Ukrainian flag goes up at Sask. legislature

Saskatchewan has raised the Ukrainian flag in response to recent events, but has taken the gay pride flag down in order to do so.
Ukraine's flag was raised on the guest pole at the Saskatchewan legislature. (CBC)

Saskatchewan has raised the Ukrainian flag in response to recent events, but has taken the gay pride flag down in order to do so.

The rainbow flag was raised at the Legislative Building's guest flagpole Feb. 9 to show solidarity with gay people in Russia during the Sochi Olympics.

Human rights activists have been critical of laws recently passed in Russia that have been called anti-gay.

Meanwhile, in Ukraine, the world's attention has been seized in recent days by violent clashes between protesters and government forces

On Thursday, provincial officials said the government wants to show support for the Ukrainian people by raising the flag of that country on a guest pole.

There's only a single guest pole next to the Legislative Building, so the pride flag had to come down, the official said.

According to the province, about 13 per cent of people in Saskatchewan have roots in Ukraine.

Orest Gawdyda, president of the Regina Branch of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress, was on hand for the raising of Ukraine's flag Thursday.

"Canada has the most Ukrainians per country outside of Ukraine," Gawdyda said. "A lot of the other countries are looking at what Canada is going to be doing for the next step. That's why it's so important for us here in Canada and especially here in Saskatchewan to have that move forward."

On Wednesday, Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall added his voice to those expressing outrage at the violence taking place in Ukraine.

"I am troubled and appalled by the violent and brutal acts the world has witnessed in recent days in Ukraine," Wall said in a statement. "My condolences go out to families of those who were killed; and my thoughts and prayers are with those who have been injured as a result of these violent acts."


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