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Alberta premier Danielle Smith apologizes for past comments on Ukraine/Russia

The new Alberta premier apologized for comments she made about the ongoing Ukraine conflict Tuesday after she came under fire in her first week in office.

In a tweet, Smith released a statement saying that she condemns the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the “indescribable suffering” that the country has inflicted on the Ukrainian people.

“Prior to re-entering politics earlier this year, I made some ill-informed comments on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine,” Smith said. “My knowledge and opinion of this matter have drastically evolved since that time, and I apologize for those previous comments.”

In her statement, Smith says she has “directed” her office to “actively reach out” to Ukrainian community leaders in the province to “ascertain immediate steps we can take to assist Ukrainian refugees to settle and integrate into communities across Alberta as quickly as possible.”

“I stand with Ukraine and Ukrainian people.”

Smith made remarks April 29 during an Ask Me Anything live stream on a members-only crowdfunding website, locals.com.

When asked about a possible peace plan for Russia and Ukraine, she said Ukraine should be “neutral” and “denuclearize.”

“That should have been the answer right from the beginning,” Smith said. “If I’m missing something and there’s some new plan, let me know. It would be absurd — if you want to try draw a parallel — it would be absurd for Canada to have nuclear weapons and be allied with Russia and not think that that was going to upset America.”

“So why would we be surprised if Russia is upset because Ukraine has nuclear weapons and is allied with the United States? So, I think the only answer for Ukraine is neutrality, and there has been thriving nations who have managed with neutrality — Switzerland being the most obvious example. So, if there is something more you want to add to that, if you think I’m missing something, let me know, because I thought that that was the solution from the very beginning,” Smith said.

After she faced backlash from the Opposition NDP, among others, she released a statement Sunday that said she has “and will always stand with the Ukrainian people.”

Smith cited her Ukrainian heritage and her great-grandfather who fled the country after WWI to come to Canada as factors that formed her political beliefs.


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This also comes after the premier responded to her first press conference where she called unvaccinated people the “most discriminated” against group in her lifetime.

Smith did not apologize but said she did not mean to “trivialize” people who face discrimination.

-With files from Courtney Theriault

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