Canada Ukraine

Committee Chair:
Jaroslaw Balan (AB)

Committee Members:
Eugene Ladna (ON)
Iryna (Irka) Mycak (ON)
Markian Shwec (ON)
Bohdan Onyschuk, Q.C. (ON)
Anna (Hania) Szyptur (ON)
Roman Petryshyn (AB)
Olha Zawerucha-Swyntuch (ON)
Bohdan Harasymiw (AB)
Myron Lahola (UKR)
Roman Yereniuk (MB)

Academic Advisors:
Prof. Roman Serbyn (QC)

Posts related to the Canada Ukraine Committee

Click here to visit view the UCC Position on “Engaging Ukraine”

Ukrainian Canadian Congress Statement in Support of the Democratic Movements in Russia

The Canada Ukraine Committee (CUC) interfaces with the Canadian civil service on behalf of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress. Whereas the National Executive of the Congress advocates on behalf of the Ukrainian-Canadian community primarily with elected officials, the CUC cultivates and maintains working relationships with Canadian government ministries, departments and agencies that are actively engaged with Ukraine. A major vehicle for the work of the CUC is the Canada Ukraine Advisory Committee (CUAC), which has been meeting annually to discuss issues arising out of Canada’s multifaceted dealings with Ukraine. Participants in the CUAC sessions typically include a delegation from the UCC headed by the CUC Chair; representatives of the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT), the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), and the Ministry of Immigration; as well as officials with the Provinces of Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta. In addition to maintaining contacts with federal officials, the CUC also provides periodic advice and assistance to the UCC Executive and Board on a variety of matters pertaining to Canada-Ukraine relations.

Ukrainian Canadian Congress Statement in Support of the Democratic Movements in Russia

Ukrainians in Canada have always followed events in Russia closely, especially developments that serve as a barometer of the Kremlin’s domestic and foreign policies. Russia has had a problematic and difficult historical relationship with Ukraine fraught with many painful episodes for Ukrainians, and Russia, like Canada, is home to large communities of Ukrainians residing from Moscow and the Caucasus to the far reaches of Siberia. Thus, what happens in the Russian Federation matters greatly to Ukrainians. This is particularly true at the present time when Ukrainian citizens are trying to create a united, democratic, and prosperous independent state that enjoys mutually beneficial relations with all of Ukraine’s neighbours and is a respected member of the international community.

While greatly encouraged by the peaceful dismantling of the Soviet Union in 1991, ever since Vladimir Putin ascended to the Russian presidency Ukrainians have become increasingly worried about the political direction taken by Russia’s leadership. Not only has the Kremlin gradually reverted to many of the authoritarian practises of the one-party Soviet state, it has also revived the worst features of Soviet and Tsarist foreign policy in an effort to reconstitute the Russian Empire in everything but name.

Although Ukrainian Canadians continue to look for hopeful signs that Russia’s ruling elites are finally moving to shed their autocratic past and to abandon Moscow’s imperial pretensions, experience has taught them to be wary of Russian politicians and sceptical of the pronouncements that they make for Western consumption. That is why the Ukrainian Canadian Congress welcomes the frank talk of Russian opposition leaders in an article recently published in the Washington Post under the title “No More Western Hugs for Russia’s Rulers” and since carried by Canadian and other media outlets. In calling for the West to take a much tougher line in its dealings with the Putin-Medvedev regime, Russian democrats are clearly issuing an appeal for Euro-Atlantic states to revise their often hypocritical and self-serving policies towards Moscow—rationalized in the name of Realpolitik—and instead to deal with the reality of Russia today.

Just as Byzantium once distinguished between barbarian and Christian rulers in the way it conducted its trade and diplomatic relations, it is time for Western democracies to stop excusing and turning a blind eye to the Kremlin’s abusive treatment of its loyal Russian critics and its aggressive pursuit of a neo-imperial agenda. The Ukrainian Canadian Congress expresses its full support for the development of a Russia that fully abides by the rule of law, holds free and fair elections, and respects democratic opposition, independent journalism and human rights.

Statement by the Canada Ukraine Committee of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress