Russia has issued a fresh round of sanctions, “indefinitely” banning 61 Canadians from entering Russia, including premiers, mayors, journalists, military officials and top staffers in Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government.
Those named have been put on a “stop list” meaning they’d be denied entry to the Russian Federation. It’s a move Russia says is in direct retaliation for Canada’s ongoing imposition of sanctions on influential Russians in an effort to pressure Russian President Vladimir Putin to stop his military’s attacks on Ukraine.
Five premiers -- Ontario Premier Doug Ford, Manitoba Premier Heather Stefanson, Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney and British Columbia Premier John Horgan -- are on the latest list, published on Thursday.
Toronto Mayor John Tory and Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson have been banned from Russia, as have Canada’s ambassador to the United Nations Bob Rae, Bank of Canada Governor Tiff Macklem, Acting Clerk of the Privy Council Janice Charette, former foreign affairs minister Lloyd Axworthy, and former senator Romeo Dallaire.
Trudeau’s chief of staff Katie Telford, deputy chief of staff Brian Clow, senior adviser Jeremy Broadhurst, and communications director Cameron Ahmad have also been sanctioned, alongside top staffers to Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland and Defence Minister Anita Anand.
Freeland has been on Russia’s sanctions list for several years, while Trudeau and Anand were already sanctioned by Russia, alongside hundreds of federal politicians and joined recently by most Canadian senators.
Top security and military officials made Thursday’s list, too. They include Communications Security Establishment Chief Shelley Bruce, Commander of the Special Operations Forces of the Canadian Armed Forces Maj. Gen. Steve Boivin, and Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy Craig Baines.
In what appears to be a countermove after Canada sanctioned some top Russian media figures, the latest round of sanctions also includes journalists and leading members of national media organizations. Among them are vice-president of CTV News Michael Melling, CBC president Catherine Tait, and The Globe and Mail’s editor-in-chief David Walmsley.
The Russian Foreign Ministry is claiming that the individuals sanctioned are “directly involved in the development, substantiation and implementation of the Russophobic course of the ruling regime in Canada.”
In Thursday’s statement, Russia vowed more names will be added “in response to the hostile actions of the Government of Canada,” citing Canada’s decision to back Ukraine by sending weapons and other aid to assist in their fight against Vladimir Putin’s unjustified attacks.
Those who have responded to being added to the sanctions list are largely considering the move inconsequential.
Ottawa’s mayor issued a statement saying he assumes he’s on the list because he asked city staff to install ‘Free Ukraine’ street signs outside the Russian embassy.
“I do not take this ban seriously and I will continue to speak out against the war crimes being committed by Putin,” he said.
A spokesperson for Ford said the premier has been clear, “Ontario stands with the people of Ukraine and our support will never waver.”