Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko was to arrive in Canada at 7 a.m. this morning greeted by Treasury Board President Vic Toews in the traditional Ukrainian way -- with bread and salt, according to The Ottawa Citizen. And by 11 a.m., he will address a joint session of Parliament, where bread will come up again when he speaks about his country, known as the breadbasket of Europe.
Addressing a joint session is a distinction that`s recently been reserved for such important players as U.S. President George W. Bush and Afghan President Hamid Karzai.
"It`s a very high honour for our president," said Ukrainian Ambassador Ihor Ostash, who noted that this is the first time in 14 years that a Ukrainian president has visited.
During his address, Mr. Yushchenko will bring up the issue of the 1932-33 Ukrainian famine, known as the Holodomor, and ask Canada to recognize the Soviet action as a genocide.
Later today, the Ukrainian president will be front and centre at a Parliament Hill commemoration ceremony, organized by the Ukrainian Canadian Congress and the embassy, to mark the 75th anniversary of the famine.
The government will be represented by Jason Kenney, secretary of state for multiculturalism.