Ukrainian Canadian Congress Thompson-Okanagan Branch president meets with Conservative MP on Ukraine issues

MP supports Ukraine

Representatives of the Thompson-Okanagan Branch of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress, met with Conservative MP Mel Arnold to discuss issues relating to the Ukrainian community.

Vernon resident and branch president Andrea Malysh, along with Governance Director Don Blakely, asked specific questions of the three-term North Okanagan-Shuswap MP and engaged in a wide-ranging discussion on challenges facing the community of Ukrainian newcomers.

Malysh said of particular interest was the discussion around the Conservatives recent vote in opposition to the Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement.

“Mel stated there was already a free trade agreement with Ukraine which the Conservatives support, the Liberals inserted extra language relating to carbon pricing, something that did not belong in the new agreement, and knew the Conservatives could not agree to,” Malysh said in a press release.

“This was clearly an attempt by the Liberals to drive a wedge between the Conservative Party and the Ukrainian community. Mr. Arnold emphasized his party's strong support for the Ukrainian community and said that their vote did not reflect any diminished support for the Ukrainians, but rather was an expression of their fundamental opposition to carbon pricing.

“He assured us that the Conservatives still retain strong support for the Ukrainian community.”

The discussion covered other issues including:

  • Supporting childcare initiatives that will enable single Ukrainian parents to seek gainful employment.
  • The need for support funding from the federal government being fairly distributed to smaller UCC branches and not just the large Urban branches.
  • The need to fund and support trauma counselling for newcomer families.
  • The need to streamline the re-registration process for the CUETS program.
  • Supporting the proposal to release to the Ukraine the hundreds of old unused tactical missiles that are currently sitting in Canada's military stockpiles awaiting destruction.

“The meeting concluded with an agreement to exchange further information,” Malysh said.

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