XXIII Triennial Congress; 05/07Nov2010; Part 1

From: William Zuzak ([email protected])
Date: Thu Nov 25 2010 - 21:54:06 EST

Report by William Zuzak, delegate of USRA-National

to the

XXIII Triennial Congress of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress

05/07Nov2010; Westin Hotel, Edmonton

Part 1

(1) The 9:30 AM, Friday, 05Nov2010 opening address and power-point presentation by Olenka Bilash set the tone of the whole Congress. She recounted her own life experiences as an off-spring of a "mixed marriage" with little knowledge of Ukrainian and evolution into one of the "5000-Ukrainian-Canadian elite". (She pointed out that Google and Youtube only recognized Ukrainian in 2009.)

[W.Z. Strangely, neither her presentation nor her bio refers to her mother's German origin and to her former husband Radomir Bilash and their children.]

(2) At the 8:00 AM Saturday session, James Temerty, chairman of Northland Power and protégé of Taras Hukalo in the distant past, revealed his "Ukrainian Jewish Encounter Project". He claims that he is not naïve and that progress has already been made with Jewish demonization of Khmelnitsky and Petlura. Unfortunately, only two questions from supporters of his project were allowed and I only managed to call out: "Do you discuss John Demjanjuk?" before being cut off. (The UJE project is discussed in Part 2 below.)

[W.Z. To my knowledge this was the only reference to John Demjanjuk during the whole Congress proceedings -- despite the fact that Mr. Demjanjuk has been the litmus test of Ukrainian success or failure for the past 35 years and despite my suggestion that the records of the 23 Triennial Congress contain a sympathetic statement on Mr. Demjanjuk's ongoing persecution in Munich for posterity.]

(3) I attended the 9:05 AM Saturday session "Can we retain our cultural and ethnic identity in Canada without retaining our language?". Paulette MacQuarrie (radio host of Nash Holos in Vancouver) and Jason Golinowski (former aid to Anne McLellan) -- originally outsiders trying to enter into the Ukrainian community -- took the yes side, while Dobryan Tracz (son of Orysia Tracz) and Oksana Hrycyna (life-long "Plastunka activist" and firebrand speaker) argued the no side.

The discussion was fascinating in that all agreed that the Ukrainian language was important, but the non-Ukrainian speakers are searching for ways to enter the Ukrainian community; whereas Ukrainian speakers insist that all Ukrainians learn the Ukrainian language. Jason Golinowski referred to the 1.2 million Ukrainian Canadians that are not represented by the "5000-Ukrainian-Canadian elite" comprising the UCC. It was later announced that Dobryan Tracz would head a committee to create a database of these 1.2 million lost souls. [It is obvious that until the number of non-Ukrainian speakers entering the Ukrainian community equals or surpasses the number dropping out, the Ukrainian Canadian community will continue to decline.]

[W.Z. It is surprising that the bio of Jason Golinowski did not reveal that he was Anne McLellan's employee, when Eugene Harasymiw, Marco Levytsky and Taras Podilsky met with her to plead that she not hire Neal Sher -- the former head of the OSI responsible for the persecution of John Demjanjuk -- to advise the Canadian War Crimes Unit how best to victimize Ukrainian Canadians via the denaturalization and deportation mechanism.]

(4) Session C at 10:35 AM Saturday featured Paul Grod, Roman Petryshyn and Slawko Kindrachuk on the overriding question, "Should we change our membership structure to include individual memberships?".

Roman Petryshyn presented a list of proposals to improve the role of UCC and Ukrainian organizations in Canadian society and elevate our profile. He was not particularly in favour of individual membership except as a means to raise funds. Paul Grod, referring to the 1.2 million disfranchised Ukrainian Canadians including the "novi prybuly", was in favour of individual membership. Slawko Kindrachuk related the Saskatoon experience with individual membership which works extremely well. Dan Huzyk from Vancouver stated that the Vancouver bylaws from 1963 specifically allow for individual memberships. The general consensus from the audience was that individual membership should be allowed.

(5) At 12:45 hrs into Saturday's lunch break, Volodymyr Viatrovych spoke on NKVD-KGB documents at the (pre-Yanukovych) SBU in Ukraine revealing the genocidal nature of Soviet policies towards Ukraine, especially the Holodomor. To my question referring to the 22Oct1992 article in Literaturna Ukraina by Ivan Bilas wherein it states that in December 1991 (following the 91% vote in favour of Ukraine's independence) the KGB documents on NKVD-MGB repressions against OUN-UPA in Western Ukraine were sent to Moscow, Dr. Viatrovych replied that this appears to have been confirmed by Taras Kuzio.

The second speaker, Lubomyr Luciuk, listed a large number of documents indicating that since 1917, the Anglo-American powers (indeed, all world powers) never wanted or felt they needed a free Ukraine. These released documents indicate indifference, ignorance and hostility. This hostile attitude proved fatal to Ukrainians forcibly repatriated into Uncle Joe's clutches after WWII, although the intervention of Bohdan Panchuk and Stanley Frolick (Canadian army officers) from their London office managed to save a number of refugees from Western Ukraine.

(6) The "Four Ambassadors" began their presentations at 13:55 hrs on Saturday. Since Ihor Ostash and Daniel Caron are incumbent ambassadors representing Ukraine and Canada, they were very circumspect in their comments. However, former ambassadors Yurij Scherbak (of Jewish origin(?) and Ukraine's first ambassador to Israel, then Canada and U.S.) and Derek Fraser were under no such restrictions.

Yurij Scherbak stated that Yanukovych has initiated a 180 degree in foreign and domestic policy. His regime is implementing a complete destruction of the Ukrainian identity. In a later session, he emphasized that to facilitate resistance to the Yanukovych regime, it is absolutely necessary that all press releases, articles and pronouncements be immediately translated and be made available in English and Ukrainian (and, presumably, Russian and other world languages). These must be disseminated world wide.

Derek Fraser -- with his intricate knowledge of world diplomacy -- was, by far, the most outspoken and helpful participant at the Congress. He made several useful proposals and suggestions.

(7) At 15:30 hrs Saturday, Paul Grod chaired the session on "UCC's strategic Approach to engaging Ukraine". There were a large number of thoughtful comments and suggestions by Viatrovych, Fraser, Scherbak, Roman Serbyn, Senator Andreychuk, Ihor Broda, Eugene Czolij, Mykola Vorotilenko and others.

(8) Banquet at 19:00 hrs, Sat., 06Nov2010:

For me, this was a normal banquet until the master of ceremonies greeted a number of dignataries present. Imagine my shock, when he announced that Anne McLellan was in attendance. Who invited her and why? Have the organizers forgotten that she was at the forefront in promoting the d&d policy that targeted so many -- including Josef Furman (from Edmonton), Vasyl Odynsky and Vladimir Katriuk? (See my comment on Jason Golinowski in section 3 above.) Did the organizers, or the people seated at her table, ask her to admit that this was a mistake and to apologize? Did they ask her to make a public statement calling on the federal government to apologize to the Ukrainian community and to the victims of the d&d policy and to provide financial restitution to these victims and/or their families?

The same demand should be made of Allan Rock (now President of the University of Ottawa, infamous for suppressing free speech on campus), who on January 31, 1995 announced the abandonment of criminal prosecution of suspected Nazi war criminals under rigorous rules of evidence in favour of the abhorrent d&d process used by the OSI in the United States in the case of John Demjanjuk.

(9) At 11:45 hrs, Sun., 07Nov2010, the Resolution Committee started going over the resolutions. I expect that these (as well as the committees created, their chairmen and contact information) will be posted on the ucc.ca website in due course.

Here, we will comment on only one resolution concerning the number of victims that died during the Holodomor, which generated a great deal of controversy. The death estimates seem to vary from about 3.5 million to 10 million. The intention of the resolution was to try to establish a firm number which would be realistic and be acceptable to the Ukrainian community. (As Stephan Romaniuk, the elder statesman at UCC-Edmonton, stated: "For as long as I can remember, the figure was always 7 to 10 million. Why the sudden decrease?")

[W.Z. Frankly, I do not think that it is advisable or even possible to establish a firm figure. Ukraine's enemies and fifth columnists will always insist on a number less than 6 million. Ukrainian patriots will insist on the original larger figures. In his introduction to the 1984 edition of Ewald Ammende's 1935 book "Human Life in Russia", James Mace estimates the death toll in Ukraine to have been 7,454,000 and bluntly states that it was genocide. Diplomats from foreign countries posted in Ukraine consistently referred to the annihilation of the rural population (over 80% of the total population at that time). Even Soviet functionaries in conversation and correspondence amongst themselves are reputed to have used the round 10 million figure -- including Stalin. Khruschev, who admitted to being up to his elbows in blood during this period, refused to give a specific figure -- saying that no one was counting the dead.

Rather than trying to impose an impossible task on the UCC, it would be preferable if Ukrainian activists simply wrote a letter to the editor or telephoned a radio or TV station, whenever they saw or heard a figure less than 7 million being used.]