Category Archives: Others

UCC-MPC Statement on the Anniversary of the Deportation by Joseph Stalin of the Crimean Tatars

Ukrainian Canadian Congress – Manitoba Provincial Council Statement on the Anniversary of the Deportation by Joseph Stalin of the Crimean Tatars 

On May 18, 2017 the world marks the 73rd anniversary of the 1944 deportation of the entire Crimean Tatar – the indigenous people of the Crimean Peninsula – population from their homeland to far-flung regions of the Soviet Union. This criminal act of ethnic cleansing was initiated on the orders of Soviet leader Joseph Stalin as punishment for their alleged collaboration with the Germans during the Second World War. Of the 230,000 Tatars subjected to this crime, some 100,000 perished as a result.


Despite the injustice of the charges leveled against them as a group, and the horrific suffering they had to endure in exile, the Crimean Tatars were only allowed to return to their ancestral homeland in the late 1980s. Upon Ukraine gaining independence in 1991, the Crimean Tatars achieved a level of cultural and ethnic equality they had not experienced under Soviet rule.

With the illegal annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation in 2014, the fate of the Crimean Tatars has once again become tenuous. Persecution based on ethnic, social and religious grounds has become common, with Tatar language media outlets being banned and local self-government institutions curtailed. Thousands of Crimean Tatars have fled to safe haven in Ukraine. Many leading members of the Crimean Tatar community have been subjected to harassment and even imprisonment.

An extremely disturbing development, according to Amnesty International, is that the Crimean Tartar’s principle representative organisation, the Mejlis, has been banned arbitrarily by the Russian occupational government as an “extremist organisation” and any association with it has been criminalized. 

On November 12, 2015, the parliament of Ukraine adopted a resolution recognizing the deportation of the Crimean Tatars as genocide and declared 18 May as a Day of Remembrance for the victims of the Crimean Tatar genocide.

The Ukrainian Canadian Congress – Manitoba Provincial Council (UCC-MPC) urges all Canadians to remember at this time the injustices suffered by the Crimean Tatars during their deportation and exile. Additionally, we call upon the Canadian Government to maintain sanctions against the Russian Federation until such time that the Russians end their illegal occupation of Crimea. The UCC-MPC also demands that the Russian authorities respect the ethnic and community rights of the Tatar population of Crimea and that they immediately cease the policy of discrimination and repression of the indigenous population of this occupied Ukrainian region.

Minister Ron Schuler, Minister Cathy Cox, MLAs Nic Curry and Blair Yakimoski at the Family Picnic

Nice seeing Minister Ron Schuler, Minister Cathy Cox, MLAs Nic Curry and Blair Yakimoski at the Family Picnic tonight!

Special Thanks to Minister Ron Schuler for amazing speach !!!
Message from Nick Curry-MLA Kildonan : “Great night celebrating the 25th year of Ukraine Independence at #Kildonanpark
Happy to be joined by Minister Ron Schuler, Minister Cathy Cox and MLA Blair Yakimoski”
#Ukraine25

125th Anniversary of Ukrianian’s in Canada

2016 Proclaimed Year of Manitoba’s Ukrainian-Canadian Cultural Heritage

8.5X11 LOGO 125 years of Ukrainian Immigration in Canada

To mark the 125 Anniversary of the settlement of Ukrainians in Canada on March 10, 2016 the Province of Manitoba proclaimed 2016 The Year of Manitoba’s Ukrainian-Canadian Cultural Heritage. At the March 10th session of the Manitoba Legislative Assembly, the Premier of Manitoba Hon. Greg Selinger, read a proclamation which had the support of all parties represented in the House.

Prior to reading the Proclamation, Premier Selinger stated, “Mr. Speaker, 125 years ago, in 1891, the first Ukrainians made their journey to Canada in search of freedom from oppression and an opportunity for a better life. Many settled here in Manitoba where they have made tremendous contributions to the social, cultural and economic fabric of our province. Today there are over 170,000 Canadians of Ukrainian descent in our province, more than any other province or territory in Canada.

And I am proud that Manitoba maintains a close relationship with Ukraine to this day. Indeed, these are troubling times for our Ukrainian brothers and sisters, and we do what we can to support those working to restore peace in Ukraine.”

Brian Pallister, Progressive Conservative Party leader rose to lend support to the proclamation. “The role of Ukrainian people in Manitoba and in Canada is vast and longstanding, which is why honouring and respecting their history is the right thing to do. And that’s why we have a responsibility too, Mr. Speaker, to never forget the atrocities of the Holodomor and the dangers of communism, one-party states and totalitarian regimes.” said Pallister. “A hundred and twenty-five years of Ukrainian settlement in Manitoba is something of which we as Manitobans should all be very proud. From their contributions to agricultural development, to the arts, to culture, even to the food we eat, the impact that Ukrainian settlement has left on our lives must always be acknowledged.”

Liberal Party MLA Hon. Jon Gerrard stated that, “Ukrainians have contributed greatly to Manitoba, and we must recognize this important anniversary, as we are doing today with various events, including declaring 2016 the year of Manitoba’s Ukrainian-Canadian cultural heritage.” Dr. Gerrard concluded by saying that “Today we treasure Manitoba’s continued ties with the people of Ukraine. Today we embrace the rich Ukrainian culture and heritage that thrives here in Manitoba. And today we hope that Manitobans and Ukrainians can continue to work together for the benefit of all of us for many years ahead.”

The full text of these remarks can be viewed on YouTube by following these three links:

Hon. Greg Selinger, Premier of Manitoba

Brian Pallister, Leader of the Opposition

Hon. Dr. Jon Gerrard, MLA for River Heights

The proclamation was made in the presence of representatives of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress – Manitoba Provincial Council, including President Oksana Bondarchuk, Vice President Myroslava Pidhirnyj, Treasurer Lesia Szwaluk, and UCC-MPC 125 Anniversary Committee Co-Chairs Joan Lewandowsky and Dr. Roman Yereniuk. A distinguished special guest was the Ambassador of Ukraine to Canada, His Excellency Andriy Shevchenko, who was accompanied by his spouse Ms. Hanna Homonai.

“This Proclamation is an important beginning to the year-long celebrations planned by UCC-MPC to mark the 125th Anniversary of Ukrainian Settlement in Canada,” said UCC-MPC President Oksana Bondarchuk. “It points out the contribution that Ukrainian Canadians have made, and continue to make, to the vibrancy and success of Manitoba. I am especially pleased that Ambassador Shevchenko was present to participate in this significant event. As well, I wish to thank Minister David Chomiak for his leadership in facilitating the announcement of  the Proclamation, along with representatives of all political parties who – in the best traditions of Manitoba – made this proclamation a unifying gesture.”

Maidan

ЄвроМайдан Winnipeg

Ukrainian Canadian Congress – Manitoba Provincial Council as an act of solidarity, called our community to join in a rally in support of Ukraine.

Ми дякуємо всім, хто прийшов на зустріч на підтримку Euromaidan. Ми знаємо, що народ України цінуємо наше моральну підтримку їхньої боротьби!

We would like to thank everyone who came out  in support of the Euromaidan. We know that the people of Ukraine appreciate our moral support of their struggle.

Below are pictures of the rallies (many by Norbert K. Iwan)