August 15, 2004 Faxed to: 414-1626
Mrs. Catherine Chichak
Ukrainian Canadian Congress-
Alberta Provincial Council
#202, 10706 - 124 St.
Edmonton, AB T5M 0H1
Dear Mrs. Chichak:
The purpose of this letter is to register my firm objections to the proposal that has recently come to my attention, to the effect that the Board of UCC-APC consider removing the UKAR website as a link to your UCC-APC site. I oppose such a measure categorically.
I understand that several pieces of literature have been produced to buttress the argument that Dr. Lubomyr Prytulak's UKAR website be removed as a link to UCC's website. This literature consists of a copy of a letter from Dr. Prytulak to Paul Martin, and selected excerpts from some literature concerning kosher certification.
In the first instance, I can see nothing whatsoever offensive to the interests of the Ukrainian community in a posting of a letter which takes issue with the notion that truth cannot be used as a defence in consideration of complaints by the Canadian Human Rights Commission. This is merely an example of a civic-minded Canadian citizen exercising his democratic right to voice a concern with a non-legislated interpretation from an administrative body which has been under steady scrutiny (and attack) from many reputable quarters on many legitimate issues. What harm could there possibly be to our community from such an exercise, especially coming as it does from one of our community's leading intellectual minds?
The other material concerns a topic that has been in the news for at least two years, having first been brought up in the province of Quebec-i.e. questioning the "wisdom" of kosher certification and its "benefits" to Canadian society. (This practise has been roundly condemned in the U.S.A. for decades, largely from Jewish sources.) What harm is there in bringing this to the attention of the Canadian consuming public? How can this hurt the Ukrainian community?
In my estimation, the effort to remove the UKAR site as a link to UCC-APC is misguided and unsupportable. Dr. Prytulak's site, in my estimation, has been a boon to our community in terms of the topicality of the items covered, and their impact on our community. In the decade of its existence, the UKAR site has never been branded by any organization as anti-this or anti-that, despite the volume and variety of information it touches. Why would our community want to disown it now? My fear is that there are definitely forces acting behind the scenes, likely originating in Ontario and the Liberal Party of Canada, or perhaps with the puppet-masters who attempt to run that movement, who are "offended" by the UKAR site, but are too cunning and cowardly to place their concerns in Dr. Prytulak's face. They'd rather have a "messenger boy" do their dirty work for them.
We, as a community, cannot turn our backs on the monumental website work of Dr. Prytulak. We owe it to future generations to support such a resource and resist the temptation to do the bidding of forces which definitely do not have the best interests of our community at heart. We are only fooling ourselves if we think we advance our causes by knuckling under to their absurd whims. It is time we dropped our fears of being "politically incorrect" and stood up like the sons and daughters of the great Ukrainian nation. I say, let the UKAR site stand!
Having served on the UCC-APC Board for seven years, I feel entitled to share my concerns on this important issue of principle.