City of Residence: Toronto
Borys Wrzesnewskyj is the Member of Parliament for Etobicoke Centre and a successful businessman who has a lifetime of contributions to the Ukrainian community in Canada. a foreign national, on Borys during a special ceremony in Parliament. This was in recognition of his years of critical pro-democracy and humanitarian work.
Mr. Wrzesnewskyj and the Dopomoha Ukraini foundation have financially supported the work of many Ukrainian community organizations such as the Ukrainian Canadian Care Centre, election monitoring organizations and post secondary scholarship funds for promising students in need.
Today, Mr. Wrzesnewskyj continues what is a lifetime of contribution to the Ukrainian community composed of his longtime activism in support of Ukraine’s independence and freedom of its people, through his work as a parliamentarian and through his financial contributions to Ukrainian Canadian community organizations.
Throughout the 1980s and 1990s during his university years Borys organized and initiated a number of grass roots projects in Ukraine. He funded and organized for the Ukrainian Democratic Front (RUKH) in support of Ukraine’s independence and his pro-democracy work led to his expulsion from the Soviet Union in the fall of 1989. Through the 1990s Wrzesnewskyj was involved with various civil society and humanitarian projects in Ukraine, such as the building of libraries and providing scholarships for gifted students.
Since being elected to parliament in 2004, Borys has been a strong voice for the Ukrainian Canadian community. During the presidential election crisis in Ukraine, Borys worked tirelessly to reach all-party consensus in the House of Commons to pass motions on October 26 and November 25, 2004, as well as an emergency debate on November 24 to support the struggle for democracy in Ukraine.
He was instrumental in securing the Government of Canada’s commitment to send an unprecedented 500 election observers to Ukraine for the re-run of the presidential election. In June 2007 he introduced a bill to make the fourth Saturday in November the Ukrainian Holodomor-Genocide Remembrance Day a holiday throughout Canada. On May 26, 2008 Borys helped ensure passage of legislation establishing the Ukrainian Famine and Genocide (Holodomor) Memorial Day.
Mr. Wrzesnewskyj helped the previous Canadian government to negotiate and sign the historic agreement for $12.5 million with the Ukrainian Canadian community for the acknowledgement, commemoration and education of Canadians of the dark episode of internment operations against Ukrainian Canadians and other Eastern Europeans.
Spoke out and presented petitions against the government passage of legislation providing Canadian veteran benefits to Red Army veterans
Worked with MP Bob Rae to introduce and help pass unanimously through the House of Commons the Black Ribbon Day motion establishing an annual Canadian Day of Remembrance for the victims of Nazi and Soviet Communist regimes on August 23, called “Black Ribbon Day”, to coincide with the anniversary of the signing of the infamous pact between the Nazi and Soviet Communist regimes
During his state visit to Canada in May, 2008, Former President of Ukraine Viktor Yushchenko bestowed the Order of Yaroslav the Wise, Ukraine’s top honour for