Madam Speaker, as my other colleagues have indicated, what is happening in Ukraine is a serious concern and a major world issue that faces all of us. We all have to take a very strong stance in the House in sending a united message to the people of Ukraine saying, as my colleague from Okanagan—Coquihalla said, that we are with the people of Ukraine during this hour of need.
When the cold war came to an end, when Ukraine became independent 14 years ago, there was hope all around that region and in Canada as well that democracy was coming to that country and that people would be able to speak out and have the choices that democracy gives.
Canada has a long history of accepting refugees from Ukraine who left because there was no freedom in Ukraine. They came to settle in this country. They have made a great contribution to this country, including in the House of Commons for democracy. Naturally their cousins in Ukraine, after the fall of the Soviet Union and Ukraine becoming independent, also had high hopes. As such, they have 14 years of democratic experience.
But with what is happening over there right now, one would have to ask if the cold war is coming back. What we are seeing, as my colleagues have said, is that the Russian president has said they are landing there. I can quote Russian President Putin saying that Ukraine does not need a lecture and congratulating the winner already when there are demonstrations taking place on the streets of Ukraine.
Not only that, but as has been pointed out, independent observers, including Canadian observers and members from my party and other parties, have said with no uncertainty that absolutely clearly this was not a fair election, that this was a hijacked election.
Let me go back. Are we seeing the return of the cold war? I do not think so, but what has happened is that the people of Ukraine have been robbed, as my colleagues have said. They have been robbed of democracy. They have been robbed by fraudulent means because of outside intervention from the Soviet Union, which is trying to keep its sphere of influence over this region because it does not want Ukraine to go.
The challenger, who was not declared the winner, is pro-western. That is okay. There is no such thing as a pro-western or Russian influence, but apparently the Russians feel that they somehow still after 14 years control Ukraine. We cannot allow that. Ukraine is not controlled by the Soviet Union. Ukraine is controlled by the people of Ukraine and they, during this exercise of democracy, made it very clear what they wanted.
We do not know what happened. The results are not fair. It has been hijacked. I do not need to go into the reasons for how this hijacking took place, but all observers are saying that this is what is going on over there. And now we are moving into a very dangerous situation where there are people on the streets. We pray at this time and we are asking the authorities in Ukraine that there not be any violence and that they let the people speak.
We have seen this happen time after time. Civil revolutions have taken place. An example is Serbia. The people took over parliament. That ended peacefully and now Serbia is moving ahead.
We are asking the authorities to make sure there is no violence as people express their disgust at what has happened there. I am very happy and pleased to see that the Government of Canada has condemned this vote rigging and has taken a very strong stand on this.
I am pleased to see that my party, as my leader said during question period, is standing behind the stance that the Government of Canada has taken to send one strong clear message: that an election cannot be hijacked, that no one will be allowed to hijack an election, and that we will not accept this kind of nonsense that has taken place in Ukraine.
We want to say this in no uncertain terms to the Russians. The only leader that is accepting this election is the Russian president, no one else, despite the fact that there independent observers over here. Does the Russian president not listen to the independent observers who are saying quite clearly that what has happened in Ukraine is not a fair election?
Therefore, we want to send a very strong message. Although we have strong relations with Russia, Russia is our friend and there is no more cold war, we must tell the Russian president this. I hope the Prime Minister will tell the Russian president that we hope he will exercise his influence so that there is no violence on the streets of Ukraine and at the same time use his influence to say that this election is not a fair election and we call upon the parliament of Ukraine to dissolve and call again for a new election. In the strongest words, we wish to relay this message and stand with the people of Ukraine.