Manitoba Premier Heather Stefanson among latest Russian sanctions targeting Canadians

Manitoba Premier Heather Stefanson has been officially sanctioned by Russia.

Stefanson is among 61 Canadians including provincial premiers, military personnel, political staff and journalists, who will be “indefinitely prohibited” from entering the Russian Federation, the Russian Foreign Ministry announced Thursday.

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Among the Canadians banned are foreign and defence policy adviser to the prime minister of Canada Dan Costello, Toronto Mayor John Tory, Ontario Premier Doug Ford, Premier of Alberta Jason Kenney, and chairman of the Bank of Canada Tiff Maclem.

The sanctions also target Canadian journalists such as Globe and Mail international correspondent Mark MacKinnon and National Post columnist John Ivison, as well as the editor-in-chief of the Globe and the president and CEO of CBC.

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A spokesperson for Stefanson said the premier will respond to the sanctions during an appearance in front of reporters later in the day Thursday.

In a release Feb. 24 Stefanson condemned Russia for violating Ukraine’s sovereignty and pledged to back the federal government in imposing economic sanctions on Russia and in sending Canadian military equipment to Ukraine.

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“It is unacceptable behaviour,” Stefanson said at the time.

“It is hard to imagine how difficult watching the news must be for so many Manitobans who have loved ones in Ukraine.

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“I share your concerns, and Manitoba will support the federal government in everything it can to pressure Russia to end its aggression and restore peace in the region.”

Manitoba is home to more than 180,000 people of Ukrainian descent.

On Thursday Russia said on its Foreign Ministry website that these individuals are all “directly involved in the development, substantiation and implementation of the Russophobic course of the ruling regime in Canada.”

The ministry also went on to say that in the near future, the Russia “stop list” will continue to expand.

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“The Russian side will continue the principled line, which implies a resolute rebuff to the Russophobic actions of the official Ottawa, including the supply of weapons and connivance in sending mercenaries to Ukraine,” the ministry said in a statement.

“In this regard, we warn the Canadian curators of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the national battalions of responsibility for the war crimes committed by their wards. The guilty will definitely be punished.”

President Vladimir Putin’s regime has already banned many prominent Canadians from entering the country, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, cabinet ministers and MPs from all parties.

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–with files from Aya Al-Hakim, Sam Thompson, and The Canadian Press

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