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Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Canadian Group for Democracy in Ukraine writes Minister of Foreign Affairs re Russia's attack on Ukraine in Azov Sea

November 26, 2018
Honourable Chrystia Freeland
Minister of Foreign Affairs
House of Commons
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6

Dear Minister,
We are writing on a most urgent matter. Russia’s blockade of the Azov Sea and attack on Ukraine’s ships is another violation of international law requiring immediate response. We thank you for your statement “support for Ukraine and for the condemnation of Russia’s illegal invasion and annexation of Crimea” and for seeking the release of the detained Ukrainians. Regretfully, Russia is immune to words. Therefore, we ask for more; that in concert with other like-minded states Canada seeks punishment for Russia’s latest aggression commensurate with its growing and unrelenting disruption of the world order. It’s latest violation of international law and state sovereignty calls for strong, decisive measures that will be taken seriously by President Vladimir Putin rather than mocked, as has been the case with the current economic sanctions operating to date. This time, they must be strong enough to act as a deterrent rather than an encouragement for further aggression.
Today more than Ukraine’s safety is at stake. We believe that under his rule, Russia has become the most dangerous threat to peace and stability in the world. We also believe that by applying inadequate punishment for Russia’s criminal aggression since President Putin came to power, the West has encouraged the repeat criminal behaviour. We failed to deal adequately in Georgia, Crimea, Donbas, Syria and elsewhere. Now we also have Russia’s cyber warfare, fake news, interference in elections, and poisonings in Britain. President Putin is on a warpath of one form or another and must be stopped.
However, western democracies sent a strong message to the former Soviet Union when it invaded Afghanistan. It led to the collapse of a totalitarian empire that enslaved some three hundred million people. Today we must act decisively against an autocrat that is moving toward the resurrection of global Soviet totalitarianism and bringing the world to the edge of war.
To this end, we ask Canada to lead the G-20 countries in disinviting President Putin immediately from their meeting in Argentina next week. Also, that the new round of sanction against Russia exclude it from SWIFT and place President Putin on the list. To this end we support the call for similar actions made by the Ukrainian Canadian Congress and others.
As always, we count on the power of suasion and the respect that Canada has among its like-minded colleagues to move swiftly and punish Russia adequately for its criminal aggression before it escalates any further. We thank you for considering our concerns and fears for the future of not only Ukraine, but Canada and democracy as we know it if Mr. Putin’s Russia is not checked and pushed back.
Warmest regards,

Oksana Bashuk Hepburn
Dr. Ihor Cap
Vicki Karpiak
Myroslava Oleksiuk
Marta Onufriv
Oksana Shmigelsky

Right Honourable Justin Trudeau Helene Laverdiere,
MP Peter Boehm, DM for G7 Summit Randall Garrison,
MP Ian Shugart DM, Global Affairs Pierre Paul-Hus,
MP Stefanie Beck, ADM, Europe Middle East & Maghreb Mathew Dube,
MP Leigh Sarty, DG, European Affairs Borys Wrzesnewskyj
MP Dalia Stein, Director G7,
Operations Senator Raynell Andreychuk
Kevin Rex, Director Eastern Europe Div.
Ambassador Roman Waschuk
Adam Austen, Director of Communications,
FA  Ambassador Andriy Shevchenko
Hon. Harjit Singh Sajjan,
MP James Temerty C.M.
Hon. Ralph Goodale
MP Paul Grod, UCC
Hon. Andrew Scheer,
MP Eugene Czolij, UWC
Jagmeet Singh, Leader NDP
Ihor Mychalchyshyn,UCC
Hon. Erin O’Toole, MP
James Bezan MP

Canadian Group for Democracy in Ukraine
Groupe canadien pour la démocratie en Ukraine
Канадськa Група сприяння демократії в Україні
44 Belvedere Cres.
Ottawa ON K1M 2G4

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

The Manitoba Social: It's a Prairie thing!

The Manitoba Social

Ukrainian Socials Table
What do you get if there’s Ukrainian-style rye bread (KUB) on the tables and a spread of kubasa  sausage with other cold cuts, and hot sauerkraut or pizza (optional), some pickles and cheese cubes, and maybe some Tim bits in the equation? Well, it’s most probably a buffet table that’s being set up as a late night snack for a social in Manitoba!  More often than not, it would be a pre-wedding party that is meant to raise money for an engaged couple to help cover their upcoming wedding expenses and to a lesser extent to pay for their honeymoon or a down payment on the house. 

The bridesmaids and groomsmen to be are very important party aides for this event. They can enlist DJs and friends in the know to help plan the event, sell tickets, seek donations, and contribute cash to get some creative theme baskets going.  These baskets then make for some awesome raffle prizes and silent auction items. The couple’s parents can assume responsibility for the door and grand prizes.  Dress can be informal, and theme parties like Star Wars or those that incorporate occasions, colors or seasons are not unusual anymore.

The bar is stocked with liquor, the silent auction table is all set up and the list of prizes these days is probably longer than Santa gets! The charming couple greets everyone at the door, friends and strangers alike.  The latter group does not get invited to the upcoming wedding. The wedding is reserved for close family members and friends.  That is why the social is open to everyone.

Door prizes are seemingly more expensive at these events, and the presence of cash cubes are growing in popularity too.  As long as all ticket sales, raffle draws, and door prizes meet the social occasion raffle licensing requirements of the Liquor and Gaming Authority of Manitoba, you are good to goThe music at these socials varies with the tastes of the couple and family members. DJs will play everything from country to classic rock, or the World Latin charts right up to the top40s to keep the dance floor hopp’n after midnight.  

Wedding socials (Stag and doe parties) and zabavas (Evening Dances, Parties) are still the familiar forms of entertainment in the Prairie Provinces of Manitoba, Alberta and Saskatchewan. Food choices may vary somewhat when that buffet table rolls out before midnight and may even be enhanced for more elaborate affairs. A live band and taped music is typically used at zabavas but a DJ tends to be more successful and cost efficient for socials.

All the same, these practices are quickly evolving to include any charitable event or fundraising social. So, a charity social can be held for someone who recently lost their home. Or, a fundraising event can help reduce the financial costs of someone’s life-threatening illness.

The meaning of a social has changed somewhat over the decades. It has expanded and grown to include charitable events and parties other than just a wedding social. What is more, the social is a colorful and relatively inexpensive form of entertainment when compared to club hopping which is why it probably retains much of its appeal. In the end, the return on investment may make it worthwhile to host one. Love it or hate it, it’s a Prairie thing. So, when is yours?

Written by: Ihor Cap, Web Author and Dad.

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