30 September 2016. REGINA, SK. The first day of the historic XXV Triennial Congress of Ukrainian Canadians concluded, with over 250 delegates taking part in discussions and dialogue that will set the agenda and priorities for the Ukrainian Canadian community for the next three years.
The first day of the XXV Congress opened with Engage-Inspire-Empower presentations on a series of ongoing, new and important community projects honouring and commemorating our past.
The XXV Congress was officially opened by MaryAnn Trischuk, President of the Saskatchewan Provincial Council of the UCC. The Honourable Greg Ottenbreit, Saskatchewan’s Minister Responsible for Rural and Remote Health, brought greetings on behalf of the Government of Saskatchewan and the Honourable Ralph Goodale, Canada’s Minister of Public Safety, brought greetings on behalf of the Prime Minister of Canada, the Right Honourable Justin Trudeau. Ukraine’s 1st Vice Prime Minister Stepan Kubiv and Vice Prime Minister Vyacheslav Kyrylenko brought addressed the XXV Congress on behalf of the Government of Ukraine.
“Today – Ukraine is united. The President, Government, and Parliament are working together on important and complex reforms. We have begun systemic changes in the country, achieved economic stabilization and GDP growth,” stated Vice Prime Minister Kubiv. “Ukraine is demonstrating decisiveness in the reform process. That is why the support of Canada’s Ukrainian community is so needed and so valuable. Thanks to this support, we will triumph in the battle for a worthy future for Ukraine.”
Following the opening ceremony, the delegates of the Congress adopted the program, elected the Resolutions Committee, approved the Minutes of the XXIV Congress (2013), and heard the reports of the Verification, Nominations, Finance, and Audit Committees.
At lunch, the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of International Trade, delivered a passionate and moving keynote address to the Congress. “Canada is determined to support the Ukrainian people as they work to build a more secure, stable and prosperous Ukraine,” Minister Freeland stated. Our new free trade agreement will help create economic growth and more jobs for Ukrainians and Canadians, especially for the middle class and those working hard to join it.”
Paul Grod, the National President of the UCC, then delivered his report to the XXV Congress. Grod highlighted the accomplishments of the UCC over the past three years, and the work of its member organizations who work in all areas of Ukrainian community life in Canada – education, health, youth engagement, service groups, and caring for our elderly. Grod also underlined the UCC’s role in supporting the people and government of Ukraine as Ukraine battles Russia’s aggression and undertakes a comprehensive reforms process.
“I would like to thank the thousands of volunteers who contribute so selflessly and tirelessly to the successes of our community,” Grod stated. “Moving to the future, we must continue our community’s great work, and redouble our efforts in support of the people of Ukraine.”
In the afternoon, breakout sessions focused on developing priorities, strategies and future direction for the UCC. The themes included:
-Is Ukraine Open for Business?
–Ukrainian Education in Canada;
– Effective Communications Strategies for the Ukrainian Community;
– Best Practices in Not-for-Profit Governance;
– Giving Voice to Ukrainian Canadian stories – Kobzar Award Winners
Tomorrow, Plenary Sessions will focus on –
Post-Maidan Ukraine: Expressing the Sovereign Will of the Ukrainian People and
Shoulder to Shoulder: Canada’s Support for Ukraine – humanitarian, security and political – what’s next
For more information on tomorrow’s breakout sessions, please see
Many high-level representatives from Canada and Ukraine will join the Congress tomorrow, including the Hon. Stéphane Dion, Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Hon. MaryAnn Mihychuk, Canada’s Minister of Workforce Development and Labour; 1st Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine and Minister of Economic Development and Trade Stepan Kubiv; Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine Vyacheslav Kyrylenko and Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Vadym Prystaiko, members of Canada’s Parliament, and Provincial Governments.
Tonight, delegates and guests were treated to a Gala showcase at the Conexus Arts Centre featuring some of Canada’s top Ukrainian entertainers. The 75th Anniversary and Shevchenko Medals Presentations Banquet will take place tomorrow.
Please follow our website, www.ucc.ca , #uccxxv and @ukrcancongress for real-time updates from the Congress.
PHOTO CREDITS: Stephanie Kozun