Harper Government meets with Ukrainian-Canadian community to discuss democracy and economic growth

July 04, 2013 - Toronto - Canada will continue to promote democracy and economic growth in Ukrainethrough a new project announced today by the Honourable Julian Fantino, Minister of International Development, at a roundtable with representatives of the Ukrainian-Canadian community. Minister Fantino co-hosted the meeting with Ted Opitz, Member of Parliament for Etobicoke Centre.

"Canada and Ukraine share historic ties of friendship extending back through generations of Ukrainian migration to Canada," said Minister Fantino. "Our interests continue to be rooted in a shared respect for democracy Canada continues to support initiatives in Ukraine that help to improve the lives of Ukrainians by increasing their economic opportunities."

The Government of Canada has provided support for the Research and Policy Dialogue Initiative on Migration and Remittances. This initiative will raise Ukrainian policy-makers' awareness of remittances as an important potential source of investment that can generate sustainable economic growth in their country.

"Canada's support for democracy in Ukraine and the importance of our bilateral cooperation will ensure stability and prosperity for their people," said MP Opitz. "A significant component of Ukraine's economy is tied to remittances. This new support will help Ukrainians hold policy-makers to account for the funds which are sent to Ukraine."

Economic Action Plan 2013 reaffirms Canada's commitment to help achieve sustainable economic growth and democracy, particularly in places such as Ukraine, through the new Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development.

- 30 -

For more information, media should contact:

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

Media Relations Office
Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD)
Telephone: 613-995-1874
Email: media@international.gc.ca
Follow us on Twitter: @DFATDCanada

Backgrounder

Research and Policy Dialogue Initiative on Migration and Remittances

In the 2013-2014 fiscal year Canada will provide $400,000 in support to the Research and Policy Dialogue Initiative on Migration and Remittances in Ukraine. The initiative will be implemented by the International Organization for Migration.

According to various estimates, remittance inflows range from US$2-7 billion per year, rivaling the amount of foreign direct investment to Ukraine (average of US$10 billion per year).

The Project aims to establish the starting point for evidence-based dialogue on remittances and economic growth in Ukraine. It will survey a critical mass of migrant-sending households in Ukraine and Ukrainian migrants living abroad in order to establish a baseline reference on the nature, use and impact of remittances on the Ukrainian economy.

The initiative would have two main activities:

1. Research—Establish baseline research on the nature, use and impact of remittances in Ukraine.

  • Literature review and assessment of existing data sets on Ukrainian migration and remittance inflows from abroad.
  • Data collection of 3000 migrant-sending households in Ukraine and 600 Ukrainian migrants working in Russia and Italy.
  • Assessment and analysis of data to determine the characteristics and savings/remittance behaviours of recent (m/f) migrants from Ukraine and to establish key findings.
  • Development of policy recommendations for how Ukraine can harness the link between migration and economic development.
  • Publication and distribution of final research report to key stakeholders.

2. Report Presentation and Policy Dialogue—

  • A knowledge-building and policy advocacy conference in Kyiv and other policy dialogue events.