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Monday, June 21, 2021

Christmas Time and New Year Celebrations

Ukrainian St. Nicholas
(Svyatyj Mykolai)
Everyone knows what time of year it is when they hear the ever popular song, by American crooner Andy Williams, "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year." Of course it is. It's Christmas time! It's a joyous occasion. This is a time for celebrating the birth of Christ. Families attend church services, and enjoy Christmas supper. It's also a time for singing Christmas carols, attending holiday concerts, shopping, get-togethers, baking and merry-making. Best of all, perhaps, it's the season for receiving or giving gifts. So, if you were nice, Santa Claus will be sure to bring you a present. If you were naughty, then you might not get anything at all!
This tradition dates back to the 4th century when Saint Nicholas of Myra or Nicholas the Wonderworker who showed his love by passing out secret gifts to children and helping the needy. In North America, St. Nick is better known as Santa Claus from the Dutch word
Sinterklaas  or Sint-Nicolaas. He may also be known as Sankt Nikolaus or Nikolaus in German, Saint Nicolas in French, and Sviatyij Mykolai (meaning Saint Nicholas) in Ukrainian, but it is he that gave rise to the North American persona Santa Claus. However, there are folks that still prefer to give gifts on Dec 6 (Gregorian calendar) or Dec 19 (Julian calendar) St. Nicholas Day so as not to take away from the real meaning of Christmas and that is the birth of Christ, and love and peace on earth.

Friday, June 4, 2021

UCCLA to feds: Locate unmarked graves at federal internment sites

UCCLA Media Release: Ottawa (4 June 2021 - For Immediate Release)

 A significant fund was set aside by the federal government this week, providing for indigenous groups to engage in research leading to the location and hallowing of the remains of children who died while at Canada’s residential schools. This is long overdue for our indigenous brothers and sisters. UCCLA applauds the federal government for starting to atone for the forced relocation and suspension of liberties our First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples suffered via that system.

It is a precedent.

Between 1914 and 1920, thousands of Ukrainians and other Europeans were branded "enemy aliens," forced to labour for the profit of their jailers, disenfranchised, and subjected to other state-sanctioned censures.

They were victims not only of wartime xenophobia but of pre-war racist prejudices that would persist long after the end of Canada’s first national internment operations. There were 24 camps across Canada where internees were held, including women and children, the latter at Vernon, B.C., and Spirit Lake, Que. (known today as La Ferme, near Amos). 

A cemetery established at Spirit Lake by the federal government holds the remains of 19 internees, including children; the whereabouts of at least one child, Nellie Manko, remain uncertain. Despite repeated requests from the Ukrainian Canadian community for government assistance in securing, restoring, and properly marking this unique historical site, no action has been taken, preferring this cemetery remain forgotten. The site is rapidly deteriorating, and will soon vanish into the Abitibi. This is unacceptable.

Now that a $27-million federal fund is established for our fellow indigenous Canadians to locate, restore, and properly commemorate those places where innocents were buried, the UCCLA is asking federal Heritage Minister, the Hon. Steven Guilbeault, to redress the situation at the Spirit Lake internee cemetery, as well as the situation at other unmarked graves elsewhere. 

The precedent of the June 3 announcement makes federal intervention appropriate, necessary, and urgent.

Commenting, UCCLA’s chairman, Roman Zakaluzny, said:

“We applaud our indigenous brothers and sisters for finally being able to move forward with locating and hallowing their deceased children, victims of the federal government’s residential school system. We hope that Ukrainians Canadians, victims of a federal government forced relocation and internment program, can also do the same.

“On Sunday, June 20 – Father’s Day – Canada will mark the 101st anniversary of the conclusion of the internment operations of Ukrainian and other Europeans that began during the First World War and continued for two years after. Let us not forget the men, but also women and children like Nellie Manko, who to this day remain in unmarked graves at various former federal internment camps across Canada.”

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The Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Association (L'Association ukrainienne-canadienne des droits civils) is a non-partisan, voluntary, non-profit research and educational organization committed to the articulation and promotion of the Ukrainian Canadian community's interests and to the defence of the civil liberties and human rights of Ukrainians in Canada and elsewhere.

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

CG4DU writes Prime Minister Trudeau re Russia’s War Escalation in Ukraine

Canadian Group for Democracy in Ukraine
Groupe canadien pour la démocratie en Ukraine
Канадськa Група сприяння демократії в Україні https://www.facebook. com/groups/cg4du/

April 21, 2021

Rt. Honourable Justin Trudeau Prime Minister of Canada House of Commons
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6

Dear Prime Minister,

We are writing about a most troubling concern: the war that Russia is escalating in Ukraine with total disregard for international law and opinion of the world.

We are somewhat heartened by the latest sanctions that the United States imposed on Russia, in particular those dealing with banking, and encouraged by Canada’s support. However, we believe that even these increases will not be enough to stop President Vladimir Putin’s criminality. Some twenty years of his disdain for global law and order show that insufficient punishment for his violations only motivates his dictatorial bent to greater evil.

The punishment for his crimes, therefore, must be punitive enough this time to put him on the defensive and submit to law and order.

To this end we put forward for your consideration a bold new initiative of sterner measures intended to resolve Russia’s war in Ukraine and earn a global victory for democracy against President Putin’s dictatorship.

The key elements of the initiative are

Friday, March 12, 2021

Fighting the Covid-19 Pandemic

A worldwide pandemic affecting millions of people has caused hundreds of thousands of deaths. The contagious virus known as COVID-19 causes it. It caused a huge panic and people everywhere were stockpiling essentials like hand sanitizers, toilet paper and even flour. Store shelves were literally empty until limitations on purchases were more controlled.

What happens when you combine an interest in film and writing together with focus and determination?

Mike’s idea for Short Film Fan came to him in the spring of 2014, when he decided that the time was right to create the blog and to share his fascination with this quality film genre with the world. After launching Short Film Fan, Mike briefly wondered if anyone would even want to read articles about Canadian short films. Would the site resonate with the public? In fact, he believed that he would blog about Canadian shorts for about six months, shut it down, and blog about a different topic. Focused on finding good stories and sacrificing many hours of his personal time to write his articles, Mike became pleasantly surprised at what happened to him and Short Film Fan next.

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Interview with Winnipeg Realtor Borys Lehkar

1) EZREKLAMA: Greetings Borys. Thank you for meeting with us.  Could you share with our readers something about yourself, and maybe things you enjoy doing in your free time?

1) BORYS: Good day. Certainly. My name is Borys Lehkar. I come from the city of Drohobych in the Lviv region of Ukraine. After graduating from school, I entered the Lviv Technical College of Rural Construction in the Department of Civil and Industrial  Construction. My education, which was the second half of the 1980s, came at a time when the movement for democratic change and protests against the then Soviet system was gaining momentum in Lviv. I tried not to miss any demonstrations. We hung flags, glued posters, and were on duty at the Klumba (flowerbed) now a monument to Shevchenko in Lviv. It was then that I was lucky enough to meet Chornovil, the Horeniv brothers, Helia, the Kalintsy couple, and other dissidents of the time. Lviv, where I had to live a significant part of my life, remains my favorite city to this day. After graduating from college, I started working as a construction foreman, and a few months later I was drafted into the army. 

By the way, the years of my service (1990-1992) coincided with the collapse of the Soviet Empire and Ukraine's independence. It so happened that I took two oaths. The first, to the USSR, and the second to Independent Ukraine. I am especially proud that I had the honor to serve at the time when the Ukrainian Army was born. After demobilization I went to work in business, and then I worked for a construction company as a foreman. 


Saturday, January 30, 2021

A Person Does Not Live by Bread Alone

Halyna Kravtchouk,

Genealogist, Family History Researcher and Author


Lord of Heaven and Earth, 

We call upon you with our prayer: 

Send upon us celestial aureole 

With your right hand, Almighty.

Semen Hulak-Artemovsky 

The true character of the first settlers from ethnic Ukrainian lands, is revealed to the reader from their personal memories, press archives and research papers relating to the late 19th and early 20th centuries. These courageous, hardy, stalwart, hardworking pioneers were cast by fate to the other end of earth looking for a better life.