UCC eNewsletter – June 2012

In this issue:

Update: Canada’s Foreign Affairs Committee In Ukraine


May 29, 2012-Ottawa, Canada- The delegation from the Canadian Parliament in Ukraine concluded five days of meetings (May 14-18) in Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv as well as Kharkiv and L’viv.

Meetings were held with a broad spectrum of experts and monitors of the social, political, and economic and human rights situation in the country. Also, attending the meetings were representatives of the organized Ukrainian Canadian community including: Taras Zalusky, Executive Director, Ukrainian Canadian Congress; Bohdan Onyschuk, President, Canada Ukraine Foundation; and Borys Potapenko, Executive Director, League of Ukrainian Canadians.

The delegation heard a consistent message in Kyiv, in Eastern Ukraine and in Western Ukraine about the importance of this fall’s Parliamentary elections in Ukraine and the importance of a strong international election observer presence as well as the importance of Canada supporting Ukraine’s fledgling democracy and civil society groups in the face of increasingly authoritarian trends.

The visit began on Monday, May 14, 2012 with a session involving presentations by representatives, family members and attorneys of Yulia Tymoshenko, Yuri Lutsenko and Valeriy Ivashchenko. Eugenia Tymoshenko, daughter of the former Prime Minister, Iryna Lutsenko, wife of the former Interior Minister, and Valentyna Ivashchenko, wife of the former acting Defence Minister, discussed the circumstances surrounding the arrest, detention before and during trial, sentencing, and incarceration of their loved ones. They also expressed their concerns over the current circumstance and conditions of incarceration. In this regard, three key issues were raised: need for immediate medical attention, unconditional release from prison of these political prisoners and exoneration of all charges on which the convictions were based.

Read more…

Mark Your Calendar 

UCC AGM & Board Meeting  
London, Ontario 
June 23-24, 2012

Dear UCC Board of Directors, Provincial Councils, Branches, Committee Chairs, 
Board of Auditors Chair and C & E Trustees


The next Ukrainian Canadian Congress Annual General Meeting and Board meeting 
will be held on June 23-24, 2012 in London, Ontario


We look forward to seeing you there! 


All eligible parties attending, please Click Here for more information


Support the Ukrainian World Congress 2012 Appeal


We believe that all Ukrainians should be:

  • guaranteed full protection of their human rights and fundamental freedoms;
  • afforded the opportunity to celebrate the Ukrainian culture;
  • ensured access to Ukrainian language education.


We believe that the global Ukrainian community must continue to:

  • uphold Ukraine’s independence;
  • promote the democratization of Ukraine; and
  • encourage Ukraine’s full integration into the European community.


The Ukrainian World Congress (UWC):

  • actively promotes the development of Ukrainian communities around the world;
  • bridges the link to Ukraine;
  • engages international world leaders in advancing the Ukrainian cause for the benefit of our nation.


Our successes

  • UWC realized a strategic campaign to raise awareness of human rights violations and the deterioration of democracy in Ukraine among international political leaders.
  • UWC actively promoted the initialing of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement on March 30, 2012 during meetings between the UWC President and high-ranking officials of the European Union and countries which are home to the Ukrainian diaspora, in an address to the EU-Ukraine Parliamentary Cooperation Committee and written statements.
  • UWC’s intervention and support of the efforts of the Association of Ukrainians in Poland prevented the closing of a Ukrainian-language elementary school in Mokre, Poland.
  • An agreement of cooperation between UWC and 5 Kanal (Channel 5) in Ukraine launched a weekly television news journal about the Ukrainian diaspora.
  • The successful international youth forum Kyiv – 2011, organized by the UWC’s Conference of Ukrainian Youth Organizations, brought together youth from 30 countries.


We believe that our national values continue to bind us.


Your donation will help UWC continue its work on behalf of Ukrainians worldwide while promoting a strong, thriving and united community.


Make your donation today!




Ukrainian Canadian Congress welcomes religious leaders from Ukraine to Canada


Toronto. April 23, 2011 – The President of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC) welcomed to Canada the members of the All Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations (UCCRO) to Canada. 


UCC National President Paul Grod welcomed the delegation of Ukraine’s most senior religious leaders who came to Canada on the invitation of the Ukrainian Jewish Encounter (UJE) initiative led by UCC Advisory Board Chairman James Temerty.  The theme of the 4 city North American visit (Toronto-Ottawa-Washington-New York) is “Honouring Metropolitan Andrei Sheptytsky”.


“I was pleased to welcome Patriarch Filaret of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Kyiv Patriarchate) and greet him on behalf of the Ukrainian Canadian community where he brought greetings at the St. Volodymyr Ukrainian Cultural Centre in Oakville,” said Grod.  


“Patriarch Filaret brought greetings and visited the Ukrainian Care Centre, blessed the UPA memorial at the St. Volodymyr cemetery, and attended Spilne Sviachenne at the Ukrainian National Federation Hall.”


“In addition, I was pleased to meet Patriarch Svyateslav of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport along with Ukrainian Greek Catholic Bishop Stephen Chmiliar, assembled clergy and 50 youth, students and community leaders,” continued Grod.


The visit by Ukraine’s religious leaders has a number of purposes:


  • to honour the role played by Metropolitan Andrei Sheptytsky in sheltering/saving Jews, children particularly, during the German occupation of Ukraine;
  • to demonstrate that leaders of both Jewish and non-Jewish communities (in Ukraine and the Diaspora) can come together to acknowledge compassionate and ethical behaviour by Ukrainian actors in times and conditions which encouraged and enabled the narrowest parochial and ethnic focus; and
  • to advance the evolution of the UCCRO — a unique organization – as an important civil society force in Ukraine advocating pluralism, religious and political freedom, and inter-ethnic harmony. 

Events in Ottawa April 24 and 25 included a welcoming lunch on Parliament Hill; a motion in Parliament recognizing Sheptystky’s role and the importance of his  legacy; a meeting with Prime Minister Stephen Harper; an interfaith meeting hosted by Rabbi Bulka which assembled the Ukrainian delegation with Canadian religious leaders; a banquet at Ottawa’s Chateau Laurier Hotel which brought together governmental leaders, Parliamentarians and community leaders; and a symposium on the 25th at the Sheptytsky Institute of Eastern Christian Studies.


Canada’s Foreign Affairs Committee Begins Hearings On Human Rights In Ukraine

KYIV – MAY 14, 2012- Representatives of the Ukrainian Canadian community welcomed the opportunity to participate in the visit to Ukraine by Canada’s Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development. The delegation consists of 7 Canadian Members of Parliament who will be conducting hearings of the Committee that will be open to the public and media in Kyiv, Kharkiv and L’viv, Ukraine.

“These historic hearings on the human rights situation in Ukraine continue the work which the Standing Committee has begun in October 2011, and continued in March concurrent with the Ukraine at the Crossroads Conference, in Ottawa, in March this year and come at a pivotal time in Ukraine’s democratic development,” stated Taras Zalusky, Executive Director of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress. “The ability of the committee to travel to Ukraine will afford them an opportunity to gain a firsthand look at the situation regarding human rights, politically motivated selective justice, and the rule of law on the ground in Ukraine. This will be very valuable information for the committee when it writes its report on recommended future actions by the government of Canada vis a vis Ukraine.”

Continue Reading…

Teachers’ Conference “Ukrainian schooling in Canada” concludes with tremendous success

Parliament Of Canada Passes Unanimous Motion honouring Metropolitan Andrei Sheptytsky


Ottawa, Canada – April 26, 2012- The Ukrainian Canadian Congress welcomes the unanimous adoption of a historic motion honouring Metropolitan Andrei Sheptytsky by the Parliament of Canada on Tuesday April 24, 2012.


“This very important tribute by the Parliament of Canada to the deeds of Metropolitan Sheptytsky in saving the lives of many Jews in the Nazi Holocaust during World War II is a testament to the world of his righteousness,” stated UCC National President Paul Grod. “The acts of Metropolitan Sheptytsky shine as a beacon for all of us to do the right thing in the face of difficult circumstances. We applaud this recognition and are grateful for the statement made by Ted Opitz, a Polish Canadian Member of Parliament, and to Minister Jason Kenney for proposing the motion as well as to all Members of Parliament for their principled and non-partisan unanimous approval.”


Continue Reading…



UCC & CUF Call for Long-Term Election Observers – 

Call for Long-term Election Observers for 
Ukraine 2012 Parliamentary Elections


The Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC) and the Canada Ukraine Foundation (CUF), which have successfully monitored several elections in Ukraine since 2004, are organizing an Election Observer Mission for the 2012 Parliamentary Elections, scheduled for October 28, 2012.

UCC-CUF is looking for highly-qualified individuals to serve as long-term election observers (LTOs) on the ground in Ukraine. These LTOs will be responsible for: i) monitoring the run-up to the elections in Ukraine to ensure that the election is being organized in a fair and transparent manner; ii) monitoring such things as voter’s lists and the voters’ register; iii) monitoring access of parties and candidates to mass media; iv) monitoring the formation of election commissions; and v) overseeing the formation of new electoral boundaries for the 225 districts, the registration of single mandate district candidates, and the electoral campaign.

The deadline to submit applications for LTO positions has been extended to June 15, 2012.

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