February 01, 2010 12:17 ET

Government of Canada Announces Chief of Election Observer Mission to Ukraine

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Feb. 1, 2010) - The Honourable Beverley J. Oda, Minister of International Cooperation, announced today that Senator Raynell Andreychuk will be heading the independent Canadian election observer mission for the second round of Ukraine's presidential election.

"I am proud to announce that Senator Andreychuk will be leading this mission," said Minister Oda. "Her vast experience with numerous inter-parliamentary organizations - as well as her tireless efforts on behalf of the Ukrainian-Canadian community - make her an ideal candidate for the Chief of the Election Observer Mission in Ukraine. I am delighted that she has accepted this important role."

Ukrainians went to the polls on January 17th to elect a new president, triggering a final run-off vote on February 7th between the leading two contenders. The Government of Canada sponsored 66 election observers to travel to Ukraine for the first round of voting as part of a multilateral mission led by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). Canada's contribution to the OSCE mission for the first and second rounds of voting also includes four Canadian embassy staff in Kyiv - resulting in a Canadian commitment of 70 observers that will participate in both rounds.

Canada is sending an additional 200 observers as an independent Canadian observer mission for the second round of voting. The second mission is organized by CANADEM with funding from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).

Observers will monitor the electoral process to ensure compliance with OSCE commitments, international standards for democratic elections and national legislation, further to an official invitation from the Ukraine Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

"Canada has a special historical relationship with Ukraine. More than 1.2 million Canadians trace their ancestry to Ukraine, and Canada was the first Western country to recognize Ukrainian independence from the Soviet Union in 1991," said Minister Oda. "Our government has always supported democratic development in Ukraine, and will continue to do so in the future."

Ukraine is one of CIDA's countries of focus for international development assistance.


Senator A. Raynell Andreychuk

Born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Senator Andreychuk received her elementary and secondary schooling there and then entered the University of Saskatchewan receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree followed by a Bachelor of Laws degree. Thereafter, she spent some 9 years practicing law in Saskatchewan.

In 1976, she was appointed a Judge of the Saskatchewan Provincial Court, at which time she set up a family court in Regina under the jurisdiction of the Provincial Court. She went on to serve as Associate Deputy Minister of Social Services in Saskatchewan.

In 1987, she was named High Commissioner to Kenya, Uganda, and Ambassador to Somalia, and the Comores. Concurrently, she served as Canadian representative to the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and Habitat. In 1990, she was appointed Ambassador to Portugal. During the course of her diplomatic appointments, she also served as Canada's representative to the United Nations Human Rights Commission.

In 1993, Senator Andreychuk was called to the Senate of Canada, the first woman appointed from Saskatchewan. She has served on numerous committees, including, Foreign Affairs and International Trade; Aboriginal Peoples; Legal and Constitutional Affairs; Rules, Procedures and Rights of Parliament; Conflict of Interest for Senators and the Review of the Anti-terrorist Act. She was instrumental in setting up the Senate Standing Committee on Human Rights and has chaired the committee undertaking major studies on International Human Rights machinery, laws and treaties as well as the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Senator Andreychuk served as Chancellor of the University of Regina for two terms.

She has served as the International Law and Human Rights convenor for Parliamentarians for Global Action, leading a worldwide coalition of parliamentarians working for ratification and implementation of the Rome Treaty - the International Criminal Court. Parliamentarians for Global Action are also active in conflict resolution work.

Presently, Senator Andreychuk is Political Rapporteur of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly and is the representative to the NATO-Ukraine Council of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly.

She co-founded and continues to co chair the Canada Africa Parliamentary association. She has also served on the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association and is a Board Member of the Parliamentary Centre.

Senator Andreychuk has been a dedicated supporter of voluntary associations and community service. In the past, she has been President of the Y.M.C.A. of Canada, Chair of Katimavik, Chair of Canada World Youth, President of Regina Family Services Bureau to name a few.

Over the years, Senator Andreychuk has been an active member in the Ukrainian Canadian community, including membership in the Ukrainian Canadian Congress, Ukrainian Business and Professional Clubs and was the Honorary Chair of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress 75th Anniversary Commemoration of Holodomor activities in Canada. She is Honorary Patron of the Kobzar Literary Award established by the Shevchenko Foundation.

After Ukraine's independence, Senator Andreychuk was a member and Chair of the Canada-Ukraine Legislative Project. She has participated in meetings with Ukrainian politicians, government officials, judicial officers, academics and members of N.G.O.'s from Ukraine.

For her substantial contribution in the development of Ukrainian-Canadian relations, she was awarded the Order of Prince Yaroslav the Wise medal. In Canada, she received the Taras Shevchenko Medal and in Saskatchewan, the Ukrainian Nation Builders Award. Also the Ukrainian Canadian Professional & Business Association of Calgary awarded her a Special Lifetime Achievement Award.

She has also been the recipient of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth's Golden Jubilee Medal, the Queen Elizabeth II Centennial Medal, the Y.M.C.A. Fellowship of Honour, the Vanier Outstanding Canadian Award, the Regina Y.W.C.A. Women's Award.

After being the first Chair of the Saskatchewan Institute of Public Policy, she received the title of Honorary S.I.P.P. Fellow.

Senator Andreychuk received an Honorary Doctor of Laws from the University of Regina and was recognized as one of the top 100 distinguished graduates in the 100 year history of the University of Saskatchewan.

Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of International Cooperation
    Jessica Fletcher
    Press Secretary
    Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)
    Media Relations Office