Calgary Conservative MP Rob Anders says the world needs to consider using force to stop Russian President Vladimir Putin’s aggression against Ukraine.

Anders was among about 60 people who gathered outside Calgary City Hall on Sunday to denounce the results of a so-called referendum in Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula where residents voted overwhelmingly to break away from Ukraine to join Russia.

In the wake of that vote, Crimea's regional parliament declared the region an independent state on Monday.

Anders said Putin needs to be sent a very strong message.

“And I also agree with the idea that military action should not be ruled out because I think for somebody who is a thug like Putin, it's what he understands," Anders said.

“And I think that message is not just words. I would very much like to see the U.S. Fifth Fleet move into the Black Sea and the George W. Bush aircraft carrier move into the eastern Mediterranean,” he said.

Another Calgary MP who attended the rally backed away from Anders’ comment.

“Our government's position, as well as the position of the G7, is we want to see a peaceful resolution to this situation,” Michelle Rempel said.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper denounced the vote in Crimea.

"The so-called referendum held today was conducted with Crimea under illegal military occupation. Its results are a reflection of nothing more than Russian military control," Prime Minister Stephen Harper said in a statement, adding that Canada is working with other countries on the possibility of further sanctions.

"Any solution to this crisis must respect the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine as well as the constitution of Ukraine. Mr. Putin's reckless and unilateral actions will lead only to Russia's further economic and political isolation from the international community."

With files from The Canadian Press