UWC calls on international officials to boycott FIFA World Cup in Russia

TORONTO – The Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) is calling upon all high-ranking officials of governments and international organizations to boycott the games of the 21st World Cup of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) scheduled to be played in the Russian Federation from June 14 to July 15, 2018.

CUPP alumni and 2017 interns meet Canada’s Ambassador to Ukraine Roman Waschuk in Kyiv on September 12, 2017, to celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary.

Ambassadors meet Ukraine’s parliamentary interns

OTTAWA – Fifteen Ukrainian university students are participating in the 27th Canada-Ukraine Parliamentary Program (CUPP) in the Canadian Parliament. On October 31, 2017, the interns held a Prayer for Peace in Ukraine and Throughout the World at the “Reconciliation: The Peacekeeping Monument” located on Parliament Hill. Clergy of various faiths read the prayers for peace, and Andrew Bennett, Canada’s former ambassador for religious freedom delivered the closing prayer. That evening, a reception was held at the Sir John A. Macdonald Building, featuring many distinguished guests and speakers. Among the speakers were Ukraine’s Ambassador to Canada Andriy Shevchenko; Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman of Ukraine; Canada’s Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Ralph Goodale; Member of Parliament Borys Wrzesnewskyj, chair of the Canada-Ukraine Parliamentary Friendship Group; MP James Bezan, deputy chair of the National Defense Committee; Ihor Bardyn, director of the Canada-Ukraine Parliamentary Program; and Taras Pidzamecky, president of Ukrainian National Federation of Canada.

Canada adds Ukraine to Automatic Firearms Country Control List

OTTAWA – On December 13, Canada added Ukraine to the Automatic Firearms Country Control List (AFCCL). The Department of Global Affairs stated that the inclusion of Ukraine in the AFFCCL “will enable Canadian companies and individuals to apply for a permit to export certain prohibited firearms, weapons and devices to Ukraine. Each permit application will be assessed on a case-by-case basis to ensure its consistency with Canada’s international obligations and foreign policy and defense priorities.”

Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland stated, “I’m delighted to make this announcement today. The addition of Ukraine to the AFCCL reflects the close ties our countries share. Canada and Canadians will continue to stand with the people of Ukraine and support Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.”

The Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC) welcomed the addition of Ukraine to the AFCCL.

Meeting of Ukraine-NATO Interparliamentary Council takes place in Brussels

OTTAWA – The Ukraine-NATO Interparliamentary Council (UNIC) met on November 28 in Brussels. Following the meeting, UNIC co-chairs Sen. Raynell Andreychuk (Canada) and National Deputy Iryna Gerashchenko (Ukraine) released a statement, which read in part:

“During our meeting today, we reaffirmed our commitment to support Ukraine’s Euro-Atlantic integration through parliamentary cooperation. The Annual National Program (ANP) and Comprehensive Assistance Package (CAP) provide tailored tools for extensive NATO-Ukraine cooperation. Their scope extends not just to security and defense matters, but also to the broader political, economic and legislative framework needed to ensure that the reform of Ukraine’s security and defense sector is sustainable and affordable, and incorporates best practices of civilian control as well as democratic and parliamentary oversight. In this sense, NATO-Ukraine cooperation supports Ukraine’s broader reform efforts, as well as the goals set in the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement.

Opposition Leader Andrew Scheer (at podium) with Member of Parliament James Bezan, both members of the Conservative Party of Canada.

Canada’s opposition Conservatives support U.N. peacekeeping mission in Ukraine

OTTAWA – Canada’s Official Opposition Conservative Party has joined the Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC) in calling for a Canadian-led United Nations peacekeeping mission in eastern Ukraine.

“The defense of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity should be a priority for Canada’s government on the international stage,” said Opposition Leader Andrew Scheer on November 9 when he announced that a Conservative-led Canadian government would call for such a mission that “would allow Ukraine to restore control over its eastern border with Russia” and ensure the Russian military stays out of Ukraine.

Ukrainian Canadian congress CEO Ihor Michalchyshyn and UCC Executive Committee member Cassian Soltykevych at the unvieling ceremony of the Memorial for the Victims of Communism.

Site unveiled in Ottawa for Canada’s Memorial to the Victims of Communism

Ukrainian Canadian Congress announces $25,000 contribution 

OTTAWA – The dedication of the site for Canada’s Memorial to the Victims of Communism – “Canada, Land of Refuge” – took place in Ottawa on November 2. The Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC) announced a contribution of $25,000 to the memorial. Mélanie Joly, minister of Canadian heritage, and Arif Virani, parliamentary secretary to the minister of Canadian heritage (multiculturalism), took part in the solemn ceremony. The ceremony included an Indigenous blessing, testimonies of survivors of Communist regimes, and the presentation of a plant that will be incorporated into the landscape of the Memorial to the Victims of Communism. The site of the memorial is on the west side of the Garden of Provinces and Territories in the Parliamentary Precinct in Canada’s capital.

During their meeting in Ottawa, Prime Ministers Volodymyr Groysman of Ukraine and Justin Trudeau of Canada.

Groysman pitches Ukraine as business opportunity for Canada

OTTAWA – During his first-ever visit to Canada, Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman remarked, in an exaggerated way at the Ukrainian Day on Parliament Hill reception organized by the Canada-Ukraine Parliamentary Program, that “every day in Canadian history” has had a Ukrainian element in it.

But that comment made on October 31 somewhat rang true – at least during and shortly after Ukraine’s youngest-ever prime minister, age 39, was here primarily to promote his country as a great Canadian opportunity for trade and investment.

Bill Browder, who campaigned for Magnitsky laws in both the United States and Canada.

Canada faces Moscow’s wrath after enactment of Magnitsky law

OTTAWA – As Canada’s Magnitsky law came into effect, the man closely connected to its namesake who campaigned for the legislation has found himself further targeted by Russia. Reacting to the bill, Russia’s Embassy in Canada called it a “hostile move” and promised “reciprocal countermeasures”; President Vladimir Putin commented that “This is just used to blow up more anti-Russian hysteria.”

Ukrainian Canadian Congress National President Paul Grod presents a Ukrainian embroidered shirt to Canada’s National Defense Minister Harjit S. Sajjan.

UCC holds annual general meeting in Vancouver

Canada’s defense minister addresses Ukrainian community

VANCOUVER, British Columbia – The Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC) held its annual general meeting and a meeting of its board of directors on October 13 through October 15 in Vancouver, British Columbia. Community leaders and executive members from across the country gathered to discuss the progress on UCC priorities set at the XXV Triennial Congress of Ukrainian Canadians last year. Over 40 delegates from member organizations, provincial councils and local branches attended. Dialogue and debate were focused around the three broad pillars guiding the work of the UCC: developing the Ukrainian Canadian community; celebrating and advancing the Ukrainian Canadian identity; and supporting Ukraine. “It was a pleasure for our community in Vancouver to host this year’s AGM,” stated Natalie Jatskevich, president of the UCC British Columbia Provincial Council and UCC Vancouver Branch.