|Canada's National Ukrainian Festival|
August 3, 2012 - Prime Minister Stephen Harper today issued the following statement to mark the beginning of Canada’s National Ukrainian Festival in Dauphin, Manitoba, from August 3 to 5, 2012:
“The annual Ukrainian festival is a time for us to celebrate Canada’s proud Ukrainian heritage and to recognize the important contributions that Ukrainian-Canadians – now more than 1.2 million strong – have made and continue to make to our great country.
“Last year, we commemorated 120 years of Ukrainian settlement in Canada, and this year we mark the centenary of the Plast Ukrainian Scouting organization. The long history of contributions made by the Ukrainian Canadian community to the building of our country is worthy of celebration. The Ukrainian Canadian community cherish the values our country holds most dear, such as democracy and the rule of law. Our Government has been working to ensure that these values are promoted throughout the world, including Ukraine.
“The Festival is also a time for us to recognize the relationship between Canada and Ukraine. Canada was the first Western country to recognize Ukraine’s independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. More recently, our Government sponsored more than 300 election observers to monitor voting during the 2010 presidential elections.
“On this special day, I encourage all Canadians to share in our country’s rich Ukrainian cultural heritage, and I extend my best wishes to the organizers and participants of this year’s festivities.”