Stephen Harpers rush to pander to Ukrainian Canadians leaves his judgment in question when it comes to his pledging to stand behind the new government. How will he justify the fact that there is an allegiance with the Svoboda Party....
"Given his newfound pre-occupation with Ukraine, Mr. Harper will surely know that only 16 months ago, the European Parliament expressed concern about Svoboda’s growing support, emphasizing that “racist, anti-Semitic and xenophobic views go against the European Union’s fundamental values and principles.” The EU actually appealed to “pro-democratic parties [in Ukraine] …not to associate with, endorse or form coalitions with” Svoboda, an admonition Yatsenyuk’s new government has totally ignored.
It’s true that some pooh-pooh these accusations against Svoboda and other far-right Ukrainian groups such as the Right Sector. But on these issues, Mr. Harper and his team have always gone to the source: Jews themselves. So, for example, they must be familiar with the prolific writings of Oleksander Feldman, president of the Ukrainian Jewish Committee, typical of which is the article headlined “The Sad Progression of the Ukrainian Protest Movement From Democracy and the Rule of Law to Ultra-nationalism and Anti-Semitism.”
His outrage at Russia is also brought into question when one considers the fact that Canada has very few financial ties to Russia and any sanctions imposed by the Canadian government are little more than a superficial attempt to garner votes here at home.
The EU and America have much more to lose which explains why they are more hesitant to grandstand as Harper is.
As for the expulsion of Russia from the G8 it is highly unlikely that Stephen Harper will get the support he demands. It is more likely that the G7 will carry on and any G8 activities will be suspended for the time being.
What Stephen Harper and the Conservatives fail to remind Canadians of is that the G7 is the primary "boys club" and the G8 was created to bring Russia into the fold. Any talk of expulsion is simply Stephen Harper showboating.