Ukrainian Canadian Community Leaders Meet With Conservative Leader Stephen Harper

TORONTO – OCTOBER 17, 2015. Leaders of the Ukrainian Canadian community met today with The Rt. Hon. Stephen Harper, the Leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, to discuss the priorities of the Ukrainian Canadian community and the UCC’s election questionnaire in advance of the October 19 federal election.
“We appreciate the opportunity to meet with Prime Minister Harper to address issues of importance to Canada’s 1.3 million strong Ukrainian community,” stated Ukrainian Canadian Congress National President Paul Grod.  “We took the opportunity to discuss our priorities as outlined in the UCC election questionnaire with Mr. Harper and engage in a serious discussion on issues related to Canada-Ukraine relations, Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, multiculturalism and immigration.  “
The UCC sent a questionnaire to all party leaders and candidates earlier in the election campaign and used the opportunity to discuss the Conservative Leader’s responses with Mr. Harper on the following issues:
  • Russia’s illegal occupation and annexation of Crimea and Russia’s war in eastern Ukraine
  • Providing Ukraine with the means to defend itself in the face of Russia’s continued aggression and invasion of Eastern Ukraine
  • Supporting Ukraine’s reform process and providing it with financial assistance to rebuild its economy
  • Listing the Luhansk “People’s Republic” and the Donetsk “People’s Republic” as terrorist organizations
  • Continuing and increasing Canada’s commitment to provide military training to the armed forces of Ukraine
  • Imposition of sectoral sanctions against Russia’s energy, defence and financial services sector (including removing Russian banks from the SWIFT international payments system) to compel Russia to withdraw its troops, armies and weapons from Ukrainian soil
  • Support for infrastructure to support community centers, and programs around multiculturalism
  • Support for the establishment of an annual day of commemoration of Canada’s First National Internment Operations (1914-1920)
“We were pleased to be able to have a full, frank and productive exchange with Mr. Harper and are pleased to have had the opportunity to hear Mr. Harper address the issues and explain the Conservative Party position in person. Following this meeting, I am pleased that Mr. Harper and his candidates Bernard Trottier and Ted Opitz have committed to ensure that Ukraine is a top policy priority for the Conservative Party of Canada,” said Grod.  “I am pleased that the Conservative Party supports negotiating a Defence Cooperation Agreement with Ukraine, establishing a financial task force to better track Russian capital flows in global markets, and establishing a Digital Freedom Fund to support countering Russian propaganda; as well as establishing an Export Development Canada office in Kyiv, Ukraine.”

The meeting was attended by Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC) National President, Paul Grod; UCC Toronto President Taras Bahriy, Ukrainian National Federation President Taras Pidzamecky, Canada Ukraine Foundation President Victor Hetmanczuk, Ihor Kozak (League of Ukrainian Canadians), Krystia Waler (Ukrainian Canadian Professional and Business Association), Canada Ukraine Foundation (Bob Onyschuk).  In attendance with Mr. Harper were Conservative Party candidates Ted Opitz and Bernard Trottier

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Taras Zalusky, Executive Director
Ukrainian Canadian Congress

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