A distributor of police and tactical equipment based in Central Saanich says they can’t keep up with the number of calls the store is getting from people wanting to send shipments to help people in Ukraine.
Alec Rossa’s company, MD Charlton is the largest distributor of police and tactical equipment in Canada, and says people have been calling all day.
“People have been walking in today, and wanting to help, wanting to buy things to support,” Rossa said.
He’s also hearing from individuals who want to fight in the war.
“I had one fellow come in like eight o’clock in the morning because he wants to buy kit, and he wants to go fight for Ukraine,” Rossa said. “He’s from here. And he’s got a group that he wants to go with as well.”
As far as the legality of fighting in the war, Afghanistan veteran, and Carleton University professor Leah West tweeted that; “Canadian law allows Canadians to travel overseas to fight in Ukraine, as long as they don’t commit war crimes”.
Been getting a lot of questions around the law related to Canadians who might travel overseas to fight in Ukraine.
TLDR: so long as they do not commit war crimes, there is nothing in Cdn law that legally prohibits Cdns from fighting alongside Ukrainians.
— Leah West (@leahwest_nsl) March 2, 2022
Images like those of Russian missiles landing in Kharhiv which left 12 dead and many wounded are compelling many to go.
On Tuesday, CHEK News spoke with Powell River’s Bryson Woolsey, who now says it may take more time than he initially though to get to Ukraine.
“The idea was to hop on a plane, head over to Poland, and cross the border, but today things, the situation has changed a bit,” Woolsey said. “The best way is to go through the Ukrainian embassy. So that’s a slower process.”
With dozens of relatives in Ukraine, including the city of Odessa now under attack, Rossa is urging those who want to go to re-consider.
“Do what you can here. Humanitarian aid, start your Facebook pages, raise funds, I mean, basically can do you way more here than you are going to be there because it’s going to be chaos,” Rossa said.
He says the war will be long, and efforts at home may help to make the difference.
On Sunday, the UVic Ukrainian Students’ Society, Ukrainian Cultural Centre, and Ukrainian Canadian Congress – Victoria Branch are planning a rally in Victoria to show support for Ukraine.
“We will be lining Douglas Street from the Ukrainian Cultural Centre at 3277 Douglas St. all the way downtown,” the event page says. “Bring flags, signs, and other visible signs of your support for Ukraine!”