Unprecedented: Three Ukrainian Canadian Women At the Helm of Canadian Politics

The Rt Hon. Justin Trudeau was sworn in as Canada’s 23rd Prime Minister on November 4, 2015. The Ukrainian Canadian Congress expressed its wishes of success to Prime Minister Trudeau. “On behalf of Canada’s 1.3-million strong Ukrainian Canadian community, I offer sincere congratulations to Prime Minister Trudeau and look forward to working with him and the new government. I offer personal congratulations to friends Chrystia Freeland and MaryAnn Mihychuk sworn in to Cabinet today,” stated Paul Grod, National President of the UCC. “The government has set an ambitious agenda for all Canadians and we look forward to working with the government on key issues such as ensuring that Ukraine remains a foreign policy priority for Canada; the ratification of the Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement; and Canadian support for the security and sovereignty of Ukraine.”

Among the 30 members appointed to the Federal Cabinet today were a historic first – two Ukrainian Canadian women – the Honourable Chrystia Freeland as Minister of International Trade and the Honourable MaryAnn Mihychuk as Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour.
“In a historic first, Canada will have two strong Ukrainian Canadian women in Cabinet serving in senior economic portfolios responsible for delivering on the Government’s jobs and economic growth agenda,” stated Taras Zalusky, UCC National Executive Director. “In the 125 years since Ukrainians first immigrated to Canada, the Ukrainian Canadian community has never had such strong representation in the Federal Cabinet.”

On November 5, 2015 the Hon. Rona Ambrose (nee Chapchuk) was elected the interim leader of the Conservative Party of Canada and Interim Leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition after former Prime Minister Stephen Harper stepped down. “We congratulate Ms. Ambrose on her election by the Conservative Caucus and look forward to working with her,” stated UCC National President Paul Grod. “This week has been a showcase of the talent and intellect of Ukrainian Canadian women elected in this Parliament including the Leader of the Opposition and 2 Ministers of the Crown.”

Ihor Walter Bardyn, First Vice President of the Ukrainian National Federation of Canada, writes: “Rona Ambrose will hold her seat in Parliament, directly opposite that of Prime Minister Trudeau and will exercise the privileges of that office in all debates during Question period.

Rona Ambrose is the daughter of Colleen Clark and James Chapchuk She grew up in Brazil and Alberta and completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Victoria and earned a Masters Degree in political studies at the University of Alberta. First elected to Parliament in 2004 she was re-elected in 2006, 2008, 2011 and 2015. In 2006 when she was appointed Minister of the Environment, she was the youngest woman to be appointed to Cabinet in Canadian history.

No date has been set for a leadership convention to elect the Leader of the Conservative Party, but Rona Ambrose may be asked to remain Interim Leader for up to a year. Both Conservative and Liberal Party parliamentarians have commented that Ambrose who is well liked across party lines, is an excellent communicator and is well respected. She may well become the Leader of the Conservative Party going into 43rd Canadian federal election on October 21, 2019.”