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Sep 18, 2014 at 09:39 AM

Welcome to my online office. I have set up this website to give you a chance
to interact with me directly and to learn a little bit more about my work to
Stand Up for St. Catharines in Ottawa. I hope you will take the time to read
my blog, check out the community calendar and look at the services available
through my Community Office. Most of all, I hope you will take the time to
communicate your ideas and concerns by commenting on my blog, voting for the
online polls or sending me an e-mail. This website is here for you, so
please share your thoughts and ideas.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Rick Dykstra

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage


PM to welcome Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to Canada
Sep 11, 2014 at 12:00 AM

Prime Minister Stephen Harper today announced that Petro Poroshenko, President of Ukraine, will make his first official visit to Canada on September 17, 2014. This visit will provide an opportunity for the two leaders to discuss the ongoing situation in Ukraine, with a particular focus on the steps required to restore Ukraine’s territorial integrity, as well as ensure its sovereignty in the face of the Putin regime’s illegal occupation of Ukraine’s CrimeaPeninsula and its military aggression in eastern Ukraine. They will also discuss the peace plan announced between Ukraine, Russia and pro-Russian separatists on September 5, 2014. President Poroshenko will also address Parliament during his visit.

Since the onset of the crisis, Canada has stood alongside the people of Ukraine and is taking a number of important steps to support the country. These include imposing a broad range of political and economic sanctions, providing support to help Ukraine stabilize its economy and promote economic and social development, and providing non-lethal security assistance and training for members of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

Canada is committed to contributing to free and fair elections in Ukraine and will send short and long-term observers to the October 26, 2014 Ukraine Parliamentary elections.

Quick Facts

  • Canada and Ukraine have enjoyed close bilateral relations since Canada became the first Western country to recognize Ukraine’s independence on December 2, 1991. These relations have grown to encompass cooperation in the commercial, political and security spheres.
  • At over 1.2 million strong, the Ukrainian-Canadian community has contributed immensely to enriching the Canadian mosaic. The first Ukrainian immigrants settled in Canada over 120 years ago, and today, we salute the community for their impressive legacy and many achievements made from coast to coast to coast, which have helped ensure our collective prosperity.
  • As a result of the crisis, Canada is also providing over $250 million in support to Ukraine to help promote social and economic reforms, including through loans and loan guarantees. Our Government has also imposed sanctions against over 180 Russian and Ukrainian individuals and entities who bear responsibility for the crisis. Furthermore, Canada continues to provide training for Ukrainian military and civilian personnel through the Military Training Cooperation Program and has contributed non-lethal security assistance to Ukraine.

“It is a great honour to welcome President Poroshenko to Canada. We remain steadfast in our support for the people of Ukraine and are committed to helping the Government re-build itself into a democratic, independent, and prosperous European country, free from aggressors. Together with allies and partners, Canada stands prepared to apply further political and economic measures against those who continue to undermine Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.” – Prime Minister Stephen Harper

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UPDATED Sep 17: Canada Promotes Territorial Integrity and National Unity in Ukraine
Jun 21, 2014 at 12:00 AM


  • Sep 17, 2014: PM welcomes successful visit of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to Canada
  • Sep 16, 2014: Canada Announces Further Sanctions
  • Sep 16, 2014: Canada Announces Support for Free and Fair Elections in Ukraine
  • Sep 11, 2014: PM welcomes report by Canada’s election observer mission on Ukrainian Presidential election
  • Sep 04, 2014: PM announces support for NATO Security Initiatives in Ukraine and Eastern Europe
  • Sep 04, 2014: Canadian Armed Forces to Participate in Multinational Exercise in Ukraine
  • Sep 04, 2014: Prime Minister Stephen Harper meets President Petro Poroshenko of Ukraine
  • Sep 02, 2014: Baird Wraps up Successful Visit to Albania, Welcomes Security Cooperation on Iraq and Ukraine
  • Aug 28, 2014: Minister Baird Promoting a Robust Response to the Crisis in Ukraine (Europe 2014) Map
  • Aug 07, 2014: Statement by the Prime Minister of Canada announcing security assistance to Ukraine
  • Aug 06, 2014: Expanded Sanctions List
  • July 30, 2014: Minister Paradis Announces New Support to Strengthen Democracy in Ukraine
  • July 29, 2014: Statement by the Prime Minister of Canada announcing the intent to impose additional sanctions on Russia
  • July 25, 2014: STEPHEN HARPER - Our duty is to stand firm in the face of Russian aggression
  • July 24, 2014: Expanded Sanctions List
  • July 11, 2014: Expanded Sanctions List
  • June 21, 2014: Expanded Sactions List
  • June 04, 2014: PM concludes visit to Poland
  • June 03, 2014: PM to attend swearing-in ceremony of President-elect Petro Poroshenko in Ukraine
  • May 27, 2014: Statement by the Prime Minister of Canada on the results of the Ukrainian elections
  • May 25, 3014: Baird issues congratulations to the citizens of Ukraine who peacefully exercised their sovereign right to vote
  • May 24, 2014: Canada Commends Resilience of Ukrainians on Eve of Presidential Poll
  • May 20, 2014: PM announces leadership of the Canadian bilateral election observation mission to Ukraine
  • May 18, 2014: Baird Issues Statement on 70th Anniversary of Deportation of Crimean Tatars
  • May 14, 2014: Minister Fast Discourages Business Executives from Travelling to Russia
  • May 12, 2014: Statement by the Prime Minister of Canada announcing additional sanctions
  • May 07, 2014: Canada Will Not Support Russia’s Accession to OECD
  • May 04, 2014: Expanded sanctions list
  • May 03, 2014: Canada Gravely Concerned by Deaths in Ukraine, Calls on Russia to Stop Inciting Violence
  • May 02, 2014: Canadian soldiers participate in Exercise ORZEL ALERT
  • April 30, 2014: HMCS Regina redeploying to NATO Standing Maritime Forces, as part of NATO’s reassurance package
  • April 29, 2014: Defence Minister Rob Nicholson to Send Off CF-18s Departing Bagotville
  • April 28, 2014: Minister Nicholson Announces Canada is Sending Fighter Aircraft to Romania
  • April 28, 2014: Statement by the Prime Minister of Canada announcing additional sanctions
  • April 26, 2014: Baird Wraps Up Successful Trip to Latvia, Promotes Coordinated Response to Crisis in Ukraine
  • April 25, 2014: Canada and Poland Stand Together
  • April 24, 2014: Canada and Poland Strengthen Coordinated Engagement in Ukraine
  • April 23, 2014:  PM announces new measures to promote democracy in Ukraine
  • April 23, 2014: Baird Visits Slovakia, Promotes International Response to Ukraine Crisis
  • April 22, 2014: Baird Promotes International Response to Ukraine Crisis in Czech Republic
  • April 17, 2014: PM announces further measures to enhance security in Central and Eastern Europe
  • April 15, 2014: Canada Takes Principled Stand on Arctic Council Meetings
  • April 14, 2014: Baird to Travel to Central and Eastern Europe for Talks on Supporting Ukraine Amid Crisis
  • April 13, 2014: Canada Gravely Concerned by Escalation of Violence in Eastern Ukraine
  • April 12, 2014: Canada Imposes Additional Sanctions in Response to Crisis in Ukraine
  • April 07, 2014: Baird Condemns Provocateurs in Eastern Ukraine
  • April 01, 2014 : Canada Joins NATO Allies in Condemning Russia’s Actions
  • March 28, 2014: Baird to Travel to Europe to Show Support for Eastern European Partners
  • March 24, 2014: The Hague Declaration
  • March 22, 2014: PM concludes visit to Ukraine
  • March 22, 2014: Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe special monitoring mission in Ukraine
  • March 21, 2014: Statement by the Prime Minister of Canada announcing additional sanctions
  • March 18, 2014: Statement by the Prime Minister of Canada announcing additional sanctions
  • March 17, 2014: Statement by the Prime Minister of Canada announcing additional sanctions
  • March 16, 2014: Statement by the Prime Minister of Canada on the results of the Crimean “referendum”
  • March 13, 2014: PM announces support for economic stabilization and development In Ukraine
  • March 11, 2014: Canada Cautions Russia on Proposed Crimea Legislation
  • March 9, 2014: Canada and Turkey Concerned about Minority Groups in Crimea
  • March 2, 2014: Standing With the People of Ukraine

Feb 28, 2014: Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird today wrapped up a successful mission to Ukraine, where he and the Canadian delegation of parliamentarians and representatives of the Ukrainian community met with key members of the new government.

Baird met with acting president Oleksander Turchynov, Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, acting foreign minister Andriy Deschytsya, Ukrainian Democratic Alliance for Reform leader Vitali Klitschko, All-Ukrainian Union Svoboda leader Oleh Tyahnybok, Chair of the Canada-Ukraine Parliamentary Group Volodymyr Polochaninov, former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko, as well as other opposition and civil society members.

He also met with the major organizers of Maidan civil society, representatives from Ukraine’s religious communities including Crimean Tatars, and visited the medical centre at St. Michael’s Monastery, where he announced increased financial support for providing medical care to injured protesters.

Members of the Canadian delegation walked through the Maidan and paid their respects to the fallen protesters who died for the cause of democracy. “Their sacrifice in the defence of their democracy and freedom has brought change to this country,” said Baird. “They will not be forgotten.”

Baird congratulated the new government and emphasized the need to honour the 1994 Budapest Declaration’s commitment to Ukraine’s territorial sovereignty and national unity at this critical time. He also reiterated Canada’s support for Ukraine and its efforts to rebuild the country, including through the International Monetary Fund, following the instability and violence of the last 100 days. Many of his meetings featured discussions on ways to reduce corruption, combat money laundering and manage the financial transition.

“Canada remains committed to working in concert with our allies to develop a plan to assist Ukraine’s economic and democratic future,” said Baird.

The Canadian delegation consisted of Ted Opitz, Member of Parliament for Etobicoke Centre; James Bezan, Member of Parliament for Selkirk—Interlake; Senator Raynell Andreychuk; Victor Hetmanczuk, President and CEO, Canada-Ukraine Foundation; Paul Grod, President, Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC); Taras Zalusky, Executive Director, UCC; and Krystina Waler, board member, Ukrainian Canadian Professionals and Business Association.

PM welcomes report by Canada’s election observer mission on Ukrainian Presidential election
Sep 11, 2014 at 12:00 AM

Prime Minister Stephen Harper today welcomed the report produced by Canada’s election observer mission on the May 25, 2014, Ukrainian Presidential election. The Prime Minister received the report from Senator Raynell Andreychuk and former Ontario Premier Mike Harris, co-chairs of the team, in Toronto.

The Canadian Election Observation Mission Final Report released today highlights the work carried out by Canada’s election observer mission to Ukraine to monitor the country’s May 25, 2014, Presidential election. The report summarizes their activities, findings, conclusions and recommendations.

The Canadian mission concluded that the Ukrainian election met international standards. The mission also noted that “notwithstanding the troubling violence in Luhansk and Donetsk, and the illegal annexation of sovereign Ukrainian territory in Crimea, the election was a clear and unambiguous reflection of the democratic will of the Ukrainian people.”

This report will be provided to the Government of Ukraine and its Central Electoral Commission to provide observations and recommendations for future elections in Ukraine, including the upcoming Parliamentary elections on October 26, 2014.

Since 2004, Canada has contributed hundreds of election observers to seven successive Ukrainian elections to help further strengthen democracy in the country.

Quick Facts

  • On April 23, 2014, Prime Minister Harper announced support for the Ukraine 2014 Presidential Election Bilateral Observation Mission.
  • As part of its support for advancing democracy in Ukraine, Canada deployed more than 300 Canadian observers for the country’s 2014 Presidential elections. This included 143 observers who participated in the Canadian bilateral observer mission. The deployment also included an additional 160 Canadian observers who participated in the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe’s (OSCE) Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights and the OSCE’s Parliamentary Assembly observation missions.

“While the Ukrainian people face a challenging future, two things remain constant. The first is that the Ukrainian people will continue to aspire, courageously, to the ideals of freedom and democracy no matter what barriers are placed in their path. The second is that they will have, as they have always had, the friendship and the steadfast support of Canadians.” – Prime Minister Stephen Harper

“I look forward to reading the report on the accomplishments of Canada’s election observer mission to Ukraine this past spring. I thank Senator Raynell Andreychuk and former Ontario Premier Mike Harris – and all the observers who worked with them – for their bravery, dedication and passion for the cause of Ukrainian democracy.” – Prime Minister Stephen Harper

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