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County another step toward friendship with Ukraine community

It takes a long time to make an official friend.

Council approved a proposed ‘Friendship Policy’ to begin its first friendship agreement – with Krasyliv Territorial Community, Ukraine.

It was hoped the friendship would enable exchanges of information and community support to assist in the recovery of the Ukrainian community. The motion was in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine that began in February, 2022.

Councillor Bill Roberts noted the conversation made support of Ukraine “more important than just temporarily raising a flag on a pole for a few weeks or a couple of months”.

Ukrainian visitors to PEC on a bus tour of the County.

At the Jan. 10, 2023 meeting, council instructed staff to investigate the establishment of a twin-city releationship with a community in Ukraine of comparable size that had a connection with the delegation of Ukrainians that came to the County in 2019. That visit was through Global Affairs Canada, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and focused on sharing information on economic development and governance.

A staff report last April noted “friendship city relationships” are usually less formal arrangements than “twin” agreements.

Since, the two mayors expressed interest in friendship through translated letters, and staff will be exploring opportunities with community groups and agencies willing to be sponsors. The mayor of Krasyliv was part of the group visiting the County in 2019.

The next step is to create a Friendship City Working Group to make recommendations to council on supporting the relationship and community participation, and then to brainstorm and outline a friendship agreement.

The working group would include the mayor and one member of council, two County residents and one or two representatives from a sponsoring organization. Cost is expected to be about $1,000 for translation and any start up costs.

Approval of the new policy on how to establish a friendship agreement, and the responsibilities of the working group, moves to council’s Jan. 30 meeting for ratification.

Filed Under: Local News

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