Acknowledging Our Past to Build Our Future
Agreement-in-Principle between the Government of Canada and the Ukrainian Canadian Community
August 24, 2005
An Agreement-in-Principle between the Government of Canada and the Ukrainian Canadian Community, as represented by the Ukrainian Canadian Foundation of Taras Shevchenko ("Shevchenko Foundation"), the Ukrainian Canadian Congress and the Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Association .
Canada is one of the world's most ethnically and culturally diverse societies and recognizes diversity as a source of strength and innovation. However, Canada's past includes actions that are inconsistent with the values Canadians hold today.
As a result of the First World War, persons of Ukrainian origin were interned from 1914 to 1920 under the authority of an Act of Parliament.
Members of the Ukrainian Canadian Community have a strong interest in commemorating and educating Canadians on the unique and significant contributions of Ukrainian Canadians to shaping Canada's history. The Government of Canada is committed to learning from the past, and to efforts and resources for a forward-looking approach aimed at strengthening social cohesion and Canadian identity.
To demonstrate its commitment, the Government of Canada, in its 2005 Budget, announced funding of $25 million over three years to the Multiculturalism Program of the Department of Canadian Heritage to acknowledge, commemorate and educate Canadians about the historical experiences of ethnocultural communities affected by wartime measures and immigration restriction. Initiatives funded through this program will seek to highlight the contributions made by affected communities in the building of our country.
The Government of Canada and the Ukrainian Canadian Community have developed this Agreement-in-Principle, premised on the principles of `no compensation' and `no apology', as a first step in articulating their shared vision for the acknowledgement, commemoration and education of Canadians on the historic experience of Ukrainians in Canada d uring Canada's first national internment operations and to highlight the contributions that the Ukrainian Canadian Community has made to building Canada. It is the intention of both parties that a final agreement, including additional funding and an appropriate acknowledgement by the Government of Canada of Canada's first national internment operations, will be concluded as soon as possible.
The Government of Canada plans to provide an initial amount of $2.5 million to the Shevchenko Foundation through the Acknowledgement, Commemoration and Education (ACE) Program. The Shevchenko Foundation will co-ordinate, in consultation with the Ukrainian Canadian Congress and the Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Association, the implementation of commemorative projects over the next three years on behalf of the Ukrainian Canadian Community. This initial amount will enable the community to commence work on forward-looking proposals that will help commemorate their historical experience and educate Canadians about these experiences; highlight and commemorate the contributions that the Ukrainian Canadian Community has made to Canada; and promote cross-cultural understanding and a shared sense of Canadian identity.
The Government of Canada, through the Minister of State (Multiculturalism), and the Ukrainian Canadian Community, through its designated representatives, agree to continue to work together toward a formal agreement to help build a better understanding among all Canadians.
The Government of Canada's contribution pursuant to this Agreement-in-Principle is subject to:
1) the approval of the terms and conditions and the funding for the ACE Program by Treasury Board;
2) the annual appropriation by the Parliament of Canada for this purpose; and
3) the conclusion of a contribution agreement.
This Agreement-in-Principle shall not be interpreted as a full and final agreement nor as constituting an admission by the Government of Canada of the existence of any legal obligation of the Government of Canada to any person.
Signed on: August 24, 2005
at: Regina, Saskatchewan
The Honourable Raymond Chan, P.C., M.P.
Minister of State (Multiculturalism)
For the Ukrainian Canadian Community,
Andrew Hladyshevsky, Q.C.
President, Ukrainian Canadian Foundation of Taras Shevchenko
Paul M. Grod, LL.B.
Vice President, Ukrainian Canadian Congress
Lubomyr Luciuk, PH.D.
Director, Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Association