In a show of support and solidarity for Ukraine, Redwater raised the Ukrainian flag Friday afternoon at the Redwater Information Centre, located on Highway 38 in the middle of town. The Town of Redwater is also lighting Pembina Place, the Town Office and updating social media accounts in support of Ukraine and residents affected by the ongoing conflict.
Mayor David McRae, Councillors Cosby, Melnick, Olsen and Spicer as well as Town staff who wished to show support attended the raising, which was live-streamed.
During the ceremony, McRae spoke about Ukraine being a sovereign nation invaded by Russia just over two weeks ago.
“Military and civilian resources have dug in to protect their homeland, and political powers around the world have coordinated financial and social sanctions against Russian political leaders and Russian Nationals,” McRae said. “Multi-National corporations have ceased operations in the Russian nation. Millions of Ukrainian citizens are fleeing to safety from their war-torn home. Hundreds upon hundreds have or will die in this unnecessary conflict that Mr. Putin refuses to end through unilateral ceasefire and withdrawal of troops.”
The mayor called on everyone who could donate to do so to authentic support agencies and groups.
“Today our hearts are with the millions directly affected by this atrocity which is a crime against an ethnic group. We stand in unison with the many Ukrainian peoples who have made and continue to make Redwater their home for so many years.”
Council discussed options to show support for Ukraine at the March 1 Regular Council Meeting. At that meeting, Councillor Connie Butcher noted Redwater’s strong Ukrainian culture, noting roughly nine per cent (369,090) of Alberta’s population is of Ukrainian descent with Redwater seeing this number jump roughly to 15%.
For those wishing to make donations, Redwater is stressing the importance of ensuring the authenticity of organizations and fundraisers, noting verified organizations accepting donations to provide relief to Ukraine include the Red Cross (with the Federal Government matching donations up to $30M), The Friends of Ukraine Defense Forces Fund or the Canada-Ukraine Foundation.