Politics

Canada boosts capacity of key supply hub for weapons to Ukraine

Canada is expanding a facility it uses in Scotland to ship weapons and other aid to eastern Europe and Ukraine, as that country calls for more aid.

Defence minister says she's meeting with arms industry to discuss supply

Minister of Defence Anita Anand, pictured here during an announcement at CFB Trenton, says Canada is expanding a facility in Scotland it uses to ship aid to Ukraine. (Lars Hagberg/The Canadian Press)

Defence Minister Anita Anand says Canada is boosting its capacity at a key transportation hub in Scotland, so weapons and other supplies can more easily be shipped to Ukraine and other countries in eastern Europe.

Canadian forces have been responsible for delivering four million pounds of cargo since March, and the Prestwick, Scotland hub will now be expanded into an air mobility detachment with a third CC-130 aircraft and 55 Canadian Armed Forces members present.

"We are expanding the ways in which we are assisting Ukraine and getting military aid to Ukraine by delivering even more aid," Anand told CBC chief political correspondent Rosemary Barton in an interview airing Sunday.

CBC News reported earlier this week Ukraine has written to the Canadian government to request armoured vehicles, howitzers and winter clothing.

WATCH | Defence minister responds to developments in Ukraine war:

Ukraine calls on Canada for more arms as Putin announces mobilization, nuclear threats

2 months ago
Duration 8:05
Minister of National Defence Anita Anand speaks with Rosemary Barton Live about Ukraine's military requests to Canada as Russian President Vladimir Putin announces mobilization of 300,000 reservists. She explains Canada's plan of ramping up a key transportation hub in Scotland to send weapons and other supplies to Ukraine more easily.

Canada has promised to deliver 39 armoured troop carriers, and Anand said she'd be meeting with industry partners in Canada to talk about the issue of supply.

Anand said NATO countries are all trying to strike a balance between arms shipments to Ukraine and maintaining supplies to their own armed forces.

"This is front and centre in my mind," she said.

Canada must say yes to Ukraine: Rae

Canada has committed or delivered $626 million in military aid to Ukraine since February.

Asked about Ukraine's list of weapons requests in an interview on CBC Radio's The House that aired Saturday, UN Ambassador Bob Rae said Canada would be hard pressed to deny the asks.

"It may be a career-limiting move for me to say this, but I don't believe we could say anything less than yes," Rae said.

"That's been my consistent advice to whoever, whoever, whoever is listening. Obviously, governments have to decide the pace at which they can do it."

Some NATO countries have struggled to strike the balance Anand described Sunday, due in part to a lack of robust inventory.

LISTEN | UN Ambassador Bob Rae discusses latest developments in Ukraine war:

"Since the end of the Cold War, not only have allies considerably restructured their armed forces, they also don't hold the stockpiles anymore that they used to have," Christian Leuprecht, a political science professor at the Royal Military College of Canada, told CBC News earlier this week.

"And so, effectively, most of what you ended up giving away today comes out of your current stockpile. So this is equipment that you're actually going to be actively short."

The calls for more aid from Ukraine come as offensives in both the country's east and south continue, but also as Russia announced a partial mobilization to bring hundreds of thousands more soldiers into its ranks. Russian President Vladimir Putin also threatened this week that Russia was prepared to use nuclear weapons to defend itself.

Russia also announced and rapidly began referendums in occupied Ukrainian territories.

Anand said Putin's decision to raise the threat of nuclear war and mobilization were "acts of desperation."

Corrections

  • This article has been updated from a previous version which misstated the quantity of cargo delivered in monetary terms. In fact, it is four million pounds in weight.
    Sep 25, 2022 9:01 AM ET

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Christian Paas-Lang covers federal politics for CBC News in Ottawa as an associate producer with The House and a digital writer with CBC Politics. You can reach him at christian.paas-lang@cbc.ca.

With files from Rosemary Barton, Tyler Buist and Murray Brewster

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