City council shows support for Ukrainian sister city

Mayor’s office announced $15,000 contribution toward rehabilitation centre in Lviv

Winnipeggers met Mayor Scott Gillingham’s affirmation of support for Lviv, Ukraine, with chants of “Slava Ukraini! Heroiam slava!” outside city hall last month.

On Sept. 28, the City of Winnipeg gathered to recognize the 50th anniversary of Winnipeg’s sister city relationship with Lviv.

Gillingham and Joanne Lewandoski, president of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress Manitoban Provincial Council, were present for the announcement.

In 1973, Winnipeg mayor at the time Stephen Juba signed a sister city friendship agreement between Winnipeg and Lviv with the “goal of mutual respect, understanding and co-operation,” said Gillingham.

“Winnipeg is a city with deep Ukrainian connections,” coming from both immigration and its sister city relationship with Lviv, Gillingham said.

He thanked Winnipeggers for welcoming Ukrainians who have come to the city over the past two years to live in Winnipeg permanently or to temporarily escape Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Gillingham looks forward to formally reaffirming the sentiments in November.

“Now more than ever, it is important that we show the people of Ukraine our support,” he said.

Gillingham announced that a $15,000 contribution from the mayor’s office budget will go to the UNBROKEN National Rehabilitation Centre in Lviv. The centre was an initiative that the Lviv city council chose for Winnipeg to support. UNBROKEN is a medical rehabilitation centre that provides adults and children affected by the war with physical and psychological assistance.

UNBROKEN has already treated thousands of war victims and “will no doubt treat many more,” said Lewandoski.

The first Ukrainians immigrating to Manitoba arrived in the 1890s, and they were followed by thousands more, explained Lewandoski.

Manitoba is full of people with Ukrainian heritage, she said.

With 100,000 Winnipeggers who identify as being of Ukrainian descent, there remain many connections between the two cities in terms of “family, friendship, history and culture,” said Gillingham.

Gillingham reiterated that his “support for Ukraine remains unwavering.”