Members of the Kelowna council expressed messages of support for the people of Ukraine at Monday’s meeting (Mar. 7).
“We are displaying Ukraine’s flag in council chambers as our support for the people of Ukraine and for those with ties to Ukraine in our community,” said Mayor Colin Basran. “Putin’s heartless aggression has unified the democratic world against his regime and its brazen attack on human rights. I know that many people of Russian heritage locally are also appalled by Putin’s actions, and they are standing up for their friends and neighbours in Ukraine.”
Basran encouraged donations to charitable organizations supporting relief efforts in Ukraine. He also thanked the Ukrainian Cultural Society in Kelowna for allowing the community to show support for Ukrainian Canadians, in reference to the many rallies over the last few days. The invasion of Ukraine hits close to home for councillor Gail Given.
“Today, I brought with me a picture of my grandfather, just prior to immigrating to Canada from just outside Kyiv,” said Given. “It’s a reminder to me of what truly losing your freedoms looks like. Attending the rally was really hard for me, I actually had a hard time walking up there because it’s very emotional.”
Councillor Loyal Wooldridge also attended yesterday’s rally in support of Ukraine.
“What really struck me in attending the rally was the strength of the Ukrainian people regardless of being in their country or being here and also the supporters that are both in our community and abroad coming together to support such a terrible time to overcome this tragedy.”
Other councillors spoke in support of Ukrainian and Russian Canadians living in Kelowna.
“We have a number of residents in our community who are Russian and are no more happy with Putin than anyone else,” said councillor Charlie Hodge. “I had one person reach out to me who said she’d been accosted by someone at a grocery store because of that. “I think we have to make sure we’re wise enough to separate what’s going on.”