As the Russian invasion of Ukraine persists, Canadians are donating much-needed supplies to Ukrainian forces and civilians.
On the west coast, former Alberta politicians are generating millions of dollars worth of donations for Ukraine. Meanwhile on the East coast, stuck in a Montreal warehouse are 40 tonnes of donations from a Ukrainian church.
Donations from Alberta
Former Alberta politicians are mobilizing to collect survival supply donations like first aid, diapers and medication at Edmonton’s Polish Hall.
“I came to the point where I could no longer watch without doing something about it,” said Alberta’s former deputy premier and organizer Thomas Lukaszuk. “I think Canadians are starting to recognize the importance of this conflict, not only to Ukraine but frankly to the entire Western World.”
Lukaszuk has been working closely with former premier Ed Stelmach to coordinate the donated relief supplies.
The pair have raised between $15 to $20 million worth of “life-saving equipment, surgical equipment, firefighting equipment, [and] search and rescue equipment”.
Donations Stuck in Montreal
A Ukrainian Church in Montreal has collected an estimated 40 tonnes of donations for Ukraine. However, due to a lack of funds, the donations don’t have a way to get on the ground.
A group of Montrealers have come together at the Ukrainian Catholic Church of St-Michael, lending their time to organize donations. The donations are being stored in a warehouse in Dorval until the church is able to ship them.
The church has been able to fly two shipments to Ukraine so far. However, the cost to transport the 40 something tonnes of donation is estimated at $200,000.
Without the help of former politicians, the church is asking for the government to step in and help.
“There is frustration from people. As civilians, we do the work but the government can’t even help to send it to Ukraine,” said Oleksiy Pivtorak, the son of a priest at the church.