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Ukrainian Heritage Month Act introduced in Parliament

Jun 23, 2021 | Featured, Community

New Pathway – Ukrainian News.

On June 17, a private member’s bill, An act respecting Ukrainian Heritage Month was introduced in the House of Commons by Yvan Baker (MP Etobicoke-Centre). The bill was seconded by James Maloney (MP Etobicoke—Lakeshore).

The bill’s Preamble says:
“Whereas the first official Ukrainian immigrants to Canada, Vasyl Eleniak and Ivan Pylypiw, arrived on September 7, 1891, and Ukrainian immigrants began arriving in Canada in larger numbers in the years that followed;
Whereas today Canada is home to more than 1.‍3 million Ukrainian
Whereas Canada was the first Western nation to recognize Ukraine’s independence in 1991;
Whereas Canada has recognized that the Holodomor was a genocide perpetrated by the Soviet regime of Joseph Stalin, causing the death of millions of Ukrainians in 1932 and 1933, with the intent to destroy the Ukrainian people’s aspirations for a free and independent Ukraine;
Whereas Canada opposes Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and continues to support Ukraine in its fight for its sovereignty and territorial integrity;
Whereas Ukrainian Canadians have left and continue to leave a historic mark on Canada, with contributions that span communities across the country and are reflected in Canada’s economic, political, social and cultural life;
And whereas Parliament wishes to recognize the inspirational role that Ukrainian Canadians have played and continue to play in communities across the country and to educate Canadians about that role by celebrating it;“

The bill commands that “Throughout Canada, in each year, the month of September is to be known as “Ukrainian Heritage Month”.

On June 17, the bill passed introduction and first reading. MP Baker indicated his hope that all Members of the House will support the bill.

The establishment of a Ukrainian Heritage Month in Canada has been long advocated for by Ukrainian Canadian Congress. When surveyed by UCC ahead of the 2019 Federal Election, the leaders of all of Canada’s national parties indicated their support for designating September as Ukrainian Heritage Month.

Answers from the UCC Survey taken prior to the 2019 Federal Election

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