Russia sanctions LGBTQ activist Freeland and Joly’s staff, singer Chantal Kreviazuk

Written by Javed Iqbal

The Canadian Press

Published Friday, August 5, 2022 4:55 PM EDT

Last updated Friday, August 5, 2022 10:04 PM EDT

OTTAWA – Russia on Friday sanctioned a number of Canadian public figures, including Maj.-Gen. Michael Wright, head of the Canadian Forces Intelligence Command, and the priest who performed the first same-sex marriages in Canada.

Moscow’s latest round of sanctions targets several staff members of Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland, who has been an outspoken critic of Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and is of Ukrainian heritage.

Foreign Minister Melanie Joly’s media team, Maeva Proteau and Adrien Blanchard, are also banned from entering Russia.

Also on the Kremlin list are Ian Scott, head of radio and television regulator the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, which this year banned Russian state-owned broadcaster RT from Canada’s airwaves, and retired general Rick Hillier, former chief for the defense staff.

Russia has also sanctioned Rev. Brent Hawkes, the LGBTQ activist who officiated at Canada’s first legal gay marriages, and Juno Award-winning singer-songwriter Chantal Kreviazuk, who is of Ukrainian and indigenous heritage.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement that it is taking the steps in response to Canadian sanctions, including those against Patriarch Kirill, head of the Russian Orthodox Church, which the ministry said was an insult to Orthodox believers around the world.

Hawkes said it was “an honor to be included on a list of such brave Canadians.”

“I am concerned about the LGBTQ community in places like Russia, Ukraine and Afghanistan,” he said. “It shows we have a lot of work to do.”

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on August 5, 2022.

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Javed Iqbal

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