Friday, July 08, 2011

Ukrainian Canadian community to honour Prime Minister Harper

The Ukrainian Canadian Congress has announced that Prime Minister Stephen Harper will be awarded the Shevchenko Medal on
October 14, 2011 in Toronto.

The Shevchenko Medal is the highest form of recognition that can be granted by the Ukrainian Canadian Congress. It recognizes individuals for their outstanding national contribution towards the development of the Ukrainian Canadian community.

Prime Minister Harper and his government have made many contributions to the Ukrainian Canadian community, both at home and abroad.

These include the passage of An Act to establish a Ukrainian Famine and Genocide ("Holodomor") Memorial Day, making Canada one of the first countries to adopt legislation to recognize the Holodomor of 1932-33 as an act of genocide.

In 2008 the Prime Minister established the "Canadian First World War Internment Recognition Fund." This was the culmination of many years of effort by the Ukrainian Canadian community to recognize the unjust internment of Ukrainian Canadians and others from 1914—1920.

Prime Minister Harper has been an active proponent of democratic reforms in Ukraine. On a recent trip to Ukraine in October 2010, he publicly expressed Canada's commitment to human rights, democratic development, and free and fair elections in Ukraine.

This was preceded by Canada sending 200 election observers to Ukraine for the 2010 Presidential elections.

One of the highlights of the Prime Minister's trip to Ukraine was the signing of a Youth Mobility Agreement to facilitate travel and exchanges between Canadian and Ukrainian youth.

Prime Minister Harper has also been an active proponent of Ukraine's accession into NATO. In 2009 his government entered into Free Trade negotiations with Ukraine and renewed Ukraine's status as a country of priority for international assistance through CIDA.

The first Prime Minister to receive the Shevchenko Medal was the Rt. Hon. John Diefenbaker. He was recognized for his outstanding contributions to the cause of Ukraine and other nations in their struggle for human dignity and liberty.

The Ukrainian Canadian Congress will present the Shevchenko Medal to Prime Minister Harper on Friday, October 14, 2011 at a tribute event to be held at the Liberty Grand located at 25 British Columbia Rd., Exhibition Place in Toronto, Ontario.

The event was originally scheduled for March 25, 2011, and was postponed due to the federal election.

You can find more information on the event and arrange for tickets to the event at the Ukrainian Canadian Congress website or call (866) 942-4627.

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