Canada’s economy could be hurt by Canada’s new sanctions against Russia: Chrystia Freeland

Canada/Russia. Image credit: UNI

Ottawa/IBNS: Canada’s additional sanctions against Russia might end up hurting the Canadian economy, said Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Freeland on Tuesday.

“Tariffs and retaliation and sanctions are the most effective when you can devise policies that have the maximum impact on the counterparty whose attention you are seeking to get and do the minimal damage to yourself,” Freeland said, adding that, so far, sanctions have been structured to avoid harming Canadian business interests.

“If we are truly determined to stand with Ukraine, if the stakes in this fight are as high as I believe them to be, we have to be honest with ourselves, I have to be honest with Canadians, that there could be some collateral damage in Canada, and that’s something that the G7 finance ministers discussed very early this morning.”

Details of the measures Freeland discussed with other finance ministers were not offered by her as she said the government will have more to say in the coming days.

Apart from banning imports of Russian crude oil, Canada would also ban all petroleum products from Russia, Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson announced Tuesday evening.

Wilkinson said on Twitter that government officials were told: “to design a ban that will minimize the impact to the Canadian economy while maximizing the impact on the Russian economy.”

Canada imported more than $250 million worth of refined petroleum products from Russia in 2021.

Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly joined by Transport Minister Omar Alghabra and Fisheries Minister Joyce Murray also announced Tuesday a ban on Russian-owned or registered ships and fishing vessels in Canadian ports and internal waters effective later this week under the Special Economic Measures Act and in co-ordination with G7 partners and other countries’ response to the Russian attack on Ukraine.

“These acts, which carry profound human consequences, will not go unpunished. The Canadian Coast Guard and its members will be there to support on-water law enforcement partners,” Murray, also the minister for the coast guard said in a statement. 

“Today, also Canada will petition the International Criminal Court of justice against Russia, for crimes against humanity and war crimes. And it was also important for us to show that we’re steadfast in terms of our support,” Joly said Tuesday in Geneva.