A solemn tone greeted delegates to the primary nationwide gathering of Ukrainian Canadians in three years, with the final nicely earlier than cities in Ukraine got here beneath assault by Russian troopers and bombs.
“It has by no means been more necessary that we come collectively as leaders, as Canadians and as Ukrainian Canadians,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stated Friday morning at a Ukrainian Canadian Congress gathering in Winnipeg.
Following prayers and a moment of silence to start the convention, Trudeau delivered the opening handle to almost 400 delegates on the XXVII Triennial Congress of Ukrainian Canadians.
“Nine months in the past this week, Russia launched a brutal and bloody invasion of a sovereign, democratic nation,” he stated.
“They violated the post-World War II order and stability that has, for many years, upheld our peace and allowed so many individuals to prosper. They have murdered harmless civilians. All of you right here know this higher than anybody.”
Horrible pictures that flash on TV screens and social media feeds characteristic are locations Ukrainian Canadians know all too nicely, Trudeau stated.
“Today, all Canadians are studying the names of those cities and cities for all of the worst causes.”
Friday marks the 247th day of the conflict. More than 105,000 Ukrainian nationals have fled to Canada beneath particular immigration packages, with roughly 12,000 coming to Manitoba.
The moment the conflict began is as sharp as ever in the recollection of Alexandra Chyczij, nationwide president of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress.
On the night of Feb. 23, the UCC’s board of administrators had simply concluded a Zoom assembly with Trudeau when everybody’s telephones lit up.
“Bombs had been dropping in Kyiv,” she stated, then paused.
“Since then, Canada and our allies have been standing with Ukraine [and] due to that assist, and the bravery and valour of the Ukrainian folks … Ukraine nonetheless stands.”
Sanctions on 35 more Russians
Canada is imposing sanctions on 35 more Russians, a group that features leaders of Russian state-owned power firm Gazprom and 6 power sector entities, Trudeau introduced in his handle.
Canada stands with Ukraine and can proceed to “tighten the screws” on Russia, he stated
Canadian Defence Minister Anita Anand, who was additionally on the opening on Friday, spoke earlier in the morning with CBC Manitoba Information Radio visitor host Faith Fundal. She stated she had a message she hopes is evident to Ukraine and all of its supporters.
“We imagine in your sovereignty and your safety and your stability and we are going to do no matter we are able to as a rustic and as a NATO ally, along with different allies, to assist you with army assist as nicely as humanitarian and financial assist to make sure that your sovereignty is protected,” she stated.
“The assault on Ukraine is an assault on freedom and democracy writ giant, and Canada will at all times rise up for these values.”
Canada has despatched more than $600 million in army assist and gear to Ukraine, together with tech like cameras for drones and armoured automobiles to move personnel to and from the entrance traces.
Canada is additionally main coaching missions in the United Kingdom and Poland and making ready to ship 500,000 items of winter clothes “to make it possible for [the] Ukrainian armed forces have the winter clothes they should battle and win this conflict via the winter,” Anand stated.
Canada may also proceed to produce Ukraine with deadly weapons, such as howitzers and antitank artillery.
“We are standing shoulder to shoulder with Ukraine in the quick and the long run,” Anand stated.
“If Ukraine had been to cease preventing, it will not survive, as a result of Russia is clearly taking each alternative to take away its territorial integrity. In different phrases, Ukraine is preventing for its life.”
The congress, which gathers each three years to elect a brand new management and plan coverage, is assembly via the weekend in Winnipeg.
The UCC “represents the Ukrainian Canadian group earlier than the folks and Government of Canada, promotes linkages with Ukraine and identifies and addresses the wants of the Ukrainian group in Canada,” its mission assertion says.