In the past days, weeks and months many of us have been shocked by what is taking place in Ukraine.
Manitoba shares a rich cultural and economic history with Ukraine that has shaped our province’s identity. Our province is home to one of the largest Ukrainian populations in Canada. In my own community of Kildonan, over 25% of us have Ukrainian heritage and continue to have strong ties to Ukraine.
On March 10, I introduced a resolution in the legislature regarding the turmoil in Ukraine. It’s easy to discuss the value of human rights and democracy without living in an environment of instability and violence. We are committed, however, to standing in solidarity with the Ukrainian people as they work towards great peace, democracy and freedom.
Our Ukrainian community here in Manitoba has come together in strength, in hope and in solidarity of those fighting for democracy in Ukraine. On multiple occasions, hundreds of people have gathered at the legislature to show our solidarity with the people of Ukraine.
By March 6, Winnipeg’s Ukrainian community had raised $26,000 to help activists injured at Independence Square in Kyiv. The Government of Manitoba is also working with the Ukrainian Canadian Congress to provide humanitarian assistance for local organizations helping injured activists.
This year, as well, we also officially marked March 9 to 15 as Taras Shevchenko Week, in honour of the internationally renowned Ukrainian poet, writer, artist and champion of Ukrainian sovereignty. For over 150 years, his writings have been published in thousands of volumes and hundreds of languages. Shevchenko Week honours the 200th anniversary of the poet’s birth.
Over the course of these 200 years, his works have had an undeniable impact on the modern Ukrainian language, Ukrainian national identity and great impact around the world. In the words of Shevchenko, let’s continue to fight against the heavy chains of oppression, to build free and democratic societies in Ukraine and all around the world.
Feel free to contact my office at 204-334-5060, or send me an email at Dave.Chomiak@YourManitoba.ca.