After calling for peace talks to resolve the war in Ukraine, Jonathan Pedneault, deputy leader of the Green Party of Canada has published a statement on Twitter backtracking and apologizing for his previous pro-peace comments. In January, Pedneault expressed his support for both peace talks and the shipment of Canadian tanks to Ukraine. This position drew fierce criticism from both peace advocates who took issue with his support for weapon exports and from some members of the Ukrainian community who condemned his support for peace talks.
Pedneault acknowledged that he had been subjected to pressure from the ultranationalist Canadian Ukrainian Congress, a group who has previously accused the Greens and “those who argue against the provisions of weapons to Ukraine” as being complacent in genocide. The Canadian Ukrainian Congress also called Elizabeth May “ignorant” after she called for peace talks.
Pedneault now says that peace talks should only take place when the Ukrainian government is ready. However, the Ukrainian government has ruled out peace talks until Russia gives them back vast sections of captured territory dating back nearly ten years. Since Russia has sacrificed countless soldiers and resources to capture the territory they now control, it is virtually impossible that they will turn around and leave without conditions.
This fantasy of retaking all of Ukrainian territory is, in reality, a call for a major escalation that could lead to World War III. Any realistic call for peace requires mutual compromise. The hard-line approach adopted by Canada and the Green Party of Canada will only lead to more death and destruction. We need a federal Green Party in Canada that will stick to our founding Green principles of non-violence and who will stand up for peace even when faced with pressure to support war.