Ukrainian president begins Canadian visit


The Canadian Press

May 26, 2008 at 3:43 PM EDT

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Stephen Harper recalled Ukraine's dark past and the leader of that country's so-called Orange Revolution spoke of a bright future in speeches to Canada's Parliament on Monday.

Mr. Harper expressed support for a private member's bill that would recognize the Ukrainian famine — orchestrated by Soviet dictator Josef Stalin in the 1930s — as an act of genocide.

He made the pledge alongside Ukrainian President Victor Yushchenko, who was granted the distinction of addressing a rare joint session of Canada's Senate and House of Commons.

“In Canada we aren't afraid of history or of truth,” Mr. Harper told Parliament.


“This is why our government recognized the injustice to Ukrainians who were interned during the First World War. . . (And this bill) would provide legal recognition of what happened in Ukraine under the brutal communist dictatorship of Josef Stalin.”

Mr. Yushchenko thanked Canada for its support over the years — starting with its quick recognition of the country's independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.

“Every Ukrainian will always remember that,” he said. He also thanked Canada for its impending recognition of the 1932-33 genocide, and for its historical role in welcoming Ukrainian immigrants.

“I'm filled with very tender feelings to your country and to this land. For me as for millions of Ukrainians, this country and this land is sacred,” Mr. Yushchenko said.

“It became a motherland for millions of Ukrainians for many generations of my native people who in different times came to seek for their destiny here in Canada.

“We are very grateful for the support that our country has always felt from Canada.”

But while thanking Canada for its past support, Ukraine's President spoke with particular pride about the future.

He described Ukraine's plan to host the finals of the European soccer championship in 2012 as a mark of his country's embrace of Europe, and spoke of his country's steady economic growth.

The two leaders also held private meetings to discuss co-operation in the military effort in Afghanistan and potential Ukrainian membership in NATO.

Mr. Harper has been a strong backer of Mr. Yushchenko's campaign to join the 26-member alliance, a prospect that has raised the hackles of Russia.

He told the assembled MPs and senators that Ukraine already supports all of NATO's missions in one way or another — the only non-NATO country to do so.

Canada's position on NATO echoes that of the United States, but other members, including France and Germany, have been more cautious.

After his speech, the Ukrainian president shook hands with a number of parliamentarians and exchanged a warm hug with Liberal MP Borys Wrzesnewskyj.

The Toronto-area MP pushed the then-Liberal government to send election monitors to the country in the midst of the upheaval that led to Mr. Yushchenko's election victory.



Our commentary in the Globe and Mail

Ottawa Mens, from Ottawa, Canada wrote: Perhaps the mounties could have taken Victor Yushchenko to 161 Elgin Street and showed them that Canada has a dysfunctional federal court system where men are treated less than second class human beings. Victor Yushechenko probably doesn't have a clue as to just how much hatred towards men oozes out of the court room walls. Canada may have got rid of capital punishment but it has been replaced with something more diabolical. Its called "a flagrant abuse of judicial power", they don't take cash, they have enough of that, some have personalities that take sadistic satisfaction in leaving irreparable trails of destruction that ban men from entire cities, deport them from one province to another and increasingly effectively deport them from Canada for daring to express any constructive criticism of the very worst abusers in society, that underbelly of the judiciary that brings Canada and the administration of justice into ill-repute. Perhaps Mr. Harper could explain to Victor Yushchenko, that Canada has a justice system that makes it akin to that of third world countries where any lawyer with the "right political connections" gets to be a judge on the unspoken known and accepted condition that you make politically correct rather than legally correct decisions that grind into dirt the legal rights of children to have a relationship with their father. Ottawa Mens Centre dot com


Ottawa Mens, from Ottawa, Canada wrote: The attempted murder of Victor Yushchenko shows just how much absolute power corrupts. Criminals who attempt their political opponents have a lot in common with the underbelly of the Canadian Judiciary who like the worst of the worst in humanity, flagrantly abuse their absolute power and make orders that cause the very slow painful deaths of father's who happen to ever express a desire to be a parent to their children or even worse, suggest that a mother has a problem. Canadian Judges see themselves as feminist activists on a crusade to exterminate fathers from the lives of their children not by legal litigation but by making draconian orders that permanently remove rights of access to the courts by draconian orders such as "striking pleadings" and orders for security for costs made knowing the orders cannot ever be paid and so permanently destroy a child's right to know their father. Mr. Harper's mail is full of complaints, as is the judicial council that acts as a silent efficient flusher of any "complaint" that actually passes their litmus test for what constitutes a valid complaint. Abuse of judicial power is not included. Ottawa Mens Centre dot com