- Boycott Russia is even a hashtag now
The Canadian government is also participating in the sanctions imposed on Russia by NATO since Canada is a founding member of NATO and it was one of the first countries to propose the idea of creating a transatlantic alliance.
NATO may seem a military organization, but its pledge is actually to guarantee peace and aids.
Starting this week, Russian ships will be banned from entering Canadian ports and inland waterways in response to the Russian president’s continued attacks but this is just the last of a long series of sanctions on Russia from Canada and its allies of the West.
The two pledges (to help Ukraine and to contrast Russia) came during the federal cabinet meeting in Parliament and they were broadcast on television.
The money sent over to help Ukraine will support emergency health services, aid for displaced populations, in addition to the supplies of shelter, water, food and other supplies to the millions still living in the attacked country.
Such aids will go to Ukraine as well as to neighbouring countries where hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians have fled to.
Reporters speaking on television said that the government is still working with organizations and other countries to coordinate aid distribution and many local churches and community centres are collecting whatever Canadians are willing to contribute with.
Canadian people are seriously worried about the situation and how it could possibly escalate and lead to a nuclear global conflict but nevertheless they are trying to focus on how lucky we are here and send help across the ocean.
These aids come together with a boycott of Russia as a whole: Russian food, culture, products and identity.
It is the latest anti-Russia idea, launched in the United States to undermine the Kremlin's economy after the start of the war in Ukraine.
Even the supermarkets and local stores here in Ottawa are contributing to the boycott by offering their (mostly symbolic) contribution to the protest against the war in Ukraine starting to remove Russian products from the shelves and even recalling some (offering a full refund).
How are they boycotting Russia? Deciding not to buy nor sell more products from Russia.
Due to the current situation, they have decided to interrupt the supply of food from this country for the time being while existing stocks are still being sold to avoid food waste.
Only a handful of products are affected, as Canada only buys very few foods from the Russian Federation buy they include, for example, types of vodka, caviar, tea and some fish.
Some Ukrainian-managed restaurants and cafés have changed their suppliers in the past few days and some even changed their menus and their names to show support to their fellow countrymen.
Even many Russians are going against their government because they can safely do it from here.
While on social media many Canadians are trying to help in any way possible with all sorts of initiative including sending money over by booking accommodation in Ukraine to financially support the population, some have decided to support local Ukrainian businesses here in Canada and I have found out that some Ukrainian nationals are actually deciding to move back to their home country to go fight the invader and protect their homeland while they could live safely here.
What is bad is that a fake news was going around announcing that Canadian supermarkets will all be empty next week, so it was better to stock up on basic necessities and long-lasting food as soon as possible. In reality it was a fake news, at the moment there is no danger that supermarkets are empty or that there are problems finding food, but it created havoc and panic and some shelves were indeed empty from compulsive buying this week.
As sadness, panic and concern are growing, it is important to focus on what we can do and what we can control right now rather than going crazy.