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Ukrainian Canadian Congress calls on Canada’s members of parliament to support Ukraine in emer

Ottawa – January 27, 2014

The Ukrainian Canadian Congress welcomes the emergency debate taking place in the House of Commons tonight, and has called upon Members of Parliament to support Ukraine in its time of need.

“The Ukrainian Canadian Congress calls on Canada’s Parliament and the Government of Canada to demonstrate international leadership in supporting the people of Ukraine,” stated UCC President Paul Grod.  “Canada is a voice of moral authority among world leaders and has a solid record of standing up for human rights, freedom and democracy.  As you well know, Canada was the first Western nation to recognize Ukraine’s independence in 1991.”

UCC has brought forward a briefing note for MPs in advance of tonight’s debate.

The full briefing note is available here.

To view a list of Chronological Events unfolding in Ukraine, please click here.

Canada must take decisive action to hold the Yanukovych regime criminally responsible for their  actions.  Canada must take the lead in imposing visa revocation and travel restrictions for senior officials, as well as individual financial sanctions against those responsible for human rights abuses, corruption and illegal business practices in Ukraine.  We must hold those responsible for the deaths and human rights abuses of innocent Ukrainian citizens criminally accountable through the International Criminal Court.

The UCC briefing document states that Canada can make a difference in Ukraine today by having:

  1. Prime Minister Harper must directly call President Yanukovych demanding that he bring an end to the state-sanctioned killings, violence, reprisals and intimidation.

  2.  Offer for Canada to serve as a mediator to bring a peaceful resolution to this conflict.  Canada is widely respected in Ukraine and in the region, having been the first western country to recognize Ukraine’s independence.

  3. Sanctions – imposition of visa restrictions, travel bans, financial, criminal sanctions for those responsible for the murders and human rights abuses in Ukraine.

  4. Canadian Embassy to assist the International Red Cross to set up a medical center.  The riot police have destroyed the medical center on Independence Square and injured dozens of physicians, which has forced the injured protestors to go to hospitals where police are waiting to pick them up for interrogation and detention.

  5. Expedited Visa regime and asylum. Canada to grant political asylum for the vulnerable, including families of activists, individuals threatened and injured by the authorities.

  6.  Medical treatment in Canada for seriously injured activists and journalists.

  7. Canada to send independent observers to Ukraine to witness, document and report on:

a.    court proceedings against protesters;

b.    the work of provocateurs who are paid to incite violence; and

c.    to monitor the injured who arrive in hospitals and clinics.

The debate in the House of Commons tonight on the crisis in Ukraine will take place from6:00pm-midnight Eastern time.  For those of you in Ottawa, we recommend that you attend and watch from the public gallery.

The proceedings will be aired on television on the Parliamentary Affairs Channel CPAC and will be live streamed on the internet here.

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