All County, All the Time Since 2010 MAKE THIS YOUR PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY HOME...PAGE!  Wednesday, June 12th, 2024

Prince Edward County to extend hand in friendship to Ukraine

Councillors and staff Tuesday, April 25 during the first council meeting at the renovated chambers in Shire Hall.

Prince Edward County will reach out to establish an official municipal friendship with Krasyliv Territorial Community, Ukraine.

“Friendship” was chosen over “twinning” as agreements are less formal and focus on comradery, support and solidarity instead of commercial, trade and culture. They come at little or no cost to the municipalities and tend to work with a four-year term.

Specifics of the relationship would be developed in conversation and could focus on community concern for Ukraine or support and solidarity. The communities could choose to enter a more formal twinning agreement in future.

Councillor Bill Roberts, who made the motion with Mayor Steve Ferguson, said a friendship agreement sends a strong message of friendship and solidarity. “It also sends a public statement made to our publics, of the intent and the hope of the municipality – a message of understanding, awareness and respect of the sacrifice and bravery of Ukraine and Ukrainians. … not only for the war, but what happens after the war.”

Mayor Ferguson will contact elected officials in Krasyliv Territorial Community to discuss the new relationship and how the two municipalities could work together. Should interpretation services or translation be required during the agreement process, cost is estimated at $1,000 to $1,500. Future costs would be dependent on the nature and content of the agreement.

That community is called comparable to the County, and its mayor, Nila Ostrovska, was part of the delegation of Ukrainians that visited here in 2019.

The town of Krasyliv (population 19,761) and 30 smaller villages make a population of just under 30,000. The area is not currently occupied by Russia but is living through consequences of the invasion and providing refuge to more than 3,000 citizens who have fled their homes. Click here for more about the community.

Children’s charity event in support of Ukraine’s Armed Forces. Children weave bracelets and make souvenir products and stickers and sell them at the local market every Sunday in support of Ukrainian soldiers. – photo from the website

Staff have obtained contact information, but have not contacted representatives. Should the outreach be unsuccessful, staff also has a shortlist of other possible communities.

In July 2019, the County hosted a delegation of 14 elected officials from Ukraine to support them with municipal reform. Its restructuring resembled the process that reduced the number of Ontario municipalities to 447, from 814, which included the amalgamation of Prince Edward County to a single-tier municipality in 1998.

“They were wonderful people,” recalled Mayor Ferguson. “We had a bit of a language problem but we got around that. I look at the pictures that I took when they were here and they were happy, and they were engaged and they were learning about us, learning from us. And I wonder, almost on a daily basis, what has happened to those people.”

Ukraine’s reform in July 2020 merged and reduced “raions” (districts) to 136 from 490 creating significant change for the 14 communities represented in the visit to the county in 2019.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022 escalated conflict from 2014 and it continues to this day.

Many Ontario municipalities have offered aid to the Ukraine including acts of solidarity such as the County’s initiatives. In March 2022, council authorized a matching funds donation of $5,000 to the Ukraine Humanitarian Crisis Appeal of the Canadian Red Cross, and raised the country’s flag at Shire Hall. In June, a concert raised $1,000 for the fund. Throughout the year there were also community efforts led by local organizations, businesses and individuals.

Staff also recommended a “Friendship policy” be developed alongside or after the development of the agreement, to guide the municipality for in any future relationships proposed. Staff note this would also keep the process of establishing a Ukrainian relationship moving, without waiting for policy development.

Filed Under: Featured ArticlesNews from Everywhere Else

About the Author:

RSSComments (0)

Trackback URL

Comments are closed.

OPP reports
lottery winners
Elizabeth Crombie Janice-Lewandoski
Home Hardware Picton Sharon Armitage

© Copyright Prince Edward County News 2024 • All rights reserved.