Harper Government promotes democracy, rule of law and economic growth in Ukraine

March 4, 2013 - Canada will continue to promote democracy, rule of law and economic growth in Ukraine, through two new projects. Today, during his visit to Ukraine, the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, the Honourable Jason Kenney, made the announcement on behalf of the Minister of International Cooperation, the Honourable Julian Fantino.

"Freedom of expression and the presence of a strong and free media are essential in any open, democratic, transparent and accountable society," said Minister Fantino. "Canada's support will help strengthen these basic freedoms through legislative and regulatory reform, the expanded use of Ukraine's public access to information law, and the promotion of ethical and professional standards among journalists."

"Canada's assistance is supporting initiatives that help improve the business-enabling environment in Ukraine," said Minister Kenney. "It is very important that businesses, especially new small and medium-sized enterprises, know that they can rely on the efficiency and fairness of the courts that deal with commercial disputes. Canada is assisting the National School of Judges, by sharing Canadian expertise in the training of new judges."

The two new projects, funded by Canada are: Strengthening Media Freedom, in partnership with the Council of Europe; and Judicial Education for Economic Growth, which will be implemented by Canada's National Judicial Institute and the Office of the Commissioner for Federal Judicial Affairs.

Canada continues to be concerned by the manner in which the arrest, prosecution, conviction and appeal of Yulia Tymoshenko has been carried out by Ukrainian authorities. It is without question that a legitimate and active opposition is an integral part of a vibrant and effective democracy. Canada has identified Ukraine as a priority country in the provision of development assistance, and will continue to focus on supporting its democratic development and sustainable economic growth to achieve greater freedom and prosperity for the Ukrainian people.

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For more information, media should contact:

Daniel Bezalel Richardsen
Press Secretary to the Minister of International Cooperation
Telephone: 819-953-6238
Email: danielbezalel.richardsen@acdi-cida.gc.ca

Media Relations Office
Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)
Telephone: 819-953-6534
Email: media@acdi-cida.gc.ca
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