The Ukrainian Canadian Congress has called upon the government of Canada to use the free trade negotiations with Ukraine as a lever for human rights – as the European Union has done. More recently the Ukrainian Academy of Arts and Sciences (UVAN) in Canada has called upon the Canadian Government to “condemn in the strongest words possible the Ukrainian authorities for their relentless politically motivated persecution and abuse of human rights.”
But as we urge our government representatives to take a strong stand on Ukraine, should we not reconsider our own contacts with official Ukraine and with Ukraine’s business leaders?
Recently Ukraine’s minister of culture visited Canada and met with both the community and our community representatives. True, this was part of the official program of the Canadian Parliament’s first Ukrainian Day on the Hill and Ukrainian culture is something we all support.