breaches of international law.”

Lawyers from the CBA Immigration Law Section are spearheading an initiative to provide services, at no charge, to individuals affected by the crisis in Ukraine. Those services include legal consultation and advice for those who seek to take advantage of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s programs to bring eligible Ukrainians to Canada. Over two dozen lawyers are listed on the initiative’s web page.

CBA members are doing their part to help vulnerable Ukrainians resettle to Canada. While we welcome the government’s intention to prioritize immigration applications for Ukrainians, Rotstein says, “swifter action is needed.”

The CBA stands with our colleagues in Ukraine and with the entire Ukrainian-Canadian community, Rotstein writes. “We reiterate the importance of the rule of law as the foundation that supports democracy, human rights and freedoms.”