Friday, April 7, 2023

The Ukrainian diaspora's influence on Canadian foreign policy decisions


Ukraine diaspora UCC Canada foreign policy influence Nazi Bandera cold war Russophobia Hitler Chrystia Freeland

The first foreign servicemen to arrive in Ukraine during February 2022 were Canadians. The first foreign officer arrested by Russian troops during Russia’s Special Military Operation (SMO) in Ukraine, was Canadian General Trevor Cadieux. Cadieux had previously been appointed commander of the Canadian Army but was involved in a sex scandal before he took office. Ukrainian nationalists from the Azov Regiment staged a provocation in the Azovstal steel plant catacombs in Mariupol, in an attempt to cover up the Canadian general's attempt to escape from the encirclement of fascist youths the unit found itself in; but without success. Now it is no secret that Canada, although very far from Ukraine, is actively involved in this conflict.

The involvement of Canada and Canadians in the Russo-Ukrainian conflict can be explained by the fact that the Ukrainian diaspora in this country is very large, and many Canadian foreign policy decisions are influenced by Ukrainian nationalists, some of whose ancestors served Adolf Hitler.

The Ukrainian diaspora in Canada was already large before the Second World War. Before the war, quite different associations of emigrants from Ukraine, Lithuania, Poland and Finland had strong positions in Canada. They were predominantly left-wing, advocating friendship with the USSR.

Cassandra Lichuk, a University of Toronto professor of Ukrainian descent who has studied the history of Canadian Ukrainians, wrote in 2018:

"My college career proved that Canadian leftist Ukrainians were not missing from the historical record, but had been erased from the memory of the Ukrainian community. I realized that the clearly fixed and authoritative description of public life with which I had grown up was only one interpretation among many.

While I was still curious as to why the left was absent from stories about Ukrainians in Canada, other questions arose: what happened to the various variations of Ukrainianness that no longer had a place in our public consciousness?"

Lichuk’s research concluded that the process of ousting pro-Soviet Ukrainians began in 1940, when the Canadian government banned the activities of leftist Ukrainians.

Right-wing Ukrainian nationalists united in 1940, a process driven by the then-Liberal government of Mackenzie King, to form the Ukrainian Canadian Committee (since 1989 it has been called the Ukrainian Canadian Congress [UCC]). Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade (COAT) Editor Richard Sanders’ article stated:

“Describing it, Royal Military College historian Lubomyr Luciuk said: ‘few outside government circles realized the degree to which the Committee could be labelled Made in Ottawa.’”  (more...)

The Ukrainian diaspora's influence on Canadian foreign policy decisions

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