Ihor Bardyn for New Pathway – Ukrainian News.
On June 25, Canada-Ukraine Parliamentary Program (CUPP) said good-bye to its 29th group of interns. That evening, the program held its farewell dinner at the UNF Toronto’s Trident banquet hall.
CUPP was established in 1991 by Toronto jurist Ihor Bardyn, as an internship program for Ukrainian university students in Canada’s Parliament. It is intended to give Ukrainian students an opportunity to observe and understand the Westminster model of government and prepare Ukraine’s future leaders in the art of the operation of a parliamentary democracy. Since 1991, over 1,000 young Ukrainians have had a life-changing experience at the House of Commons and afterwards have moved on to become change-makers in Ukraine.
For many years, CUPP has been supported financially by individual philanthropists from the Ukrainian Canadian community, among them the Mazurenko family, Malanchuk Family, the Hordienko Family, the Bardyn Family, the Humeniuk Family, the Temerty Family, Vasyl Kereliuk, Dr. Taras Fecycz, Natalia Bundza-Ivanytska and organizations such as the East-West Foundation, the Dopomoha Ukraini Foundation, and the Chair of the Ukrainian Studies Foundation at the University of Toronto, to name a few. In 2017, Ukrainian National Federation of Canada assumed the main funding role for CUPP.
The speakers at the event praised the Program for its impact upon careers of its graduates who have become Ministers and Deputy Ministers of the Ukrainian Government, members of Parliament, top lawyers, financiers and other professionals among them.
MP James Maloney (Etobicoke-Lakeshore), who has hosted a number of CUPP interns as his assistants, commended the quality of CUPP participants and their work: “This program is more important to us than to you.”
UNF’s President Renata Roman sounded hopeful of this year’s crop of interns and repeated Ukrainian Catholic Church’s Bishop Borys Gudziak’s words, “This is a new generation for the new Ukraine”.
Everyone in the audience seemed to like the lively and smart-looking group of 14 young students. “I can see the light in their eyes”, said Renata Roman.
In his speech, CUPP’s founder and only director, Ihor Bardyn, informed that the Program will celebrate its 30-year anniversary next year in Canada. Prime Minister of Canada and the President of Ukraine will be invited and big community events will be held in both Ottawa and Toronto. The Program, which has become an incubator for the Ukrainian political and professional elite, is planning to celebrate its achievements and chart the course for the future with the help from Canada’s leading Ukrainian national organization, UNF.