August 24, 2011
Prime Minister Stephen Harper issued the following statement on the 20th anniversary of Ukraine’s independence:
“Twenty years ago, on August 24th, 1991, Ukraine seceded from the USSR and asserted itself as a sovereign state.
“Canada was the first Western nation to recognize Ukraine’s independence and we continue to be a strong proponent of Ukraine’s democratization, given that Canadians and Ukrainians share a steadfast respect for freedom, human rights and the rule of law. Just last year, our Government sponsored more than 300 election observers to travel to Ukraine to monitor voting during the presidential elections.
“More than 1.2 million Canadians trace their ancestry to Ukraine and we are proud this year to mark the 120th anniversary of Ukrainian settlement in Canada. Ukrainian Canadians continue to make significant contributions to Canada’s cultural, political and economic life and have played a major role in the development of the Canada we know today.
“As I expressed during my visit to Kiev last October, Canada will continue to strengthen bilateral ties with Ukraine and help in the building of a democratic, independent and prosperous society.
“On behalf of all Canadians, Laureen and I extend our best wishes to all Ukrainians and Canadians of Ukrainian heritage celebrating this important anniversary.”
The Prime Minister’s Office – Communications
From the Prime Minister’s Web Site (http://www.pm.gc.ca/)