|Ukraine is crying out for help and has been for some time. Canada is taking steps that are too little, too late. The government of President Zelensky asked the western allies numerous times for more aid—not for more trainers, not for repayable loans, but for defensive weapons. Canada did supply non-lethal aid, but not until five days before Russia’s massive invasion did Canada send actual weapons in the form of rifles and machine guns. A second aircraft-load arrived just hours before Russia crossed into Ukraine. Chances are those weapons are still in a warehouse somewhere, and may in fact fall into the hands of Putin’s forces.We don’t know when the current events will run their course, or if they will lead to a permanent state of heightened tension between Russia (with China nodding approval) and the West—a new Cold War. But short and devastating or drawn-out and painful, Canada’s previous actions will have contributed nothing to forcing Putin to rethink his plans. The prime minister has been appearing in daily press conferences now that Ukraine’s plight has our attention. Perhaps when he has time the government will do something about our minuscule armed forces, whose numbers are nowhere near even the currently authorized personnel levels. It is no doubt a major challenge for the minister and senior officers to scrape up the numbers now promised to be sent to Europe. Besides the chronic shortage of personnel, there is the lack of overall spending, nowhere near our commitment to NATO. Modern ships, submarines, fighter aircraft. Next century, perhaps? Vladimir Putin can not be forgiven for his illegal and brutal assault on Ukraine. He could be forgiven for a glance our way, which would have assured him that not all members of the Western Alliance are in any way prepared to defend their friends, or for that matter their own northern regions.