POLITICS

Some quick facts about Canada's Ukrainian community

04/14/2014 03:55 EDT | Updated 06/14/2014 05:59 EDT
OTTAWA - Some facts and figures about Ukrainian Canadians:

— About 1.2 million Canadians claim Ukrainian descent.

— Ukrainians mainly came to Canada in three waves: 1891-1914, 1922-39 and 1946-61.

— The largest single influx, about 170,000 people, came in the first wave.

— Most of those first-wave immigrants came from the western parts of the country, which were then under Austrian rule.

— The Austrian connection was a problem during the First World War, when Austria was allied with Germany. About 5,000 Ukrainians were interned in Canada during the war and thousands more had to register as enemy aliens.

— Despite this, Filip Konowal, a Ukrainian immigrant, enlisted in the Canadian army during the war and in 1917 was awarded the Victoria Cross, the highest decoration for valour.

— Ukrainian immigration was initially focused on the Prairies, where the federal government was offering 65-hectare homesteads in return for a $10 registration free. Land-hungry Ukrainian farmers snapped up the homesteads.

— Today, the Ukrainian-Canadian population is distributed across the country.

— Quebec-born lawyer Eugene Czolij is in his second, five-year term as head of the Ukrainian World Congress.