CANORA — Terry Dennis, Legislative Secretary Responsible for Saskatchewan-Ukraine Relations has made it clear that he and his Government of Saskatchewan colleagues are exploring all their options in providing support to Ukraine after the recent Russian invasion.
“We’ve been meeting with SURAC (Saskatchewan Ukrainian Relations Advisory Committee) as well as our work thorough the Government of Saskatchewan, including donating $100,000 in January to help with humanitarian aid in Ukraine,” said Dennis.
Those aid efforts include assistance with the immigration program to speed up welcoming Ukrainian refugees in dangerous situations into Canada, as well as waiving fees for Saskatchewan residents who are texting and making long distance phone calls to check on the safety of friends and relatives still in the Ukraine.
“We continue to advocate with immigration minister to safely get people out of Ukraine who are in danger,” stated Dennis. “We are supporting federal sanctions, but also calling on them to do more and go further on sanctions against Putin and the Russians.”
In recognition of the dangers facing the Ukraine, the Ukrainian Flag is flying at the legislature in Regina and “we will continue flying it as long as we need to.”
Out of the approximately 1.4 million population of Saskatchewan, about 140,000 residents are of Ukrainian descent, or 13 per cent. Canada has approximately 1.4 million Ukrainians, the third largest population outside of Ukraine.
“We were the first nation to offer support to Ukraine, their cause means a lot to Saskatchewan and to Canada,” said Dennis. “I have spoken to one of the SURAC members who has parents still in the Ukraine. The tension is horrible and it’s heartbreaking to see this happening. We’re gonna try to do whatever we can to offer support and welcome people into Saskatchewan. so they can get to safety.”
Dennis believes that Russia has no intention of stopping in Ukraine, and that Putin wants to reunite the Soviet Union.
“There are some scary similarities with Hitler in Germany and Stalin during the Holodomor. Hopefully the UN and the rest of the world stand up to Putin and stop his craziness,” concluded Dennis.