Hello, everyone, and welcome.
It's an honour for me to be here. My name is Mark Eyking. I'm the chair of the Standing Committee on International Trade.
We have our special guests here with us at the House of Commons for this special meeting. We're going to discuss the Canada-Ukraine relationship.
We welcome the Prime Minister of Ukraine, His Excellency Volodymyr Groysman, along with his Vice Prime Minister, His Excellency Stepan Kubiv, and the Ukrainian ambassador in Canada, His Excellency Andriy Shevchenko.
We welcome you and the people who are travelling with you to the House of Commons for this very special meeting.
Around the table and in the audience, we have our colleagues from the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development and members of the Standing Committee on National Defence, with their chair, Mr. Fuhr. In addition, of course, the members of our committee, the international trade committee, are amongst us. Everyone would love to ask a question, of course, but we have certain time constraints.
Our wonderful country of course was first inhabited by our indigenous first nations community, and that was the start of our country, I guess, but many different diasporas have come to our country, and there's none more important than the Ukrainian community. Almost all of us have people of Ukrainian origin.... I'm from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, where the community of Whitney Pier has a vibrant Ukrainian community. They came over in the early 1900s to work in the steel plant. It's the best place to get perogies and cabbage rolls right in our area.
I was just talking to Mr. Bezan, who said there are over a million and a half people of Ukrainian origin in this country. It doesn't matter if they're in Cape Breton or on the Prairies, we see Ukraine well represented.
We have only until one o'clock, so without further ado I'm going to start the meeting by of course giving the floor to the Prime Minister of Ukraine, His Excellency Volodymyr Groysman.
Go ahead, sir. You have the floor.