January 17, 2014 – Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird today issued the following statement:
“Canada is deeply disturbed by the new, draconian law pushed through the Ukrainian parliament and signed into law today that would drastically limit the right of Ukrainians to peacefully organize, assemble or protest.
“Canada calls on the Ukrainian government to reverse its decision. This repressive bill was passed without a proper vote and in complete violation of parliamentary procedure. It will now give the Ukrainian government the tools to control the population and thwart democratic expression, which is completely unacceptable.
“Canada also condemns the government’s use of intimidation tactics and threats of legal action against the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church for helping peaceful protesters. This is a deplorable attack on religious freedom and the right to assembly in Ukraine.
“Canada strongly supports the Ukrainian people, who have spoken out courageously in support of a free and democratic Ukraine. Canada is ready and prepared to consider all options to make clear on whose side we stand.”