Zelensky Pleads to Parliament for More Help. What Can Canada Offer?

The consequences of that would be unthinkable, Max writes. Even a single nuclear strike by Russia could set off “a tit-for-tat exchange that, in escalating to strategic weapons like intercontinental missiles, could kill 34 million people within a few hours.”

[Read: As Russia Digs In, What’s the Risk of Nuclear War? ‘It’s Not Zero.’]

Canadians and the federal government, of course, were quick to offer other forms of support to Ukraine. As of Friday morning, Canadians had donated 82 million Canadian dollars to the Canadian Red Cross for relief — a sum that doesn’t count the federal government’s matching donation of 30 million Canadian dollars.

The Canadian government is also taking steps to ease immigration processes for Ukrainians. This week, officials rolled out an accelerated digital application process that will allow Ukrainians to work in Canada for up to three years. (Some immigration policy experts noted the contrast between this new system and the slower, more cumbersome process for Afghan refugees looking to permanently settle here.)

As the war drags on, it seems likely that Ukrainians will need additional help. And as Canada ponders how to assist them, it’s worth remembering a potentially awkward reality: Canada is likely to indirectly profit from the West’s isolation of Russia in a number of ways.

While trade between Canada and Russia is not extensive, the countries compete in world markets for a wide range of resources, including grains, lumber and other forestry products, potash for fertilizers, nickel and other minerals and, perhaps above all, oil and gas. Ukraine is also a major exporter of wheat and other grains.

The effect of more than three weeks of war has not been so much to create new markets for Canada as it has been to raise the prices of commodities, in some cases sharply.

In Alberta, after years of low prices had slowed the economy and battered the provincial government’s finances, oil prices were beginning to rise before the invasion. But moves to shut out Russia, one of the world’s top three oil producers, from global energy markets has only added to the pressures driving up prices. Clifford Krauss, a Times energy reporter and a former Toronto correspondent, wrote that, throughout history, “there have been few comparable disruptions of oil supplies.”