By Marco Levytsky, National Affairs Editor (Reporting from Ukraine).
Although unable to send any ministers to the Crimean Platform Summit due to the federal election, Canada has congratulated Ukraine on a very successful inaugural event.
“Canada is proud to endorse the Joint Declaration as part of our ongoing support of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” stated the Embassy of Canada on its Facebook page.
Canada was represented by Ambassador Larisa Galadza.
“Canadians were proud to be represented at the Crimean Platform by our Ambassador, Larisa Galadza, who is one of the most active and dedicated Ambassadors in Ukraine, and with whom (together with the Embassy staff she leads) the UCC is proud to work closely and productively.” Ukrainian Canadian Congress National President Alexandra Chyczij told New Pathway – Ukrainian News.
As a result though, Canada was not included among the speakers list because only heads of state, heads of parliaments, ministers and deputy ministers qualified.
During a federal election period, government activities must align with the caretaker convention, which applies as soon as Parliament is dissolved and until a new cabinet is sworn in.
According to the Convention, the Government of Canada must “avoid participating in high-profile government-related domestic and international events, including federal/provincial/territorial events, international visits, and the signing of treaties and agreements.”
In Canada’s form of democratic government, the legitimacy of the Government flows from its ability to command the confidence of the House of Commons. Following the dissolution of Parliament for an election, however, there is no elected chamber to confer confidence on the Government. Given this fact, and that the Government cannot assume that it will command the confidence of the House after the election, it is incumbent upon a government to act with restraint during an election period. This is the “caretaker convention”. By observing the caretaker convention, governments at the end of their current mandate demonstrate respect for the democratic will of the people.