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UCCLA’s 15th Conclave Held in Ottawa

For Immediate Release, 14 October 2012 (Ottawa)

Meeting in the nation’s capital, the executive of the Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Association held a series of discussions that touched upon some of the more important issues for the organized Ukrainian community, including the continued presence of veterans of the KGB, the notorious Soviet secret police, in Canada. Recently 2 MPs of the New Democratic Party held a potluck Thanksgiving meal with an (ex) KGB Captain, Mikhail Lennikov, who remains illegally  in Canada, despite an order for his deportation dating back to June 2009. UCCLA activists met with staff from the office of the Minister of Citizenship & Immigration, Jason Kenney, to press for the immediate removal of all KGB veterans in Canada.

As well UCCLA reconfirmed its committed to continuing with efforts to ensure that all galleries in the taxpayer-funded Canadian Museum for Human Rights have thematic, comparative, and inclusive content and also voted to provide financial support for the “Tribute to Liberty” memorial to the Victims of Communism being built in Ottawa.

On Saturday, 13 October, UCCLA held a memorial service for two Ukrainian Canadians, Michael Bahry and Thomas Konyk, executed on 14 January 1920 in the Peterborough County Jail, members of a so-called “Russian Gang.’ Two of its 5 members suffered judicial execution because of widespread anti-foreigner prejudice during Canada’s first national internment operations. The remains of Bahry and Konyk were reinterred in the Beechwood National Service, with a panachyda by Reverend Dr Petro Galadza. Before leaving Ottawa UCCLA’s executive and guests  also paid their respects at the grave of the First World War Ukrainian Canadian war hero, Filip Konowal, whose valour at the Battle of Hill 70 was recognized with a Victoria Cross (see attached image).

Next year’s UCCLA conclave is scheduled to take place in mid-June, to coincide with the opening of a pavilion dealing with the internment operations being opened at the Cave & Basin site in the heart of Banff National Park.

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