March 20, 2020. OTTAWA, ON. The COVID-19 crisis is rapidly evolving. The Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC) is working hard to support our community during this challenging time.
“The UCC is working to ensure that we are all well-informed about what we can do as individuals and to help each other to fight the COVID-19 virus and all negative consequences that follow from it,” stated Alexandra Chyczij, National President of the UCC. “UCC will support provincial and local partners and members in delivering information and support to those who need it most. This is a very difficult time for our community, our country, and the world. United in common purpose, we will all work together to overcome this enormous challenge.”
Today, the UCC announces the following initiatives:
National Blood Drive
The UCC urges all members of our community and all Canadians who are eligible and able to consider donating blood. There have been many recent cancellations of appointments. Donating blood remains safe.
“Patients depend on these lifesaving donations,” stated Dr. Isra Levy, Canadian Blood Services’ vice-president of medical affairs and innovation. “Every day they are needed for patients undergoing surgery and cancer treatment, as well as to save lives following traumas such as motor vehicle accidents.”
Maintaining blood supplies will become even more important in the coming weeks.
More information on how to make an appointment to donate blood is available at the Canadian Blood Services website.
Follow the advice and directives of Government and health professionals
The public health and safety directives aimed at combatting the spread of COVID-19 are changing daily. The UCC has compiled resources and links from the Federal Government, available here
We remind our community that these are the only credible and reliable sources. Please disregard any notices that attempt to interpret or re-interpret what our public health professionals advise.
Please check the updates from the Federal, provincial, and municipal governments regularly to stay up-to-date, and share only verified, trustworthy information on social media.
UCC will continue to share updates from the government and public health authorities as it becomes available on our Facebook and other social media.
UCC CEO Ihor Michalchyshyn speaks with Kontakt TV. Video in Ukrainian
Supporting each other
UCC will support organizations and partners to support members of our community who need it most. We will be working with our member organizations and local partners to reach out to seniors and those in need to ensure that they are receiving groceries, medication and other essentials.
We are working with Canadian health professionals to provide information in our community media in both English and Ukrainian, in order to ensure that everyone in our community receives necessary information.
If you have elderly and infirm neighbours, we encourage you to contact them and ask them if they need groceries, assistance filling prescriptions or other essential products. Please ensure that you follow health authorities’ guidelines on social distancing practices when you do so.
The UCC recognizes the challenges that can emerge from prolonged periods of staying indoors, especially for those who have children. The UCC is regularly sharing resources, educational programs, and interesting and practical ideas on how to make the best out of these challenging circumstances. UCC National Ukrainian Education Committee put together some resources for educators and parents here. Please share your creative ideas with us. For the latest, follow our Facebook page and Website
Federal Government response
The Government of Canada has announced a COVID-19 Economic Response Plan with support for Canadian businesses and individuals in this time of difficulty. These include measures on Employment Insurance eligibility, support for those with mortgages, and taxation measures.
Provincial governments are also announcing economic response measures – we will work with our provincial councils to ensure that members of our community receive information on these policies in their home provinces.
As more government measures are announced the UCC will work to keep all members of our community informed about resources for which they may be eligible.
Support for our community organizations and institutions
The charitable and not-for-profit sector is a vital part of Canadian society that delivers essential services and enriches the lives of all Canadians. Having to cancel events, programs and other activities will create difficult financial challenges for many organizations.
The UCC is in the process of surveying our member organizations, provincial councils and local branches on their needs, priorities and expectations for support from the government. We will be communicating this feedback directly to the Government of Canada in the coming days and advocating for robust support and assistance to Ukrainian Canadian charitable and not-for profit organizations. We will work with our provincial councils to provide similar briefings to provincial governments.