Quebec government calls out Russia

Quebec is wading into international waters, calling out the Russian government in the case of Greenpeace activists arrested during a protest last month.

MONTREAL — Quebec is wading into international waters, calling out the Russian government in the case of Greenpeace activists arrested during a protest last month.

Jean-Francois Lisee, the Parti Quebecois government’s minister of international relations, is asking for clemency in the case of a Quebec resident held in Russian prison.

The crew of the seized Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise includes Alexandre Paul of Montreal and Paul Ruzycki of Port Colborne, Ontario. They could each face a 15-year prison term on charges of piracy.

Lisee said he’s been in contact with Canada’s consular services and is putting pressure on the federal government to do more.

He said he’s hoping to meet with Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird in the coming days.

“The legality of the arrest is questionable, and especially the charge of piracy, which carries a possibility of 15 years in prison, is clearly exaggerated,” Lisee said in a speech late Saturday at a Montreal vigil for the arrested activists.

The protest was one a handful held in Canadian cities on Saturday as part of an international day of action against the arrests.

Russia seized Arctic Sunrise after a Sept. 18 protest at a Gazprom oil drilling platform located in the Arctic circle, charging all 30 on the boat with piracy.

Paul’s mother, who was also at the Montreal protest, has urged the federal government to get more involved in the case.

Nicole Paul said she found the charges against her 35-year-old son excessive, given that his goal was to raise awareness about environmental issues.

Greenpeace denies any wrongdoing and describes the charges as absurd.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Fitness program starting aimed at hockey fans

Red Deer Rebels team helps out with Hockey Fan in Training program

Kin Canada flag raising at Red Deer City Hall

Historic event for Kin Canada clubs

Federal minister pledges to meet chiefs in B.C. over natural gas pipeline

OTTAWA — The federal Crown-Indigenous relations minister is offering to meet today… Continue reading

Loblaw reports Q4 profit up from year earlier, but falls short of expectations

BRAMPTON, Ont. — Loblaw Companies Ltd. reported its fourth-quarter profit rose compared… Continue reading

Your community calendar

Feb. 19 A Liberation of Holland event is being held at the… Continue reading

Blockades expose a polarized nation

The political response to Canada’s blockade crisis so far has been to… Continue reading

Canada hosts Lima Group, appeals for world’s help on Venezuela crisis

GATINEAU, Que. — Canada and its Western Hemisphere allies are calling on… Continue reading

Trump ally Roger Stone sentenced to over 3 years in prison

WASHINGTON — Trump loyalist Roger Stone was sentenced Thursday to more than… Continue reading

Germany’s immigrant community in Hanau reeling after attack

HANAU, Germany — In the German town of Hanau, a longtime immigrant… Continue reading

Freeland agrees to NDP trade pitch in return for new NAFTA support: letter

OTTAWA — Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland says she wants to make… Continue reading

Blair says RCMP has met Wet’suwet’en conditions, calls for end to blockades

OTTAWA — Public Safety Minister Bill Blair says the RCMP in British… Continue reading

Thumbprint, hairbrush: Franklin wreck reveals sailors’ lives

It was as if the past literally reached out and touched him.… Continue reading

Most Read