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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.