Responding to the Russian invasion, occupation, and illegitimate annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea, the Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Association (UCCLA) is calling upon the Government of Ontario to suspend the sale of alcoholic beverages produced or exported by the Russian Federation through all outlets of the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO). Letters asking for this measure to be put into effect immediately were sent to the LCBO’s chairman, Edward J Waitzer, with copies to Premier Kathleen Wynne and the leaders of the opposition parties in the Ontario Legislature, Andrea Horwarth and Tim Hudak, on 21 March.
Commenting, UCCLA’s chairman, Roman W. Zakaluzny, said: “There has been worldwide condemnation of the illegal seizure of Ukrainian territory by the Russian military and the subsequent occupation and annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation. Until such a time as Russian forces withdraw from Ukraine and stop threatening Ukraine’s political independence and territorial integrity, we want the LCBO to ban all Russian Federation products. This campaign has a precedent – the LCBO’s prohibition against the sale of South African wines in protest over that country’s past apartheid policies. More recently, bar and restaurant owners and members of the LGBT community in New York City and elsewhere dumped Russian vodka in condemnation of the blatantly homophobic and anti-gay policies of Russia. As Ontarians and Canadians, we can all do our small part to signal a protest against Russian imperialism. And as consumers we will still have choice, as there are many other better brands of vodka available at the LCBO.
“By not buying products made by the Russian Federation, all Canadians can join us in protesting against the illegal annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea.
“And we remind Canadians to drink responsibly – don’t drink Russian vodka.”
For more information on this UCCLA campaign or on past campaigns, please contact [email protected]