The City of Yorkton will be teaming up with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), to support the implementation of the Partnership for Local Economic Development and Democratic Governance Program (PLEDDG Program).
The City and FCM will sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) following unanimous consent by Yorkton Council at its regular meeting Monday.
The partnership for Local Economic Development and Democratic Governance (PLEDDG) is a 6-year, CAN $19.6 million dollar program, developed by FCM and Ukrainian partners and funded by Global Affairs Canada (GAC). PLEDDG began on March 27, 2015 following the signing of the national agreement.
PLEDDG aims to strengthen Ukraine’s municipal sector by increasing capacities in sixteen cities in four oblasts (Ivano-Frankivsk, Poltava, Vinnytsia and Zaporizhia) to advance local democracy and economic development, create a more enabling local environment for entrepreneurship and local economic development (LED), detailed a report circulated to Council Monday.
The program is also designed to “facilitate the decentralization of authorities and integrated development planning at the local, regional and national levels,” said Councillor Randy Goulden in presenting the matter.
“It will emphasize gender equality through strengthening local capacities for gender analysis and supporting women’s economic empowerment.”
The program “will also promote green municipal environment for Ukrainian cities, trade and investment between Canada and Ukraine and contribute to Canada-Poland coordinated engagement with Ukraine,” she continued.
“The ultimate goal of the PLEDDG Program is to improve economic opportunities for Ukrainians in a strengthened democracy.”
The main objective of the cooperation between FCM and the City of Yorkton is to engage Canadian municipal expertise in the provision of technical assistance, advice and training and the sharing of best practices with partner municipalities in Ukraine.
FCM and the PLEDDG program will provide all participant program-related travel, accommodation, emergency medical insurance, and meal expenses through funding from GLOBAL AFFAIRS CANADA.
“There will be no program related costs to the City of Yorkton,” noted Goulden. The City of Yorkton will work with partners in the province of Saskatchewan and the Yorkton area, including the Ukrainian Canadian Congress, Saskatchewan Provincial Council (UCC-Sask) – President MaryAnn Trischuk.
The program is a timely one in the sense 2016, marks 125 years of immigration by Ukrainians to Canada. Saskatchewan at present is home to some 130,000 self-identified Ukrainians, with a substantial number of these residents living in the Yorkton area. In these past 125 years, Ukrainians have contributed to the framework of building our province, our city and country. The Saskatchewan government proclaimed “2016, the year of the Saskatchewan Ukrainian”, said Goulden.
In September 2016, UCC Saskatchewan will be hosting the National Ukrainian Canadian Triennial Congress in Regina, culminating in a 125th Anniversary Gala Showcase. Invitations have been extended to high level Canadian Government officials as well as dignitaries from Ukraine to present at the Congress.
Also in May Ukraine Ambassador Andriy Shevchenko will be in the City for events, said Goulden.