OTTAWA – Russia on Friday approved a raft of Canadian public figures, including Major-Gen. Michael Wright, head of the Canadian Forces Intelligence Command, and the pastor who executed the first gay marriage in Canada.
Moscow’s latest round of sanctions targets several employees of Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland, who has been an outspoken critic of Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, and are of Ukrainian heritage.
Foreign Minister Melanie Jolie’s media team, Maeva Protu and Adrian Blanchard, have also been banned from entering Russia.
Also on the Kremlin list are Ian Scott, the head of broadcast regulator for Canada’s Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, which this year banned Russian state-owned broadcaster RT from Canadian airwaves, and retired General Rick Hillier, head of defense staff. former head.
Russia has also sanctioned Pastor Brent Hawkes, the LGBTQ activist who carried out Canada’s first legal gay marriage, and Juno-Prize-winning singer-songwriter Chantal Kreviazuk, who is of Ukrainian and indigenous heritage.
The Russian Foreign Affairs Ministry said in a statement that it was taking steps in response to Canada’s sanctions, including those against the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, which the ministry called an insult to Orthodox believers around the world.
Hawks said it was “an honor to be included in the list of such courageous Canadians.”
“I am concerned for the LGBTQ community in places like Russia, Ukraine and Afghanistan,” he said. “It shows that we have a lot of work to do.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published on August 5, 2022.