“Canada looks forward to continuing to collaborate closely with Ukraine and to advancing common values and shared interests,” said Canada's Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas). The Honourable Peter Kent attended the February 25 inauguration of Viktor Yanukovych as Ukraine’s new president.
The Government of Canada is a strong supporter of Ukrainian democracy, and this is reflected by the fact that over 300 Canadian observers monitored the conduct of Ukraine’s presidential elections.
More than a million Canadian citizens are of Ukrainian origin. Canada is the fourth-largest donor of technical assistance to Ukraine, and the Canadian International Development Agency has designated Ukraine a country of focus. Canada is also a strong supporter of Ukraine’s EuroAtlantic aspirations.
Many Canadians of Ukrainian descent as well as Ukrainian emigrés living here are not happy with the outcome of the recent presidential election in Ukraine. Five years ago, however, they were happy with the winner ... yet in the ensuing years became bitterly disappointed in his performance.
Let's hope that this time they, along with a large percentage of unhappy Ukrainian voters, will be pleasantly surprised.
We in the west are quick to sweep under the carpet of our collective consciousness the fact that our democracies (or at least economies) were founded in large part by robber barons. What the rest of the people did was try to ignore them as best they could, and get on with the business of making the lives of others better.
These robber barons are still around, and always will be. But they have always been vastly outnumbered by honest, intelligent, hard-working folk. And whenever and wherever the latter ignored the former and went about creating, and/or working in, companies who made the lives of others better, they built the foundation for a successful, functioning democracy... and an environment that makes life a little less easy for robber barons.
To resurrect a lovely but now tarnished cliché: Razom nas bahato.
I hope the time has come when enough honest, intelligent and hard-working folk will band together to help this new president get, and keep, Ukraine's current robber barons in check... and create an economic climate in which the citizens are encouraged, and empowered, to make each others' lives better.