Alberta Politics

splitting the ukrainian-canadian vote in alberta.

Supporters of Alberta Progressive Conservative leadership candidate Gary Mar are tapping into the large group of Ukrainian-Canadians who helped Ed Stelmach win his party’s leadership in 2006. Elaine Kalynchuk, a prominent member of the Ukrainian-Canadian community in Edmonton and VP Membership of the Edmonton-Whitemud PC Association, sent this email in support of Mr. Mar over the list-serve for the Ukrainian Canadian Congress in Edmonton on Friday, September 23.

Ms. Kalynchuk’s email may be indicative of a split in support in the politically powerful Ukrainian-Canadian community. Former Deputy Premier Doug Horner has earned strong support from MLAs in rural constituencies with a high Ukrainian-Canadian population (Ray Danyluk in Lac La Biche-St. Paul, Jeff Johnson in Athabasca-Redwater, and Genia Leskiw in Bonnyville-Cold Lake) and performed strongly on the September 17 first ballot vote in these constituencies and in Premier Stelmach’s Fort Saskatchewan-Vegreville constituency. Meanwhile in Edmonton, Mr. Mar drew strong support on the first ballot vote in constituencies where Premier Stelmach drew support from Ukrainian-Canadian voters in 2006.

Here is Ms. Kalynchuk’s email to subscribers of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress email list-serve:

From: Infosource
Date: Fri, 23 Sep 2011 22:22:05 -0600
To: <11>; <14>
Subject: PC Party of Alberta Leadership Endorsement – Gary Mar


I hereby endorse Mr. Gary Mar as leadership candidate for the Progressive Conservative Party of Alberta. After putting a lot of thought into this decision and interacting with Gary on numerous occasions, it is very clear to me that he is our best candidate to lead Alberta into the future.

I was quickly impressed by the people that Gary attracted to his team – a diverse group of passionate Albertans. Gary recognizes the importance of hard work, honesty, integrity and honouring your word in all aspects of life. He is very approachable and listens to what everyone has to say. The way he deals with people demonstrates his strong leadership style. I have full confidence that Gary will continue to make excellent choices when elected PC Leader.

Gary has a tremendous wealth of experience in government, as well as the private sector. He served as Minister of Health and Wellness, Education, Environment, International and Intergovernmental Relations and Community Development. Most recently, Gary served in Washington D.C. as Alberta’s official representative to the United States.

Gary is smart, professional, well-spoken and visionary. He knows about Alberta’s most pressing issues and has the experience to initiate the change we want and deserve. Gary is the leader we need to navigate our province into a fast-changing and global future.

I truly hope you join me in taking out a PC membership and supporting Gary Mar for PC Leader on September 17, 2011. To find out how to buy a membership and vote or to volunteer, visit Gary’s website at


Elaine Kalynchuk

Former Board Member, Ukrainian Canadian Congress-Alberta Provincial Council
Former Board Member, Canada Ukraine Development Association
Team Member, Alberta Ukraine Genealogical Project
Board Member, Canadian International Council, Edmonton Branch

(Thanks to reader Jeff for passing along this email)

10 replies on “splitting the ukrainian-canadian vote in alberta.”

honesty, integrity and honouring your word in all aspects of life. She needs to go back and read her letter and maybe do a rewrite. These three elements are missing from her favoured candidate’s modus operandi.

Interesting info indeed. I for one will be supporting the candidate who has the best policy platform and who will ensure Alberta has a strong presence on the world stage. Her name is Alison Redford. And my name is Sheila Wasylyshyn. (Just sayin)

Mar is no person to lead the province onward, as he is tied to all the lame governance of the Klein years. Mind you maybe he is a good choice for PC as he can be tackled by any other party candidate as an old boy’s club member.
As for Horner, yah sure we need another hick from the boonies to be the front man in an urban and high tech world. And he sure can’t make an inspiring speech. His voice style reminds me of the flaw of Presto Manning whom they couldn’t even get a voice coach to change his off putting speech style.

How many generations is it going to take before we stop talking about/extolling the virtues of hyphenated Canadians or hyphenated Albertans. We seem headed in the opposite direction – the politics of division. Please tell me that the sell out to francophones re schools in AB has not been all about fine – if they get them then we (Ukrainians) also get them. Is this what the politically hatched concept of the Canadian Mosaic has become – blatant ethnic politics.

Redford is asking her supporters to choose Horner as the second choice. To me, she has already declared Horner is the 3rd person out. Indirectly, she is asking Horner’s supporters to choose her as a second choice in return. She shows disrespect of Horner and also to the Albertans. She wants to split the PC party. She is a “me me me” person not for the Party. I will never vote for her. She will run the PC party to ground! She will take care of Calgarians only but never rural Ablertans. We want a premier of the north, south, rual and urban. that is Gray Mar!

oscar leroy, while i appreciate your opinion, get your facts straight…Horner is from the St. ALbert Stergeon region, which is only considered “rural” in that it is not edmonton or calgary. He’s probably got more international experience than anyone on this forum and he’s a businessman as opposed to a lawyer so drop the “he’s a country bumpkin” act it’s an inappropriate reason to not vote for him. dont vote for him because maybe you dont agree with his policies or something smart like that.
As for Alison- she is by far ans away the scariest individual of the three. from her temper tantrums and her inability to respect staff and “smaller” people, her focus will most definitely be on calgary and anyone/thing that will benefit her most.

I received this letter by email and the eye-rolling shortly followed. Perhaps I’m too new to this province, but despite my involvement in the Ukrainian community in Edmonton, I have no idea who Elaine Kalynchuk is, nor do I give two figs about who she supports for PC leader. The arguments put forth in favour of Gary Mar aren’t persuasive, and any “link” to the Ukrainian community and our issues (if we actually had any) are completely absent. It’s insulting to treat “ethnic” groups like some mindless clumps who need coddling or look to their leaders for guidance on what to do. We aren’t newcomers looking for advice on how to fit in – we BUILT this country and are found at all levels of leadership.

My great-great grandparents left poverty and serfdom in Ukraine over 100 years ago to make a new home in a new country where their descendants could have a better life, get an education, be prosperous. I benefitted from their brave decision to leave all behind, and am always grateful for what I have.

And what I have is the freedom and ability to think for myself. I want good leadership and government and will make my own decision after reading the respective platforms of the candidates, listening to their debates and so forth. I supported Alison Redford because in my view she had the most clearly articulated platform and many good ideas. It is irrelevant what she can do for the “Ukrainian community” because that community is part of Alberta, and her job is to represent all Albertans.

So, sorry Elaine, your email didn’t sway me. Neither your arguments nor your so-called prominence were persuasive.

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