Your Excellencies, Members of Parliaments, Senators, and honoured guests, good evening, dobrayvached and thank you, djyakuyou for being a part of such a momentous occasion.
Tonight, we come together to celebrate the 300th Anniversary of the 1710 Constitution and honour the life of Pylyp Orlyk, the famous Cossack, Hetman in exile, Protector of Ukraine and a man whose vision was ahead of his time.
As we know, this Constitution is of great significance as it was the first document in the world to establish a democratic standard for the separation of powers in government between the legislative, executive, and judiciary branches, even preceding the Constitutions of France, Poland, and the United States of America by 65 years.
Though the Pylyp Orlyk Constitution had never came into force because it was written outside of the country while in exile it will always remain in history as an original legal document which for the first time in European history laid the groundwork for the possibility of democratic parliamentary rule.
Speaking here in Canada’s own Parliament as a Member of this House, Chair of the Canada- Ukraine Friendship Group and one who is of Ukrainian descent, I myself feel a sense of kinship to this historical piece of work and recognize with respect what Hetman Orlyk brought with pen to paper three hundred years ago.
Since the first wave of Ukrainian settlers arrived in Canada over 100 years ago, and with the more than one million Canadians of Ukrainian descent who now call Canada their home, we have made important contributions to political thought and national consciousness for the past three hundred years.
Canadians, Ukrainians and the world share a common bond as we all strive towards continuing and strengthening our democratic values like that of Pylp Orlyk.
The world continues to remember and commemorate the Orlyk Constitution from the University of Toronto to the Ukrainian Museum in New York to the National Archives of Sweden with exhibits, writings, and historians.
This Constitution will always be the first Constitution of Ukraine and is filled with a truly democratic spirit which continues to make it one of the most interesting documents of contemporary political thought.
At this time, I would like to take this opportunity, on behalf of the Prime Minister, to present Ambassador Ostash with this certificate to commemorate this significant anniversary.
If I may, I would like to read the inscription: