Skip to main content
// //

Canadian troops returning from Ukraine this month have not been told whether they will allowed to quarantine at home or be forced to spend two weeks somewhere else while they wait to see whether they develop symptoms of COVID-19.

The 200 troops, the majority of whom are from Edmonton, first deployed to Ukraine in October for a six-month mission training local forces to fight Russian-backed separatist forces in the east of the country.

Military commanders were initially unsure whether to proceed with a plan to withdraw the troops in April and replace them with another force due to concerns about COVID-19.

Story continues below advertisement

A decision was made last week to proceed with the withdrawal and send a smaller skeleton force to hold the fort until the pandemic passes.

While the returning troops will be required to spend 14 days in isolation, Defence Department spokesman Daniel Le Bouthillier says commanders have not decided where.

“In accordance with Public Health Agency of Canada recommendations, our deployed members returning to Canada from Ukraine will observe an isolation period of 14 days,” Le Bouthillier said in an e-mail.

“The chain of command is discussing the different logistical options for the contingent’s isolation period and consulting with our health-care professionals on what is best for our soldiers and their families.”

Chief of defence staff Gen. Jonathan Vance last week essentially put all Canadian military personnel on a war footing by telling them to stay healthy and be ready to respond.

Ottawa subsequently said it was ready to mobilize up to 24,000 Canadian troops to help deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. Those returning from Ukraine and elsewhere are expected to return to duty following their two-week quarantine.

Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan this week said the federal government was looking at all its overseas missions and making adjustments where needed. It is also working closely with its allies and “looking at any adversaries that might take advantage of the situation.”

Story continues below advertisement

Our Morning Update and Evening Update newsletters are written by Globe editors, giving you a concise summary of the day’s most important headlines. Sign up today.

Coronavirus information
Coronavirus information
The Zero Canada Project provides resources to help you manage your health, your finances and your family life as Canada reopens.
Visit the hub

In the interests of public health and safety, our coronavirus news articles are free for anyone to access. However, The Globe depends on subscription revenue to support our journalism. If you are able, please subscribe to globeandmail.com. If you are already a subscriber, thank you for your support.

Your subscription helps The Globe and Mail provide readers with critical news at a critical time. Thank you for your continued support. We also hope you will share important coronavirus news articles with your friends and family. In the interest of public health and safety, all our coronavirus news articles are free for anyone to access.

Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies