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English \ Parliament Hill the Scene of Vibrant Colours on Vyshyvanka Day

On May 18th Parliament Hill and the House of Commons was awash in bright colours as parliamentarians donned beautiful traditional Ukrainian embroidered shirts, "vyshyvankas," to celebrate International Vyshyvanka Day.

In the morning, Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Lawrence MacAulay, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister Navdeep Bains, National Revenue Minister Diane Lebouthillier, and eleven other Liberal Members of Parliament-Leona Alleslev, Randy Boissonnault, Peter Fonseca, Andy Fillmore, Peter Fragiskatos, James Maloney, Don Rusnak, Sven Spengemann, Arif Virani, Borys Wrzesnewskyj, Kate Young-joined former Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, Ukrainian Ambassador Andriy Shevchneko, UCC President Paul Grod, and UCC Vice-President Alexandra Chyczij for a group vyshyvanka photograph inside Parliament.

"Last year on Vyshyvanka Day, Liberal Caucus members who gathered for a photograph broke out in a boisterous rendition of ‘Vziav By Ja Banduru' and this year they continued the tradition by singing a moving version of ‘Reve ta Stohne Dnipr Shyrokyj,'" stated Etobicoke Centre MP Borys Wrzesnewskyj.

At noon, former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yatsenyuk met with the Executive Officers and Directors of the Canada-Ukraine Parliamentary Friendship Group (CUPFG). Yatsenyuk exchanged views with the CUPFG Executive on the political, economic, military, humanitarian, and social conditions in Ukraine while facing Russian military invasion and occupation in the east and the annexation of Crimea in the south. The visiting political leader thanked the Canadian parliamentarians for setting aside partisanship and assisting Ukraine with the passage of the Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement, the extension of Operation UNIFIER, the signing the Canada-Ukraine Defence Cooperation Arrangement, and other vital humanitarian initiatives.Title

"It was both informative and vital for Canadian parliamentarians to hear first-hand how policies enacted in Ottawa with the support of all parties to assist and strengthen Ukraine as it faces Russian military occupation and annexation, are being embraced on the ground in what is the front line of the Kremlin's active military war against Ukraine and Global Hybrid War against the liberal democratic West," underscored CUPFG Chair Wrzesnewskyj.

Just prior to Question Period, parliamentarians of all Canadian political parties together with members of the Ukrainian Canadian community, gathered for a group vyshyvanka photograph on the steps leading up to the Peace Tower.

This was followed by Question Period during which Cabinet Members, including Government House Leader Bardish Chagger, Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Minister Ralph Goodale and Veterans Affairs Minister Kent Hehr wore colourful vyshyvanky while taking questions in the premier live televised event of the House of Commons. Especially notable was the statement by Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland confirming that our Government would enact Magnitsky legislation.

"There is a role for non-traditional forms of diplomacy to help build relationships between allied nations. And through the celebration of Vyshyvanka Day on Parliament Hill, Canadian parliamentarians of all stripes wish to express goodwill and provide a morale boost to Ukraine and its people as they face down an increasingly aggressive and dangerous Russia," concluded Wrzesnewskyj.

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