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UCC CMHR Part 3 | 07Apr2013 | Paul Grod  [24:07]

Questions and Answers re CMHR

Community Townhall Meeting -- Winnipeg, MB -- April 07, 2013
Paul Grod, President of Ukrainian Canadian Congress
Taras Zalusky, Executive Director

Published on 24 Apr 2013
Continued from Part 2 -- Question and Answer session with UCC President, Paul Grod, at town hall meeting in Winnipeg on April 7, 2013.

[00:06 -- 02:10] Unknown #1 says that Federal government appointees to Board were/are not sensitive to Ukrainian issues; therefore, put pressure on Federal government. Another issue that is being ignored is the forced repatriation of refugees to the USSR after WW2.

[02:11 -- 03:42] Paul Grod responds that UCC is indeed calling on Canadians to approach the Federal government on this issue. Donors to CMHR and "Friends of the CMHR" must also be informed that we are dissatisfied.

[03:43 -- 05:04] Ostap Hawaleshka states that the CMHR was supposed to show the immigrant experience in coming to Canada, but it is not reflected in present CMHR plans.

[05:05 -- 05:16] Unknown #2 asks why, after 10 years of failure, we expect to suddenly succeed?

[05:17 -- 05:45] Paul Grod replies that the Ukrainian community has been consistent in its demands for the past 10 years, but we have been hood winked.

[05:46 -- 06:59] Unknown #2 states that she is so angry she could spit. Proposes Ukrainians take very harsh actions.

[07:00 -- 07:09] Paul Grod encourages Ukrainians to provide funding to the UCC to pursue the issue and to approach their politicians.

[07:10 -- 07:27] Unknown #3 says the main issue is money -- "hroshi".

[07:28 -- 08:03]  Paulo Grod states that, if CMHR coverage depends on how much money each ethnic group contributes, then "we are buying human rights", which is not acceptable. Ukrainian individuals and organizations have contributed several million dollars in the past, but have now stopped giving.

[08:04 -- 08:12] Unknown #4 says that we want something right now.

[08:13 -- 08:26] Paul Grod responds that he needs his money to help place a $40,000.00 advertisement in the National newspapers.

[08:28 -- 08:40] Unknown #5 asks if we have any response from other cities across Canada that support our concerns?

[08:41 -- 08:56] Paul Grod states that the CMHR is the top issue in the Ukrainian community across Canada. We want to resolve the issue, we do not want to be forced to demonstrate with placards.

[08:57 -- 10:54] Unknown #6 enquires on the role of the Harper government in this issue? The Harper government cancelled financial support for heritage languages and multiculturalism. They have no money for these, but they do have money for the CMHR, which has pitted community against community. The government should take responsibility. Should we have given Mr. Harper a medal? Why has the government been so bad on this issue?

[10:55 -- 12:12] Paul Grod states that is an excellent question. The position of the politicians is that they cannot "interfere" in what the board of directors of a "crown corporation" does. Frankly, that is not an acceptable answer.

[12:13 -- 13:58] Kevin Lamoureux, MP for Winnipeg North, says that the Holodomor has world wide significance. There are MPs from all political stripes who support the Ukrainian position. The controversy surfaced in November 2010, when the Contents Committee released its report. Before that everyone assumed that things were fine. We need to continue to put the pressure on.

[13:59 -- 14:27] Paul Grod states that we need to build momentum with our protests.

[14:28 -- 20:20] Bill Unknown #7 asks what is the strategy? Writing letters is not enough. The government has only one major way of influencing a crown corporation. It is via a "vote of non-confidence in the Board of the CMHR" by the Federal government. Thus, the Heritage Minister can do something. Paul Martin resisted making the CMHR a crown corporation. It was Stephen Harper who did so. The Asper Foundation wanted  the Federal government to pay for the operating costs, but to stay out of the governence of the CMHR. We should use the "non-confidence" approach, while demanding the appointment of several Ukrainians to the Board. He was involved in the original negotiations in 2003, and the agreement reached at that time should be binding on the crown corporation. It appears that CMHR personnel were not aware of this agreement.
Our position should be: "They reneged on the deal".

[20:21 -- 20:29] Paul Grod appreciates these suggestions.

[20:30 -- 20:40] Ostap Hawaleshka thinks that a multi-pronged attack is required. Being nice doesn't work.

[20:41 -- 21:01] Taras Zalusky, UCC Executive Director, says that over 80 MPs supported the UCC position. They have a petition on the UCC website that people can download.

[21:02 -- 21:06] Paul Grod states that we must continue getting the word out.

[21:07 -- 24:07] Scrolling text shows the changes that UCC wants made to the CMHR displays. "Call to Action" suggestions. (Repeated in Ukrainian.)