July 13, 2016. OTTAWA. The Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC) congratulates the Prime Minister of Canada, The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, on his historic visit to Ukraine, which took place July 10-12, and welcomes the announcement of additional Canadian support for Ukraine.
Prime Minister Trudeau and President Poroshenko at Official Welcoming Ceremony, Kyiv
Prime Minister Trudeau was accompanied by Canada’s Minister of International Trade, the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, MP Borys Wrzesnewskyj (Chair of the Canada-Ukraine Parliamentary Friendship Group) and a delegation of community leaders from the UCC led by UCC National President Paul Grod.
The UCC delegation was comprised of Renata Roman (UCC National Vice-President); Zenon Potichnyj (President, Canada-Ukraine Chamber of Commerce); Olena Koszarny (Chair, UCC Ukraine Advisory Council); Jaroslaw Balan (Chair, UCC Canada Ukraine Committee); Marc Shwec (Chair, Euromaidan Canada); Alexandra Chyczij (Ukrainian Canadian Bar Association); Cassian Soltykevych (President, Ukrainian Canadian Students Union); Gerald Luciuk (Chair, Saskatchewan-Ukraine Advisory Committee); Oksana Bondarchuk (President, UCC Manitoba Provincial Council), and Orest Gawdyda (President, UCC Regina).
On July 11, Prime Minister Trudeau, accompanied by Minister Freeland, Borys Wrzesnewskyj and the UCC delegation visited the Babyn Yar Monument, the Park of Eternal Glory and the Holodomor Monument and Holodomor Commemoration Museum.
Prime Minister Trudeau was then officially welcomed by Ukraine’s President, Petro Poroshenko, with whom he held a bilateral meeting and press conference. Prime Minister Trudeau, President Poroshenko and Ukraine’s Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman participated in the signature of the Canada Ukraine Free Trade Agreement (CUFTA), signed by Minister Freeland and Ukraine’s First Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Economic Development and Trade Stepan Kubiv. Prime Minister Trudeau met with Prime Minister Groysman and Parliamentary Speaker Andriy Parubiy.
CUFTA signing ceremony
Prime Minister Trudeau stated, “My first official visit to Ukraine has confirmed to me that Canada and Ukraine not only share deep historical ties, but that we are united in our desire for a better future. This free trade agreement, and indeed everything we have accomplished during this visit, will allow Canadians and Ukrainians to prosper together.”
For the release from Prime Minister Trudeau on the visit to Ukraine, please see http://pm.gc.ca/eng/news/2016/07/12/prime-minister-concludes-visit-ukraine
Following his meeting with Prime Minister Trudeau, President Poroshenko stated, “Canada is not just a special partner, but also a true friend that will not leave Ukraine in a difficult situation.”
Prime Minister Trudeau visited the Maidan, where he laid flowers honouring the Heavenly Hundred (Небесна Сотня), and led a roundtable discussion with Ukrainian civil society and reform leaders.
During his visit, Prime Minister Trudeau announced that Canada would:
– provide $13 million in humanitarian assistance to support the humanitarian needs of the conflict-affected population in eastern Ukraine;
– deploy additional Canadian monitors to the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine;
– deploy additional Canadian police to Ukraine, focusing on training and institutional development, to consolidate and support the next phases of Ukraine’s police reform.
On July 12, Prime Minister Trudeau, Minister Freeland, MP Borys Wrzesnewskyj and the UCC delegation visited the International Peacekeeping and Security Centre in Yavoriv where they met with Canadian Armed Forces personnel who are providing training to Ukrainian forces as part of Operation UNIFIER.
For a video of Prime Minister Trudeau’s visit to Yavoriv, please see: http://www.cbc.ca/player/play/723417667695
Addressing the CAF personnel, Prime Minister Trudeau stated, “The reason we’re here supporting Ukraine is not just because Ukraine is a good friend to Canada and the Ukrainian people are good friends to us. It’s because the values, the principles that they’re fighting for are the values and principles that we stand for and that we fight for.”
Paul Grod together with UCC delegation accompanying PM Trudeau, present Lieutenant-Colonel Tim Arsenault, commander of Canada’s Joint Task Force-Ukraine (JTF-U) with thank you banner, letters and cards prepared by Canadian children from across Canada.
“Prime Minister Trudeau’s visit to Ukraine opens a new chapter in Canada Ukraine relations, rooted in a historically special relationship based on cultural, political and people to people connections. Looking forward, this bond will grow even stronger with mutually beneficial economic relations,” stated UCC National President Paul Grod. “This visit is particularly timely as it underscores Canada’s unwavering support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity at a time when the people of Ukraine are bravely defending their country against Russia’s invasion and ongoing military aggression. Our visit reconfirms that Ukraine will always be able to count on the people and government of Canada.”