Home Page Election 2019 News Opinion Foreign Policy Politics Policy Legislation Lobbying Hill Life & People Hill Climbers Heard On The Hill Calendar Archives Classifieds
Hill Times Events Inside Ottawa Directory Hill Times Store Hill Times Careers The Wire Report The Lobby Monitor Parliament Now
Subscribe Free Trial Reuse & Permissions Advertising
Log In

Having Canadian troops in Latvia is valuable: Ambassador

Share a story
The story link will be added automatically.

Re: “The Russians aren’t coming,” (The Hill Times, Dec. 14, p. 9). At a time when the entire world has become acutely aware of how the once-proud Syrian city of Aleppo has been reduced to rubble, and we must listen to reports of noncombatants including women and children being massacred and abandoned in the wake of an air campaign primarily directed from Moscow, you publish an article called the “Russians aren’t coming.”

Allowing for differences of opinion is a valuable achievement of democracies like Canada or Latvia, but opinions voiced publicly and placed in serious newspapers should be based on facts, or at least on some apparent reality. The author of the article is not well informed at least when it comes to my country, Latvia.

Syria is not the only place where the Russian Federation’s military has caused massive displacements of people and redrawn the world map. Crimea and Donbas in Ukraine have been the subject of Russia’s aggression recently. Eight years ago, parts of Georgia were seized. And this is only the history over the past decade.

Most of us believe in civilization, in the creative and constructive forces, and the moral force that arises from civilized modern democratic societies. We respect and even celebrate cultures and traditions that are not our own. Like the author of the article, we too would like to believe that the same Russia that has shown such utter disregard for human life and international law in Syria, Ukraine, and Georgia would never contemplate similar adventures in countries along the Baltic Sea.

Canadian soldiers will form the core of the multinational battle group in Latvia. In 2017, Canadians will have joined Italians, Spanish, Slovenians, Albanians, and Poles in boosting security and deterrence for our country and region, and democratic Europe as a whole. It is not a question of economics or an economic boom; the author’s sarcasm is out of place and totally inappropriate.

This decision was made in the context of a NATO-wide effort to update policies and posture. The 28 NATO nations have taken a mutual pledge to be present for one another at critical moments when the going gets tough.

As a country representing the principle of strength in diversity, most would agree that Canada has a natural role in bolstering the rules-based international order with its humanistic values and dynamic diplomacy. Yes, you can stay at home. That is also a choice. But you can also go out and do things that will keep our history on track. The Baltic Sea area is one in which many Canadians feel a close connection, either through friends or through direct family roots.

It is truly important in these times to look over the horizon and not to look away from what is happening. Actions speak louder the words. Adopt a broad perspective on Canada’s contribution of soldiers; see this as a multinational effort and recognize that this is a time where both the moves we make and the moves we don’t make could count for a lot.

Kārlis Eihenbaums

Ambassador of Latvia to Canada

Ottawa, Ont.

Politics This Morning

Get the latest news from The Hill Times

Politics This Morning


Your email has been added. An email has been sent to your address, please click the link inside of it to confirm your subscription.

Deadline looms for low-profile CPC candidates, who say party needs more fresh faces and ideas

The ‘traditional playbooks of smaller government, lower taxes, tough on crime,’ wont work to widen the blue tent, says one candidate. ‘We need to break the ceiling and win the support of more Canadians.’

Canada ‘very far’ from quarantining measures, says Trudeau, as feds announce $1-billion coronavirus fund

News|By Palak Mangat
'We have a responsibility to make sure Canada is ready for all scenarios,' Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters Wednesday, as he announced a $1-billion package aimed at mitigating the spread.

‘Everything we didn’t do with Phoenix’: feds tap SAP for work on long-awaited Phoenix replacement pilot project

News|By Mike Lapointe
PIPSC president Debi Daviau says she ‘cannot complain at all on openness and transparency’ around process, but PSAC president Chris Aylward says he’s ‘very concerned’ about lack of details, consultation with his union.

Transportation Agency, RCMP among agencies with most missed targets in 2018-19, show late-tabled reports

In 2018-19, federal departments and agencies missed 509 performance targets out of the 2,011 targets tracked with a deadline of March 2019.

O’Regan putting nuclear ‘front and centre’ raises eyebrows, industry hopes

The announcement ‘doesn’t reflect what’s in his mandate letter,’ says NDP natural resources critic Richard Cannings, nor did nuclear energy didn’t come up in a briefing he had with the minister.

Cuban-Canadian relationship has remained strong regardless of governing party, says senior Cuban official

Feature|By Neil Moss
'I believe that our relationship for all these years has been guided by state policy,' says Marcelino Medina González.

Bennett defends process for reaching tentative deal with Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs

Theresa Tait-Day, president of the Wet’suwet’en Matrilineal Coalition, says women in her community have been sidelined amid the outcry from demonstrators who took to the streets.

Federal officials brief MPs, parliamentary staff on efforts to combat coronavirus

News|By Beatrice Paez

Vet MPs say future of Afghanistan up to Afghan people, as fragile U.S.-Taliban peace deal in balance

News|By Neil Moss
'You're ultimately there to set the conditions to allow the Afghans to sort of handle their own internal security challenges,' Conservative MP Alex Ruff says.
Trending Stories
Your group subscription includes premium access to Politics This Morning briefing.