GOVERNMENT RENEWS COMMITMENT TO UKRAINE RELATIONS
Released on March 5, 2015
Deputy Premier Ken Krawetz announced today that the Saskatchewan-Ukraine Relations Advisory Committee (SURAC) will be extended until 2018.
SURAC works to strengthen relations between Saskatchewan and Ukraine, and has provided recommendations on government initiatives such as the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program as well as offered advice on city-twinning arrangements, academic exchange agreements, and reciprocal official visits.
The committee was established six years ago, picking up on the work of similar advisory bodies going back to 1993.
“The people of Saskatchewan and Ukraine are bound together by history, friendship, cultural ties, and trade,” Krawetz said. “Settlers from Ukraine helped shape our province more than a century ago, and we remain committed to enhancing this special, long-standing relationship and working on it with our province’s Ukrainian community, particularly in light of Ukraine’s current crisis.”
The deputy premier said that with the escalation of political violence in Ukraine, SURAC has also played a key role in raising awareness of humanitarian concerns and being a voice for the Ukrainian community. The provincial government responded to concerns by donating $60,000 in aid to Ukraine that was used to buy medical supplies, support family rehabilitation and provide trauma support for healthcare professionals.
Over its next term, SURAC will continue its work and participate in the following provincial milestone events:
- Commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the Memorandum of Co-operation between Saskatchewan and Ukraine in October 2015;
- The 125th anniversary of Ukrainian settlement in Canada in 2016; and
- The Ukrainian Canadian Congress Triennial Conference in Regina in 2016.
Currently, Ukraine is the fourth top source of immigration to the province. In 2013-2014, more than 900 Ukrainian newcomers chose Saskatchewan as their home. According to Canada’s 2011 National Household Survey, more than 13 per cent of Saskatchewan residents are of Ukrainian origin.
SURAC Committee members include:
- Gerald Luciuk, Chair, Regina;
- Alicia Klopoushak, Vice-Chair, Saskatoon;
- David Dutchak, Saskatoon;
- Kari Harvey, Secretary, Regina;
- Dr. Natalia Khanenko-Friesen, Saskatoon;
- Laurent Mougeot, Regina;
- Holly Paluck, Regina;
- Nadia Prokopchuk, Saskatoon;
- Danylo Puderak, Saskatoon;
- James (Jim) Shevchuk, North Battleford; and
- Mary-Anne Trischuk, Yorkton.
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