Ontario Premier Doug Ford says the province will speak to the federal government about trade with Russia amid the attack on Ukraine.
Ford made the comments while speaking to reporters at an unrelated press conference Friday.
He said he would be meeting with Economic Development Minister Vic Fedeli and Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy “to find out all the trade that we do in Russia.”
“We will be in contact with our federal counterparts,” Ford said, naming Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland.
“We’re going to throw everything we have at them.”
LCBO pulling all Russian-made products from store shelves
The premier’s comments came shortly before Bethlenfalvy announced that he is directing the LCBO to pull all products produced in Russia from store shelves amid the conflict in Ukraine.
The announcement came after the leader of Ontario’s Liberal Party called for the move earlier Friday.
Ford was also asked about the Liberal’s calls during the press conference and said that those discussions were already underway.
He noted that banning Russian products in the LCBO is a “very small part” of what officials are looking at.
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The premier was asked whether Ontario would be looking at banning Russian imports and exports. He said that’s one of the discussions being had and pointed to upcoming talks with the federal government.
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“This is terrible. It’s as I say, it’s tyranny they’ve put on an innocent country like Ukraine,” Ford said.
“To march in there and take over is totally unacceptable. The world has to unite. We have to make sure we go right after the source of income of the Russian government.”
The premier specifically said countries should not be purchasing “dirty” Russian oil and said President Joe Biden should change his mind and allow for the building of the Keystone XL pipeline.
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“We need to start producing our oil, which we have endless amounts of,” Ford said.
“We have to hit this guy (Vladimir Putin) with everything we possibly have. And I’ll be really emphasizing that to the prime minister and the federal government. But we can’t hold back because guess what? You let him away with this, he makes his next move and his next move.”
Ford said, however, that the most important thing right now is to allow any Ukrainians seeking refuge to come to Ontario. He called on the federal government to expedite the process to welcome any Ukrainian refugees.
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