UCPBF Convention letter to Jean Chretien

October 4, 2001

Right Honourable Jean Chrétien
Prime Minister of Canada
House of Commons
Parliament of Canada
Ottawa, ON

Dear Prime Minister,

The Ukrainian Canadian Professional and Business Federation Convention being held in Winnipeg October 4-5, 2001 representing 17 associations from sea to sea, fully endorses Canada's support for the United States in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 tragedy. We applaud the full collaboration you have offered on behalf of Canada and echo your words offered on Parliament Hill during the Memorial Service that we stand together as friends, neighbours and family.

At the same time we urge you to counsel the United States to exert pressure on Israel and Palestine to end their conflict; separate the guilty from innocent peoples caught up in this storm; send aid to the downtrodden Afghanistan people; and show global leadership and wisdom in this explosive time.

We speak as those who have known grave calamity. The Great Soviet Ukrainian Famine eliminated some 7 to 10 million Ukrainians, yet is unrecognized as the genocide that it was. Ukrainians have been interned as enemy aliens in Canada in the turmoil of World War I, yet we have never received compensation or an apology. We understand terror and injustice in a way that very few do; we speak from experience.

On a very different matter, we are pleased that Canada and Ukraine are presently sitting down as the Joint Economic Commission and are proud of Canada's efforts in that regard. We recognize the importance of these deliberations as well as the complexity and hope that you and the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade will encourage your officials to explore all possible means in the context of Canada's special relationship with Ukraine to bridge the gap and help Ukraine move from where it is to where it needs to be in order to become a full economic partner.

Thank-you for taking the time to consider our views. With warm regards and best wishes for the future,

Oksana Bashuk Hepburn, President UCPBF
John Petryshyn, President Elect UCPBF

Cc Hon. John Manley
Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade


The above letter was unanimously endorsed by the UCPBF Convention in Winnipeg on Oct. 04/01 and sent to the PM on the same date in order to reflect the Convention's view on matters of great concern to the Ukrainian Canadian Professional and Business Federation.