Canada-Ukraine Parliamentary Friendship Group elects new leadership
OTTAWA - Approximately 40 members of Parliament and senators from all parties gathered in Ottawa on Tuesday evening, March 22, to elect a new executive for the Canada-Ukraine Parliamentary Friendship Group. This unprecedented number elected Borys Wrzesnewskyj (Etobicoke Center) to chair the group.
Mr. Wrzesnewskyj noted that: "It is encouraging to see approximately 40 parliamentarians from all parties, representing all regions of the country, joining together in the interest of promoting relations between Canada and Ukraine."
"Canada has long enjoyed a 'special relationship' with Ukraine based on the hundreds of thousands of family ties between our two countries," he added. "The goodwill of our relationship was further strengthened with Canada's strong support of the 'Orange Revolution' elections in Ukraine through a number of unanimously supported parliamentary motions and through our Canada Corps project. With this revived Parliamentary Friendship Group, we have yet another vehicle to evolve our 'special relationship' into a 'strategic relationship.' "
Mr. Wrzesnewskyj stressed that he is looking forward to working closely with members of the new executive, and that his personal relationships with Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko and Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko will help Canada foster stronger ties with Ukraine.
The new executive of the Canada-Ukraine Parliamentary Friendship Group includes: Mr. Wrzesnewskyj, chair; MP Walt Lastewka, vice-chair; MP Inky Mark, vice-chair; Sen. Raynell Andreychuk, vice-chair; Sen. Consiglio Di Nino, treasurer; MP Eleni Bakopanos, secretary; Sen. Jerry Grafstein, MP Judy Wasylycia-Leis, MP Bernard Bigras, MP Peter Goldring, MP Joy Smith, and MP David Kilgour, directors.
Mr. Wrzesnewskyj concluded the meeting by saying that he intends to be a pro-active chair and will convene a meeting of the group for early April to set an aggressive agenda for advancing relations between Canada and Ukraine.
Copyright © The Ukrainian Weekly, April 3, 2005, No. 14, Vol. LXXIII
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