Ottawa, Canada – Ukrainian Canadian Congress National President Paul Grod, participated May 11 in a commemoration on Parliament Hill of the 300th Anniversary of the Ukrainian Constitution of Pylyp Orlyk, the First Democratic European Constitution.
Those gathered were addressed by Mr. Grod, along with Ukraine’s Ambassador to Canada Dr. Ihor Ostash, Minister of State Peter Kent, Canada Ukraine Parliamentary Friendship Group Chair Mark Warawa in commemoration of the 300th anniversary of the writing of this historic document. An official copy of the Constitution was presented to the Library of Parliament. In attendance were many Parliamentarians, representatives of government departments such as Foreign Affairs, Ambassadors of several countries including Russia, amoung other community leaders.
“Today, Ukrainian Canadians are proud to celebrate the 300th Anniversary of Ukraine’s first constitution. By recalling history we allow ourselves an opportunity to learn from our past,” stated Mr. Grod.
Mr. Grod pointed out the similarities between the situation in Ukraine then and now. “Ukraine was on the road to becoming a great and progressive European state, however, the imperial ambitions of Ukraine’s neighbours had and continues to hinder Ukraine’s development as an independent and democratic state.”
The Orlyk Constitution provided for the separation of power between the executive, legislative and judiciary branches of government, while declaring Ukraine’s independence from its neighbours.
“There are many parallels to be drawn between the events of 300 years ago and those unfolding in Ukraine today…three hundred years ago, King Charles of Sweden was decreed “Protector of Ukraine”, continued Mr. Grod, “Today Ukraine needs Canada to be the Sweden of 300 years ago. As host of the G20 summit in June, Canada has a unique opportunity to stand up and express its unequivocal support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity, political, economic and cultural sovereignty. It is incumbent upon Canada to stand behind Ukraine in pushing back Russia’s assertion of its sphere of influence over Ukraine.”
The Ukrainian Canadian Congress congratulates the League of Ukrainian Canadians which has a Pylyp Orlyk Constitution on its website with the English, Ukrainian and Latin texts of the constitution and has requested that Canada Post issue a commemorative stamp on the Pylyp Orlyk Constitution in 2011.
For complete speeches by presenters, click on their name: