City of Kelowna donates $20,000 in support of Ukraine – Okanagan

It’s usually something the federal government does: Contribute financially to an international crisis.

But the City of Kelowna takes the unusual step of donating thousands of dollars to help war-torn Ukraine.

“This is unprecedented. Foreign affairs aren’t typically something local governments deal with,” said Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran.

“That’s why we have a federal government that deals with international relations and has set up ministries to deal with things like that, while local governments don’t. That being said, we will help wherever we can.”

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This assistance will take the form of a US$15,000 contribution to on-the-ground assistance in Ukraine.

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The money comes from the Council’s emergency funds and will be donated to the Ukrainian-Canadian Congress.

“We felt compelled to do something,” Basran told Global News. “Your heart breaks when you see the images of destroyed cities and targeted attacks on civilians. It’s all awful and so we thought this was the least we could do.”

In addition to the $15,000, the city is providing an additional $5,000 to support events in Kelowna that raise funds for Ukraine.

“This is open to Ukrainian society or other groups of Ukrainian Kelownians who wish to help raise awareness and funds for the effort,” Basran said.

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Your loved ones send the crews of HMCS Halifax off and set sail for Europe

Your loved ones send the crews of HMCS Halifax off and set sail for Europe

Financial support is provided at the request of the newly formed group Kelowna stands with Ukraine establish a twinning with the city of Rivne in western Ukraine. However, the city council was not in favour.

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“The council wants to keep our support broad for what is going on because we know that the people of Ukraine who live here in Kelowna come from all parts of the country and not just one community,” Basran said .

“As a result, we felt that a town twinning is probably not the best way forward at this point.”

Denys Storozhuk is the President of Kelowna Stands With Ukraine and has proposed twinning to support Rivne.

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“Obviously I’m disappointed because I think it was a great idea,” Storozhuk said.

“We made a four-page proposal detailing how the committees will work now, during the war, and after the war because they asked for a five-year plan, and we created that.”

Despite the disappointment, Storozhuk welcomes the financial support given to his homeland.

“There are so many people of Ukrainian descent in Kelowna,” Storozhuk said. “I think that explains why some unprecedented steps have been taken during this unprecedented time.

“And in any case, we thank the city for even considering this proposal and coming back with other proposals. It’s still very good.”

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Basran said the city council was compelled to take the unprecedented step in light of the carnage being inflicted on the eastern European country.

Basran also said the city will soon assist the provincial government in finding shelter for the estimated 1,000 Ukrainian refugees who may land in BC, including Kelowna.

“We want to welcome the displaced people in Ukraine with open arms,” ​​Basran said.

The mayor said the city expects to issue an appeal to local residents who have available housing and could take in Ukrainian refugees.

“Given the housing issues we have in our community, we can’t just make an appeal without having a place for people. Therefore, we will call our residents who have housing available to see if they would be willing to provide it,” Basran said.

“We’re just making sure the infrastructure is now in place to make this happen.

“So, for example, if someone needs an apartment, where do they call to put their name on a list? How are these people verified? And then how do we make these shelters available to people who need them?”

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A Ukrainian family fleeing war in their homeland arrives in Kelowna

Ukrainian families fleeing war in their homeland arrive in Kelowna – March 15, 2022

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc. City of Kelowna donates $20,000 in support of Ukraine – Okanagan

Brian Lowry

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