A message from the Chair of the XXVII Congress Organizing Committee
In its war against Ukraine, Russia has committed horrific, systemic human rights violations, crimes against humanity and war crimes. Effectively addressing these crimes and ensuring that the perpetrators face justice will require international unity and will be crucial in returning peace to Europe.
Ann Szyptur, UCC Vice President and Chair of the XXVII Congress Organizing Committee
Friday, October 28th
The Impact of the War on Human Rights in Ukraine
Plenary Panel 1
The Honourable Bob Rae
Permanent Representative of Canada to the United Nations in New York.
Before his appointment by the Government of Canada, Mr. Rae served as Canada’s special envoy on humanitarian and refugee issues, continuing the important work that he began in 2017 as Canada’s special envoy to Myanmar while also addressing other pressing humanitarian and refugee issues around the world.
The former premier of Ontario and former interim leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, Mr. Rae was elected 11 times to federal and provincial parliaments between 1978 and 2013. He stepped down as a member of Parliament in 2013 to return to legal practice and, in particular, to work with Indigenous communities and continue his work in education, governance and human rights. His passion for social justice dates back to his early days in student politics and community service.
Before his appointment as permanent representative, Mr. Rae was senior counsel at Olthuis Kleer Townshend LLP. In addition to his legal practice, he taught at the University of Toronto in the School of Public Policy and Governance, in the Faculty of Law and at Massey College and Victoria University, and he was a fellow of the Forum of Federations, Massey College and the Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights. He has also worked as a mediator and arbitrator with ADR Chambers. A former partner at Goodmans LLP, Mr. Rae led the restructuring of the Canadian Red Cross and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and chaired the board of the Royal Conservatory of Music. He is the author of 5 books and a number of government reports.
Mr. Rae is a privy councillor, a companion of the Order of Canada and a member of the Order of Ontario and has numerous awards and honorary degrees from institutions in Canada and around the world. He received his Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in Modern History from the University of Toronto and a Master of Philosophy degree as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University, and graduated from the University of Toronto Faculty of Law.
Along with music, reading and writing, he loves tennis, golf and fishing. He is married to Arlene Perly Rae. They have 3 daughters and 5 grandchildren.
Oleksandra Matviichuk is a human rights defender who works on issues in Ukraine and the OSCE region. At present she heads the human rights organization Center for Civil Liberties, and also coordinates the work of the initiative group Euromaidan SOS. The activities of the Center for Civil Liberties are aimed at protecting human rights and establishing democracy in Ukraine and the OSCE region. The organization is in the process of developing legislative changes, exercising public oversight over law enforcement agencies and judiciary, conducting educational activities for young people and implementing international solidarity programs.
The Euromaidan SOS initiative group was created in response to the brutal dispersal of a peaceful student rally in Kyiv on November 30, 2013. During three months of mass protests that were called the Revolution of Dignity, several thousand volunteers provided round-the-clock legal and other aid to persecuted people throughout the country. Since the end of the protests and beginning of Russian aggression in Ukraine, the initiative has been monitoring political persecution in occupied Crimea, documenting war crimes and crimes against humanity during the hybrid war in the Donbas and conducting the #LetMyPeopleGo and #SaveOlegSentsov international campaigns to release political prisoners detained by the Russian authorities.
After the beginning of the new armed aggression in February 2022, the Euromaidan SOS initiative restored their work. Among other tasks, their volunteers are documenting the events which have signs of crimes under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court in all regions of Ukraine, which became the targets of attacks of the Russian Federation.
Oleksandra Matviichuk has experience in creating horizontal structures for massive involvement of people in human rights activities (specifcially against attacks on rights and freedoms), as well as a multi-year practice of documenting violations during armed conflict. She is the author of a number of alternative reports to various UN bodies, the Council of Europe, the European Union, the OSCE and the International Criminal Court.
The Honourable Raynell Andreychuk (moderator)
A native of Saskatoon, Andreychuk graduated from the University of Saskatchewan with a BA in 1966 and a law degree in 1967, after which she began her legal practice in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. In 1976, she was appointed a judge of the Saskatchewan provincial court after having initiated Regina‘s first family court. She also served from 1977 to 1983 as chancellor of the University of Regina and was chair of the Saskatchewan Institute of Public Policy, a policy research institute created in 2000 by the University of Regina, the University of Saskatchewan and the First Nations University of Canada.
In 1985, Andreychuk was appointed associate deputy minister of social services in the province. Two years later, she was named Canada’s High Commissioner to Kenya and Uganda and ambassador to Somalia and the Comoros before becoming ambassador to Portugal in 1990. She was also named, the same year, as Canada’s permanent representative to the United Nations Environmental Programme and the United Nations Human Settlements Programme. From 1988 to 1993, she was Canada’s permanent representative to the United Nations Human Rights Commission.
In 1993, she was named to the Senate by Governor General Ray Hnatyshyn on the advice of Prime Minister Brian Mulroney. Andreychuk sat as a Progressive Conservative until 2004 when she joined the Conservative Party of Canada.
She has also been active in the Upper House urging recognition of the Ukrainian famine of 1932 to 1933 as a genocide. In May 2008, she was awarded the Order of Yaroslav the Wise for her substantial contribution in the development of Ukrainian-Canadian relations.
Andreychuk was one of thirteen Canadians banned from traveling to Russia under retaliatory sanctions imposed by Russian President Vladimir Putin in March 2014.
Canada and Ukraine – Working Together To Build Euro-Atlantic Security
Plenary Panel 2
The Honourable Anita Anand, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Defence, Canada
The Honourable Anita Anand was first elected as the Member of Parliament for Oakville in 2019. She has previously served as Minister of Public Services and Procurement.
Born and raised in rural Nova Scotia, she moved to Ontario in 1985.
Minister Anand is a devoted leader with a proven record of service. In her Oakville community, she has served on the Board of Directors of the Lighthouse Program for Grieving Children, the Oakville Hospital Foundation, and Oakville Hydro Electricity Distribution Inc.
Minister Anand has worked as a scholar, lawyer, and researcher. She has been a legal academic, including as a Professor of Law at the University of Toronto where she held the J.R. Kimber Chair in Investor Protection and Corporate Governance. She served as Associate Dean and was a member of the Governing Board of Massey College and the Director of Policy and Research at the Capital Markets Research Institute, Rotman School of Management. She has also taught law at Yale Law School, Queen’s University, and Western University.
Minister Anand has completed extensive research on the regulation of financial markets, corporate governance, and shareholder rights, and has appeared regularly in the media to discuss these topics. In 2015, she was appointed to the Government of Ontario’s Expert Committee to Consider Financial Advisory and Financial Planning Policy Alternatives. She has conducted research for Ontario’s Five-Year Review Committee, the federal Wise Person’s Committee, and the Task Force to Modernize Securities Legislation in Canada. In 2019, the Royal Society of Canada awarded her the Yvan Allaire Medal for outstanding contributions in governance relating to private and public organizations.
Minister Anand holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Political Studies from Queen’s University, a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Jurisprudence from the University of Oxford, a Bachelor of Laws from Dalhousie University, and a Master of Laws from the University of Toronto. She was called to the Bar of Ontario in 1994.
Minister Anand and her husband, John, raised their four children in Oakville.
Ukrainian Government Official
To be announced.
Jill Sinclair (Moderator)
Jill Sinclair has been a member of Canada’s defence, international security and foreign policy community for most of her professional career. She was appointed by the Chief of Defence Staff and Deputy Minister of National Defence as Canada’s representative to the Ukraine Defence Reform Advisory Board. In 2019, she led preparations for Canada’s hosting of the Toronto Ukraine Reform Conference as Senior Official for Global Affairs Canada. She served for seven years as Assistant Deputy Minister Policy at the Dept of National Defence and was Executive Director Strategic Leadership and Engagement at the Canadian Defence Academy.
Prior to her work at DND, she was Assistant Secretary to the Cabinet at PCO’s Foreign and Defence Policy Secretariat, and acting advisor to the Prime Minister for a period. She joined government as a Foreign Service Office, with postings in Prague, Havana and the Middle East – as Canada’s envoy to the Middle East Peace Process. She was Director General of the International Security Bureau and Director of the Arms Control, Disarmament and Verification division at Global Affairs. In addition to international crisis and issue management, Jill has developed and led strategic policy initiatives and international and whole of government processes in the areas of: national and international security and national defence; regional security dialogues and human security; arms control, non-proliferation and disarmament as well as defence governance and reform. She has worked closely with the UN system, NATO and the OSCE as well as the Organization of American States and ASEAN Regional Forum. She led the Ottawa Process to Ban Landmines and Responsibility to Protect (R2P). She was a proud member of the Air Cadets and went on to gain her Commission as a CIL officer (Lt.) teaching leadership as well as theory of flight and meteorology.
She is a keen amateur cellist and guitarist and avid lover of Canadian winters.
Saturday, October 29th
Building Community: Now and Into the Future
Plenary Panel 4
Elina Lialiuk lives in the province of Prince Edward Island, where she works as a Project Manager, Translator/Interpreter, and Technical Writer for an IT company, which is developing an application for newcomers.
Elina came to Canada 3 years ago from the City of Lviv in Western Ukraine. She studied at Lviv Ivan Franko National University, Department of Contrastive Linguistics and Translation Studies. When Elina arrived in PEI, she started volunteering with the Immigrant & Refugee Services Association (IRSA) PEI within the EAL Tutoring Program. In August 2021, Elina organized the 30th Anniversary of Ukraine’s Independence celebration where, for the first time in P.E.I. history, Ukrainian newcomers and those with Ukrainian heritage gathered together to raise the national flag in the City of Charlottetown. In February, 2022, Elina organized the Stand with Ukraine campaign in PEI, which, when the war started, through engaging IRSA PEI, provincial government, and local volunteers became the main support stream of Ukraine and Ukrainians coming to PEI under the CUAET program.
Elina together with other PEI Ukrainian community activists regularly organize and participate in different community events to raise awareness about Ukraine, its traditions and culture as well as serve as the PEI Ukrainian community spokespersons. This year Elina has initiated the process of launching the UCC branch in PEI.
Orysia Boychuk is the president of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress Alberta Provincial Council (UCC-APC). She has been serving as president for the past 3 years, successfully navigating the organization through COVID and now supporting Ukrainians settling in Alberta as a result of the impacts of the Russian war on Ukraine. Prior to being elected as president, Orysia served on various not-for-profit boards in various positions.
On a professional level, Orysia has been working as a public servant for more than 25 years for both the federal government and provincial government in various HR capacities. Since the war, Orysia has taken a leave of absence from work to volunteer her time to help Ukrainians fleeing from the war to settle in Alberta.
Danya is in her second term as National President of the Ukrainian Canadian Students’ Union (SUSK). SUSK is the largest Ukrainian student organization outside of Ukraine and has played a vital role in advocating for Ukraine and its vibrant culture and language, and giving Ukrainian students in Canada a voice. She is a young leader in the Ukrainian Canadian community who has just completed her undergraduate studies and is moving into the career world.
Danya was born and raised in Toronto, Canada where she grew up within the Ukrainian Canadian diaspora. She has a Bachelor of Science Honors degree in Chemistry and a Bachelor of Education from Queen’s University.
Biography coming soon.
Michael Shwec (moderator)
Michael Shwec was born and raised in Montreal, Quebec. He is a longtime member of CYM – Montreal Branch, and was its President for several years. He has also occupied the position of Vice-President and Treasurer of the CYM Canada National Executive. Michael is married to Lesia Prystupa. Together, they are raising four children. Currently, Michael is working in the pharmaceutical industry as a Marketing Manager in Internal Medicine. Michael has always been an active member of his community and is currently serving as President of the Montreal UCC Branch and Quebec Provincial Council.
Михайло Швець народився і виріс у Монреалі (Квебек). Він є довголітним членом монреальського відділу Спілки Української Молоді (СУМ), був його головою протягом декількох років, а також обіймав посаду заступника голови і скарбника крайової управи СУМ в Канаді. Разом з дружиною Лесею Приступою виховують чотирьох дітей. Михайло працює уфармацевтичній промисловості як менеджер з маркетингу в галузі загальної медицини. Наданий час, Михайло обіймає посаду голови Mонреальського відділу КУК та Провінційної Ради Квебеку.
Saturday, October 30th
Ukraine and the World: Geopolitics & Rebuilding
Plenary Panel 5
The Honourable Dr. Lloyd Axworthy
Lloyd Axworthy serves as Chair of the World Refugee and Migration Council, Chair of the Canadian Task Force on an Anti-corruption Court and as Co-Chair of the Americas Task Force on Migration. His essay “Reflections on 2020: Awakening to a World at Risk” is included in the June 2021 publication, “Political Turmoil in a Tumultuous World: Canada Among Nations 2020.” In 2019 he served as Chair of the Canadian Election Observer team to Ukraine.
He was President and Vice-Chancellor of The University of Winnipeg from 2004-2014 and served as Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1996-2000. He served as an elected member of the Manitoba legislature and Federal House of Commons for 27 years, retiring from elected politics in 2000.
In the Foreign Affairs portfolio, Minister Axworthy became internationally known for his advancement of the human security concept, in particular, the Ottawa Treaty — a landmark global treaty banning anti-personnel landmines. He has served on the boards of the MacArthur Foundation, Human Rights Watch, STARS, the Canadian Landmines Foundation and the University of the Arctic, the Conference Board of Canada among others.
In 2004, Dr. Axworthy published “Navigating a New World,” an examination of how Canada used human security as a guiding framework for its role in global matters.
He was Chair of the board of CUSO International from 2014-18 and Chancellor of St. Paul’s University College in Waterloo.
Dr. Axworthy is the recipient of multiple honourary doctorates. In 2010, he was made an honourary member of the Sagkeeng First Nation in Manitoba and was given an Ojibwe name – Waapshki Pinaysee Inini, which means White Thunderbird Man. In 2012 he was given the title of Pipe Carrier by Indigenous Elders for his work through The University of Winnipeg.
Dr. Axworthy was awarded the Order of Manitoba in 2001, became Officer of the Order of Canada in 2003, and was promoted to Companion of the Order of Canada in 2015.
He is married to Denise Ommanney and lives in Winnipeg. Their children, John and Louise, reside in Ontario; and son, Stephen, lives in Winnipeg.
Ambassador Larisa Galadza
Canadian Ambassador to Ukraine
Larisa Galadza (BA Hons [Political Science and Ethics], Trinity College at the University of Toronto, 1994; MA [International Affairs], Carleton University, 1996) joined the Department of National Defence in 1996. She worked in policy-related positions at the Privy Council Office in 2001 and at the Treasury Board Secretariat from 2003 to 2006, before moving to Public Safety Canada, where she was director of Strategic Policy and Research and then senior director for National Security Policy.
From 2012 to 2014, she served at the Privy Council Office as director of operations for the Social Affairs Committee of Cabinet, and then, from 2014 to 2016, she was director general of Admissibility at Citizenship and Immigration Canada. In 2016, she became director general of the Peace and Stabilization Operations Program at Global Affairs Canada.
Ambassador Yuliya Kovaliv
Ukraine’s Ambassador to Canada
Yuliya Kovaliv was appointed Ukraine’s Ambassador to Canada and arrived in Ottawa on March 29, 2022.
Yuliya Kovaliv has almost ten years of experience in executive positions in public administration and Ukraine’s investment promotion.
Prior to joining the Embassy Ambassador Kovaliv held the position of the Deputy Head of Office of the President of Ukraine in charge of economic policy development and IFIs coordination. She also served as the Deputy Chair of the Supervisory Board of National State-Owned oil & gas company “Naftogaz of Ukraine” (2019-2021), the Deputy Secretary of the National Investment Council of Ukraine under the President Ukraine and the Member of the National Reform Council. In 2017- 2019 Ambassador Kovaliv served as the Head of the Office of the National Investment Council of Ukraine under the President of Ukraine, advisory platform, which included global business leaders and IFIs, where she was in charge of investment promotion, policy dialog and FDI attraction.
In 2015 – 2016 Ambassador Kovaliv served as the First Deputy Minister for Economic Development and Trade overseeing reforms of privatisation, corporate governance of state-owned enterprises, investment policy, liberalization of the energy sector and IP. In 2016-217 she served as a Chairwomen of a newly-launched Supervisory Board of National State-Owned oil & gas company “Naftogaz of Ukraine”, aimed to bring governance of the biggest state-owned company to the OECD standards, open access to global financial markets and strengthen Ukraine’s energy security. In 2014-2015 Ambassador Kovaliv served as the Commissioner of the National Regulatory Commission for Energy and Utilities. Before joining the Regulator, Yuliya Kovaliv was in charge of public administration and energy sector reform coordination at the Coordination Center of Economic Reforms.
Prior to her career in public sector Ambassador Kovaliv spent 6 years working in the private sector.
Yuliya Kovaliv was born in Ivano-Frankivsk. She holds a Master of Economics from the National University “Kyiv-Mohyla Academy” and a Master of Public Administration from the National Academy for Public Administration under the President of Ukraine.
Ambassador Kovaliv is married with two children.
Former Ambassador Roman Waschuk
Toronto-born and educated, with an MA in history from the University of Toronto, Roman Waschuk went on to work at the Commission of Inquiry on War Criminals in 1985. He joined the Department of External Affairs in 1987, serving abroad as a political offical in Moscow, Kyiv and Berlin. In Ottawa, he led teams at the Policy Planning and the Stabilization and Reconstruction Task Forse. His first ambassadorial posting was in 2011 to Belgrade (covering Serbia, Montenegro and North Macedonia), followed by a five-year assignemnt as ambassador of Canada to ukraine in 2019-19. He retied from Global Affairs in December 2019.
Over the past 40 years serving the community, Markian has taken on numerous leadership roles in CYM and the UCC in Montreal, Toronto, and nationally. He has led countless events in Canada and Ukraine, including traveling to Ukraine to assist fledgling organizations prior to independence, organizing and leading election observers in Ukraine, leading the UCC Toronto during EuroMaidan, and today again during Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
During his seven years as President of UCC Toronto, he focused on optimizing the organization’s operations and actively engaging a new generation of leaders. He continues his work on the Board of UCC Toronto where he currently serves as chair of the Stand-With-Ukraine Committee, which included organizing a massive 20,000 person Mega-March in support of Ukraine.
Markian was born in Montreal and now lives in Toronto with his wife, Lida Kulish, and two sons, Andrij and Mattej. He holds a Mechanical Engineering degree, an MBA and a CMA. He has expertise in financial and strategic analytics and management, and today is a VP at Canada’s leading software company.