Melanie Joly, the minister of foreign affairs, is recommending that the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians look into claims that Canada disregarded warnings about the safety of its locally employed workers at its embassy in Ukraine before the Russian incursion.
Joly brought up the study’s potential during a hearing of the House of Commons foreign affairs committee today, when members were more interested in Canada’s choice to swap out a turbine for a pipeline owned by the Russian government that transports natural gas to Germany.
The Globe and Mail reported this week that Global Affairs Canada had obtained Five Eyes intelligence prior to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which indicated that Ukrainians employed by western embassies were likely to be on Moscow’s hit lists.
Joly informed the committee’s members that neither she nor her political staff or the department were aware of any “death lists’ ‘ that targeted especially Canadian ambassadors and locally involved employees.
Joly also told MPs that Canada had been “preoccupied” by intelligence the United States made public earlier this year that said Russia planned to target specific Ukrainians during an invasion. If the national security committee—which includes senators and MPs with the highest levels of security clearance—decides to take up the matter, she promises to make herself available to them.
Later Thursday, Joly posted a statement to Twitter that reasserted the national security committee would have “my full support and cooperation” if they study the matter. It said locally engaged staff in Ukraine “were kept informed of the evolving security situation as they made decisions to keep their family safe” and about immigration paths to Canada.