Canada's Federal Minister of Labour MaryAnn Mihychuk met with Andriy Reva, Ukrainian minister of social policy, this week, where they agreed to deepen collaboration between the two countries on jobs and safety.
Minister Mihychuk also sat down with a United Nations agency, the International Labour Organization, to develop a work plan on a tripartite project for training to create safer working conditions in Ukraine's extractive sector.
The meetings took place during Mihychuk's first official mission to Ukraine, which follows the recent signing of the Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement (CUFTA) in July 2016.
Mihychuk started her mission with a visit to the Sosnivskyi Granite Quarry. Canada and Ukraine are both endowed with natural resources representing high economic potential in the extractive sector. Given Canadian industry's strong safety record and common vision for zero fatalities, the minister shared best practices.
Mihychuk then convened a roundtable on labour challenges and opportunities, hearing from academics, non-governmental organizations and regional and international organizations.
She held a working meeting with members of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress, exploring ways for ordinary Canadians back home to play a part in the economic reconstruction of Ukraine.
Mihychuk also toured the Chornobyl reactor site and observed how Canada's new $3.6 million investment in containment and safe storage of radioactive materials is helping Ukrainians deal with the ongoing consequences of the 1986 disaster, and the remarkable regeneration of the ecosystem.
To conclude her mission to Ukraine, Mihychuk met with the Ukrainian Minister of Health Ulana Suprun on advancement of occupational health and safety standards.
"As a proud Ukrainian-Canadian and as labour minister, I am very pleased to be strengthening ties with Ukraine, and helping to create better, safer jobs for Ukrainian workers, particularly in the mineral extractive sector. This mission has helped us both move forward to meet our shared labour commitments under the new Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement, our first progressive trade agreement,” said Mihychuk.
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