October 6, 2016. OTTAWA, ON. The Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC) expresses its gratitude to high-level representatives of both Canada and Ukraine for their participation in the historic XXV Triennial Congress of Ukrainian Canadians. The XXV Congress was held on September 29-October 2 in Regina, SK, where over 250 delegates set the agenda and priorities for the Ukrainian Canadian community for the next three years and elected the leadership of the UCC.
“On behalf of the UCC, I would like to express my gratitude to the high-level delegations from both Canada and Ukraine who participated in the historic XXV Congress,” stated Grod. “Their insights and expertise to our engaging deliberations and discussions contributed greatly to the success of the XXV Congress.”
High-level representatives participating from Canada included:
Hon. Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness;
Hon. Stéphane Dion, Minister of Foreign Affairs;
Hon. Chrystia Freeland, Minister of International Trade;
Hon. MaryAnn Mihychuk, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour;
Senator Raynell Andreychuk;
Senator Denise Batters;
Senator Pana Merchant;
Borys Wrzesnewskyj, MP, Chair, Canada-Ukraine Parliamentary Friendship Group;
Andrew Scheer, MP;
Cathay Wagantall, MP;
His Excellency Roman Waschuk, Ambassador of Canada to Ukraine;
Her Honour the Honourable Vaughn Solomon Schofield, Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan;
The Hon. Corey Tochor, Speaker of the Saskatchewan Legislative Assembly;
The Hon. Greg Ottenbreit, Saskatchewan’s Minister Responsible for Rural and Remote Health;
Yvan Baker, Ontario Member of Provincial Parliament;
His Worship Mayor Michael Fougere, Mayor of Regina
Participating on behalf of the Government of Ukraine were:
Stepan Kubiv, First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economic Development and Trade;
Vyacheslav Kyrylenko, Deputy Prime Minister;
Vadym Prystaiko, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs;
His Excellency Andriy Shevchenko, Ambassador of Ukraine to Canada;
Also participating were His Eminence Metropolitan Yuriy, Archbishop of Winnipeg and the Central Eparchy Metropolitan of Canada, Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada, Locum Tenens of the Eastern Eparchy; Most Reverend Bryan Joseph Bayda, CSsR, Bishop of the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Saskatoon; Ken Krawetz, former deputy Premier of Saskatchewan; Natalie Jaresko, Former Minister of Finance of Ukraine and Eugene Czolij, President of the Ukrainian World Congress.
Bringing greetings at the opening of the XXV Congress on September 30 on behalf of the Government of Canada, the Hon. Ralph Goodale stated, “In Canada, supporting Ukraine is a non-partisan issue that transcends our political divisions. Canada shares a special bond with Ukraine, and has been enriched by the many accomplishments of Ukrainian-Canadians. All Canadians support a free, secure, democratic, prosperous and successful Ukraine.”
Speaking at the opening of the Congress, Vice Prime Minister Kubiv stated, “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. 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.”
At lunch during the first day of the Congress, the Hon. Chrystia Freeland, 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.”
During the second day of the Congress, Minister Dion addressed a plenary session on Speaking at the afternoon plenary session on the topic of Canada’s support for Ukraine, Minister Dion announced that Canada will provide up to $8.1 million in new funding to support the National Police of Ukraine and up to $40,000 through the Ukrainian Canadian Congress’s Ukraine Appeal, which collected funds for shipping and logistics to adapt vehicles, paramedic equipment and expertise to share with the conflict-affected people of Eastern Ukraine.
For the release from the Government of Canada on the new support, please see http://news.gc.ca/web/article-en.do?nid=1131719&tp=1
“Canada will stand shoulder to shoulder with Ukraine. Our bond is historic; our bond is durable,” stated Minister Dion in his address to the XXV Congress. “We will stand shoulder to shoulder to support Ukraine in its quest for a secure, stable and prosperous country that could serve as a model in the region and become in itself the best rebuke to [Russian president Vladimir] Putin’s attempts to determine its future.”
For Minister Dion’s Address to the XXV Congress, please see: http://news.gc.ca/web/article-en.do?nid=1133249&tp=970
Following Minister Dion’s participation in the plenary session, a delegation of Ukrainian Canadian community leaders met with Minister Dion, where they discussed the current situation in Ukraine and Canada’s support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity; Canada’s security and military support, including Operation UNIFIER, and the reforms process. Paul Grod, National President of the UCC, thanked Minister Dion for the Government of Canada’s announcement of new funding to support reform of the National Police in Ukraine, and for the Government of Canada’s ongoing diplomatic and practical support for Ukraine.
On the third and final day of the Congress, Minister Mihychuk addressed the XXV Congress. “Under the Labour Chapter of the new Free Trade Agreement signed this summer between Canada and Ukraine, I will be working with my Ukrainian counterparts to ensure labour standards in both our countries meet international commitments,” Minister Mihychuk stated. “I also want to recognize the hard work of John Holuk, who’s been working with me over the last ten months to get ten ambulances, donated by Canadian provinces, over to Ukraine to provide critical aid to people in the war-torn areas. I also want to tell you that I am committed to following up on that aid with more support for training on the ground.”
Representatives of the UCC had the opportunity to meet with Minister Mihychuk on the margins of the Congress. During the meeting, they discussed labour standards and the CUFTA, as well as the possibility of Canada providing experts and sharing best practices in the field of mine safety. They also discussed increasing the participation of Ukrainian citizens in Canada’s Temporary Foreign Workers’ Program.
Canada’s Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, the Hon. John McCallum addresses the UCC