Ottawa, ON - Larry Maguire, Member of Parliament for Brandon-Souris, will hold a town hall meeting regarding the Russian aggression in Ukraine. The town hall meeting is open to the public and will be held in Brandon on October 14th starting at 7 p.m. The meeting will take place at the Ukrainian National Home on 1133 Stickney Avenue.
James Bezan, the Member of Parliament for Selkirk-Interlake will attend the meeting as he has been a vocal critic of the Russian aggression and has visited Ukraine on numerous occasions over the past several months. Mr. Bezan will speak about the Government of Canada's response and seek the views of local residents.
"Southwestern Manitoba is home to a sizeable Ukrainian-Canadian population and now with the recent arrival of Ukrainians immigrating to Southwestern Manitoba, the current crisis is being closely watched by local residents," said Maguire. "I'm hosting this town hall to provide an opportunity to have a discussion with local residents on the situation in Ukraine. In addition, MP Bezan who has been deeply involved in the Government of Canada's actions will be available to answer any questions."
Manitoba is the most Ukrainian province in terms of proportion of the total population having 15% of residents with Ukrainian ancestry, while Southwestern Manitoba has 12.5% of residents with Ukrainian ancestry. According to Tryzub, a local Ukrainian-Canadian Association, close to 1000 new residents with Ukrainian ancestry have moved into the region in the last decade.
Since the outbreak of the crisis in Ukraine, Canada has stood steadfastly with Ukrainians in their struggle to restore political and economic stability. Prime Minister Stephen Harper was the first G7 leader to visit Ukraine in the current crisis and attended the swearing-in of elected President Petro Poroshenko.
Maguire said, "This is not just a matter of foreign affairs but rather a family matter between two nations that share a special bond. On the international stage, Canada has led from the front in dealing with the current situation in Ukraine. As the Prime Minister recently said, we may not be Ukraine's most powerful friend, but we will always be its most certain."
Canada has been a leader in condemning Russia's illegal occupation of Crimea, while also taking the lead in imposing economic sanctions and travel bans against those responsible for the ongoing crisis. Prime Minister Harper's leadership within the G7 helped ensure Russia's expulsion from the G8, and the Government of Canada continues to work with the international community to help ensure Ukrainians can determine the future of their own country.
The Government of Canada has also announced funding to provide humanitarian assistance. This funding is supporting our international partners, who are providing medical attention, food, safe drinking water, sanitation, shelter and emergency response to those in the areas affected by the ongoing conflict, including the nearly 200,000 displaced Ukrainians.