August 1, 2014
Prime Minister Stephen Harper today issued the following statement to mark the opening of Canada’s National Ukrainian Festival, taking place from August 1 to 3, 2014, in Dauphin, Manitoba:
“Today marks the opening of Canada’s National Ukrainian Festival, which is held annually in Dauphin, Manitoba. Our Government is proud to support this edition, whose festivities attract tourists from all over the world, showcasing the best of Ukrainian culture and providing an opportunity to celebrate Canada’s proud Ukrainian heritage.
“The festival is also an opportunity to celebrate the important historic relationship between Canada and Ukraine. We were proud to be the first Western country to recognize their independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, and since 2004, Canada has sent hundreds of election observers to seven successive Ukrainian elections in efforts to further strengthen democracy and ensure that elections are free and fair in their country.
“During these uncertain times, with the Putin regime’s illegal occupation of Ukraine’s Crimea region and its persistent military activity in eastern Ukraine, Canada remains a staunch ally to the government and people of Ukraine. We have imposed a broad range of economic sanctions against those responsible for the crisis, we have pledged support in the form of loans and loan guarantees to help Ukraine stabilize its economy and promote social and economic development, and we are providing training and professional development for members of the Ukrainian military. Canada remains committed to further assisting Ukraine.
“Once again, on behalf of my family, I offer our best wishes to everyone celebrating this year’s edition of Canada’s National Ukrainian Festival.”