Friday, January 30, 2015

IFAK Patriot Defence: Saving Lives with Equipment and Education

The Ukrainian Credit Union is very proud to support Patriot Defence ( - an organization of the Ukrainian World Congress dedicated to educating and providing Ukrainian soldiers with the tactical knowledge and tools needed to perform simple, yet so-often critical first-aid procedures while in the field. Research shows that three injuries; severe bleeds, collapsed lungs, and blocked airways account for the majority of deaths in the battlefield. By putting the right tools in the right hands at the right time, Patriot Defence's initiatives have already helped dozens of our heroes find their way home to definitive care.

Patriot Defence provides IFAKs (Improved First Aid Kits) to soldiers and volunteers who have completed training courses much like the one in this video. These courses are the tactical combat casual care (TCCC) standard courses taught in all NATO countries, and will greatly improve the ability of Ukraine's soldiers and volunteers to save lives in the field.

Crisis in Ukraine - Savchenko, Crimean Tatar victims of Russian repression

Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing
30 January 2015, 8 PM Kyiv time

1. Russian Invasion of Ukraine
The National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine (RNBO) reported at 12:30 PM Kyiv time that Kremlin-backed and led terrorists have deployed significant forces towards Debaltsevo and Vuhlehirsk, Donetsk oblast. Kremlin-backed terrorists continue to shell Ukrainian positions with artillery, mortars, grenade launchers, tanks and Grads (truck-mounted multiple rocket launchers). The RNBO reported that in the last 24 hours, 5 Ukrainian soldiers were killed and 23 Ukrainian soldiers were wounded. The RNBO reported that Debaltsevo remains under control of Ukrainian forces, but is regularly being shelled by Kremlin-backed terrorists. The heaviest fighting is near Vuhlehirsk, where Kremlin-backed terrorists carried out intense artillery and mortar shelling and have attacked Ukrainian positions. At 6 PM Kyiv time, the press-center of the anti-terrorism operation (ATO) reported that there is intense fighting in Vuhlehirsk, and that Kremlin-backed terrorists control only parts of the city. The press-center of the ATO reported that throughout the day Ukrainian forces killed 30 Kremlin-backed terrorists; 69 Kremlin-backed terrorists have been wounded. The RNBO reported at 3:40 PM that Kremlin-backed terrorists fired shells into Donetsk city. At least 7 civilians have been killed. “In this way, representatives of terrorist gangs are trying to derail peace talks, which are being planned in the format of the Trilateral Contact Group.”

2. NATO Secretary General Annual Report: 2014 was a black year for European security
NATO Secretary General J. Stoltenberg issued his Annual Report 2014. He stated, “2014 was a black year for European security. […] Our security environment has changed fundamentally. To the South, violent extremism is at our borders, spreading turmoil across Iraq and Syria and bringing terror to our streets. To the East, Russia has used military force to annex Crimea, destabilise eastern Ukraine, and intimidate its neighbours. These threats challenge the international order we have built since the fall of the Berlin Wall – an order that embodies our democratic values and is vital for our way of life. […]In 2014, Russia and Russian-backed separatists began a campaign of violence aimed at destabilising Ukraine as a sovereign state. Russia's aggressive actions disregard international law and violate security arrangements and commitments that Russia has made, including the Helsinki Final Act. Russia's recent actions have fundamentally challenged the vision of a Europe whole, free and at peace and are a threat to security and stability in Europe and beyond.” The full report is available at

3. New charge filed against Nadiya Savchenko

RRSP Loans - what are they?

Svitlana Mazepa
UCU Branch Manager, Etobicoke.

For those who want to invest in a retirement plan to reduce taxable income but do not have the money, they can do so by getting a loan to invest in a RRSP.

RRSP loans work well for people who are unable or not disciplined enough to save regularly, but would like to continue to build their retirement plans and save on taxes. If you have accumulated a large room of unused contributions to your retirement plan, an RRSP loan will let you catch up and take advantage of the tax benefits.

The interest rate on RRSP loans is very attractive and is lower than for conventional loans, as financial institutions compete for RRSP investment deposits. Ukrainian Credit Union Limited’s interest rate on RRSP loans is tied to the value of the prime rate (P%). For more information on this, you can always visit our website

RRSP loans are open and you are allowed to redeem them at any time. The loan is paid back in regular monthly installments and is expected to be paid back within one year as borrowers usually invest at the end of each tax year. Loans in larger amounts are also possible, as well as loans for longer periods; 2, 3 or 4 years. There is one thing to keep in mind - be realistic about your budget because the loans will eventually need to be repaid. Basically, anyone can become a candidate for an RRSP loan, as long as you prove your ability to repay the loan.

Debt Consolidation Loans

Marika Binzarowski,
UCU Associate Manager, Mississauga
Having difficulty paying off your credit cards, lines of credit or other debts? Are you using funds you saved for holidays, family events or evenings out to pay off your debts? If your answer is yes to at least one of those questions, perhaps, it is time to think and talk with a credit expert about consolidating your debts into one, easier to manage, and less expensive consolidation loan.

Debt consolidation is the process of consolidating all debts into a single loan that requires only one monthly payment, which includes payment of both the principal of the loan and the interest. If you visit your credit specialist (typically a lender at your financial institution) they will review your financial situation. Emphasis will be made on your income, your expenses and, if possible, your entire budget. This is necessary in order to determine the most optimal amount which you will be able to pay monthly to pay down your loan as quickly as possible with the smallest amount of interest.

Нині Вечір: 100-ліття Січових Стрільців

Фінансовий коментар: Чи Захід дав Росії реченець схаменутися?

Захід дав Росії 2 тижні, щоби схаменутися?

Рішення Парламентської асамблеї Ради Європи (ПАРЄ) про позбавлення Росії права брати участь у голосуваннях до квітня 2015 року і рішення Раді Європи про продовження санкцій відносно Росії до вересня 2015 були прийняті 28 і 29 січня відповідно. Ці рішення можна розглядати як перші офіційні докази нової важкої хвилі західних санкцій проти Росії. Здається, що бомбардування Маріуполя 24 січня, в результаті яякого 30 мирних жителів загинули і більше 110 отримали поранення, було червоною лінією, яку Росія переступила, ймовірно, в спробі залякати Україну і Захід. Як виглядає, ефект від таких дій є протилежним.

До Маріуполя, згідно різних повідомлень, деякі держави-члени ЄС хотіли полегшити санкції проти Росії. Тепер санкції продовжені і нові особи та організації будуть включені в санкційний список протягом тижня. Важливо відзначити, що в оголошенні про своє рішення ПАРЄ засудив "... приховані військові дії російських військ у східній України", що, здається, було першим офіційним визнанням російської агресії в Україні з боку ЄС. Подібна заява мала би змінити логіку європейського підходу до кризи. Це вже не якась підтримка якихось повстанців. Це - визнання війни, яку одна країна веде проти іншої в безпосередній близькості від кордону ЄС.

На цьому тлі, нинішні чутки, що Росія отримала два тижні від Заходу, щоб закінчити агресію або бути зруйнованою економічно, здається, заслуговують на довіру. Російські фінансові ринки, схоже, готуються до такого роду сценарію. Російський рубль поставив новий історичний мінімум щодо долара США 29 січня на рівні 69.39 рублів за 1 долар. Російський фондовий індекс RTSI впав на 2.34% в той же день. Хоча нове падіння цін на нафту, а барель Brent 29-го січня знову впав нижче $49.0, також може бути фактором падіння російських ринків.

Багато спостерігачів кажуть про потенційне рішення Ради ЄС, яке начебто планується прийняти 12 лютого, про відімкнення Росії від глобальної міжбанківської платіжної системи SWIFT. Найближче майбутнє покаже, чи це правда, і якщо так, чи цей варіант лише виконує роль "великої палиці", щоб налякати Росію, чи він розглядається всерйоз. Таке рішення зруйнує російську економіку, але також нашкодить і світовій економіці. Тим не менш, Захід цілком може серйозно планувати таке: там, здається, зрозуміли, що за відсутності воєнної допомоги Україні, треба прискорити економічну війну з Росією, щоб не дістати тотальну війну в Європі. Останні оголошення США та ЄС про додаткові кредити Україні на більше ніж $4 млрд цілком вписуються у цю картину.

Українська Кредитова Спілка Лимитед

Financial Comment: Has Russia crossed a red line?

Has Russia been given 2 weeks to wake up? 

The decision by The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) to strip Russia of the right to vote until April 2015, and the decision to extend the sanctions against Russia by the European Council until September 2015 were taken on January 28 and 29. These decisions can be considered as first official proofs of the much talked-about new, and heavy, wave of Western sanctions against Russia. It seems as if the bombing of Mariupil on January 24, which left 30 civilians dead and more than 110 civilians wounded, was the red line which Russia crossed, probably in an attempt to scare Ukraine and the West. So far, it seems, the effect has been the opposite.

Prior to Mariupil, there had reportedly been the struggle among the EU member states to ease the sanctions. Now, the sanctions are extended and new persons and organizations will be included in the sanction list within a week. Importantly, in announcing its decision, PACE condemned “…covert military action by Russian troops inside eastern Ukraine”, which seems to have been the first official recognition of the Russian aggression in Ukraine by the EU. This kind of statement is supposed to change the logics of the European approach to the crisis. This is not some support of some insurgents anymore. This is a recognition of the war which one nation is waging on the other, which is happening in direct proximity to the EU border.

On this background, the current rumours that Russia has been given two weeks by the West to end the aggression or face economic destruction, seem credible. The Russian financial markets seem to be preparing for this kind of scenario. Russian ruble posted its historic low against the US dollar on January 29, at 69.39 for 1 dollar. The Russian RTSI stock index dropped 2.34% on the same day. Although the renewed weakness in the oil price, with a barrel of Brent again below US$49.0 on January 29, could also be the contributor.

Many observers are talking about a potential decision by the EU Council planned to be taken on February 12 to cut Russia off the global interbank payment system SWIFT. The near future will show whether this is true and, if so, whether this option is only playing the role of a “big stick” to scare Russia, or it is being considered seriously. This kind of decision would disrupt the Russian economy and also damage the global economy too. However, the West may well be serious about it: the Western world seems to realize that, in the absence of military actions to help Ukraine, it needs to speed up the economic war with Russia if it doesn’t want an all-out war in Europe. The recent announcements by the U.S. and the EU about decisions to provide Ukraine with more than $4 billion in additional loans fit this puzzle.

By: Ukrainian Credit Union Limited

RRSP кредит – що це?

Svitlana Mazepa, 
Branch Manager, Etobicoke
RRSP кредит – що це? Для осіб, які хочуть здійснити інвестування у пенсійний план з метою скорочення оподаткованого доходу, але не мають грошей, це можливо зробити, отримавши кредит для інвестування у RRSP. Це був би - RRSP кредит.

Позичка, з метою інвестування в RRSP, добре працює для людей, які не мають змоги чи дисципліни, щоб заощадити регулярно, але хотіли би продовжити будувати свої пенсійні плани та заощадити на податках. Якщо у вас зберігається великий простір не використаного внеску у ваш пенсійний план, прийняття RRSP кредиту дозволяє наздогнати і поповнити ваш внесок та скористатися всіма перевагами податкових пільг.

Процентна ставка на RRSP кредит є дуже приваблива і нижча, ніж на звичайні кредити, так як фінансові установи конкурують за депозити RRSP інвестицій. Українська Кредитна Спілка пропонує процентну ставку на RRSP кредити від вартості прайм-рейт (P%). Інформацію про це ви завжди можете знайти на нашому сайті

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Counting Sheep: A Dinner-Theatre Revolution!

A shot of the action from the Opening Night of Counting Sheep.
Photo by Marichka Melnyk.
For months, a few friends of mine have been buzzing about, posting mysterious photos of chopped herbs and police shields, secretively plotting and assembling what has emerged to be an entirely fresh and enthralling entertainment experience, and a ticket hotter than a bowl of borshch. Тhis interactive dinner production is not only musically and visually fantastic, but for those of us with a connection to the current situation in Ukraine, deeply poignant and emotionally informative in its representation of the 2014 Maidan revolution.

Counting Sheep, directed and written by Mark Marczyk and Marichka Kudriavtseva is brought to life by their network of incredibly talented friends in Kosa Kolektiv and Lemon Bucket Orkestra. The multi-media dinner-theatre format stimulates the senses as the minimal narrative allows your emotions to guide you on a journey through the Maidan and the shock, pain, anger, resistance, hope and complex emotion that has begun to forge a new identity for the Ukrainian nation. With the audience placed in the middle of the room, one is engulfed in the action and is invited to participate and interact with the cast.

A snapshot of the traditional Ukrainian
Christmas Dinner "Свят Вечір"
meal the play centres around.
Photo by Marichka Melnyk.

For those peering in from outside the Ukrainian community's understanding of the situation, some reviews claim the story flew over their heads. But for those of us who spent the better part of last winter glued to our screens, watching live feeds of the Maidan and relentlessly sharing and posting news and developments, Counting Sheep has managed to capture those feelings and bring them all together in one evening of performance that lets us relive, and remember, what it is that millions of Ukrainians took to the streets for.

Marichka Melnyk, journalist for CBC Radio, and lucky opening night attendee described, 

"You see it all over again, those images that some of us got to know so well last February but you become it too -- you feel, viscerally, what it was like to ride that life or death rollercoaster of events and emotions. And again, there is little talking -- just shouting, chatter and song. But you get it. And more importantly, you feel it."

Thursday, January 22, 2015

UCC Statement on Day of Unity of Ukraine

22 January 2015 - Ottawa - The Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC) issued the following statement on the anniversary of the Day of Unity (День Соборності) of Ukraine:

"The Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC) greets Ukrainians the world over on this anniversary of the Day of Unity of Ukraine. On 22 January 1919, Ukrainian lands were united into a single independent state.

This anniversary reminds us all of how arduous and difficult the road to Ukraine's independence and statehood was, and of the terrible price the people of Ukraine had to pay to ultimately secure their independence. Today we remember and honour those who, throughout the centuries, have made the highest sacrifice so that the people of Ukraine may live in freedom.

This year's anniversary of the Day of Unity of Ukraine has taken on even greater significance. Russia once again, as it has so many times throughout history, wages war against the rights of the people of Ukraine to self-determination and freedom. The people of Ukraine are united today as never before in defence of these unalienable rights. It is because of this unity, and with God's help, that the people of Ukraine will prevail.

Today, as we honour those who gave their lives for Ukraine's freedom, we pause to honour and remember those who today must again take up arms to defend Ukraine. On behalf of the Ukrainian Canadian community, we say to our brothers and sisters in Ukraine - we are with you and we will do all in our power to ensure that your liberty is protected.

Glory to Ukraine! Glory to Her Heroes!"

CALL TO ACTION! - Support the international campaign #FreeSavchenko - Monday, January 26 is the international day of support for Ukrainian pilot and MP Nadiya Savchenko, who continues a hunger strike in protest of her illegal detention by the Russian Federation. Please participate in public demonstrations organized in your community.

RESP чи RRSP? Heпростий вибір.

Tetiana Basmat, CFP
Financial Services Associate, UCU
Ви плануєте відкри­ти RESP (зареє­стрований освітній накопичувальний план) для ваших дітей і водночас хотіли би зро­бити внесок у власний RRSP (зареєстрований пенсійний накопичуваль­ний план). Це — непросте рішення, особливо якщо ви не зможете собі дозволити максимaлізувати переваги обох програм. Що краще вибрати?

Ви повинні розгляну­ти можливість внеску до RRSP, якщо серйозно за­думуєтеся над фінансовим боком вашої старості; a фінансування з RRSP ку­півлі власного житла або власної освіти входить до ваших планів, та, крім того, неоподаткування доходу від інвестицій у рамках RRSP є для вас привабливим. І найголо­вніше — якщо ви внесете кошти в RRSP, то зможете відрахувати цей внесок від вашого оподаткованого доходу й заплатите менше податку. У стратеґії пен­сійного планування також варто використати TFSA (звільнений від податку ощадний рахунок), який дасть вам змогу відклика­ти кошти абсолютно без податку, а також є універ­сальним засобом спадко­вого планування.

Та поговорімо про RESP. Хоча відрахування до RESP не виключається зі суми оподаткованого доходу, але під згадану вище освіт­ню програму канадська держава додає до RESP суму, що дорівнює 20 % на ваші внески, що квалі­фікуються державою, до $500 щорічно на кожну дитину або $1,000, якщо є невикористаний room із попереднього року, і до $7,200 максимально за весь час вашого інвесту­вання. Також ви можете отримати ще додатково 10 або 20 % від держави на перші $500 внесків, якщо ваша сім’я має скромний дохід. Сума сімейного до­ходу, що кваліфікується на додатковий державний «подарунок», перерахову­ється щороку й ґрунтуєть­ся, у першу чергу, на рівні інфляції. Для дітей із сімей зі скромним доходом, що народилися 1 січня 2004 року й пізніше, держава, стимулюючи ранні внески до RESP, додає до RESP ще $500 у вигляді освітнього бонду одноразово. У подальшому держава добавлятиме по $100 щорічно до 15 років за ті роки, коли сім’я буде продовжувати кваліфікуватися до цієї категорії за доходом. Mаксимально ця сума складає до $2,000.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Crisis in Ukraine - UCC Briefing - 9,000+ Russian troops in Ukraine, 50,000 on border

Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing
21 January 2015, 7 PM Kyiv time

1. Russian Invasion of Ukraine
The National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine (RNBO) reported at 12:30 PM Kyiv time that Kremlin-backed terrorists continued to shell Ukrainian positions and continued attempts to expand the area under their control. Kremlin-backed terrorists fired on Ukrainian positions towards Luhansk, Debaltsevo, and Donetsk with artillery, mortars, grenade launchers, tanks and Grads (truck-mounted multiple rocket launchers). Battles at the Donetsk airport continued; Ukrainian forces there were reinforced with reserves and ammunition. The RNBO reported that in the last 24 hours, one Ukrainian soldier was killed and 40 Ukrainian soldiers were wounded. The RNBO reported that advances by Kremlin-backed terrorists and Russian forces in the area of checkpoints 29 and 31, (near the Bakhmutska highway, which were attacked yesterday by regular units of the armed forces of the Russian Federation) have been stopped. The Ministry of Defense reported at 3 PM Kyiv time that Ukrainian forces west of Horlivka, Donetsk oblast repelled an attack by Kremlin-backed terrorists, destroying their armored vehicles.

2. MFA of Ukraine: more than 50,000 Russian troops amassed on Ukraine-Russia border
Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that “The Russian Federation has concentrated along the Ukrainian-Russian border over 50,000 Russian troops, who are in full battle readiness, and deployed close to the Ukrainian border weapons and military equipment, which earlier were not deployed in border areas of the Russian Federation.”

3. Ukrainian President: More than 9000 Russian troops on Ukrainian territory


A rally in support of Nadia Savchenko will take place on MONDAY, JANUARY 26TH, 2015 at 6:30PM in front of the Russian Consulate at 175 Bloor St. E.

The first female military pilot in Ukraine, Nadiya Savchenko (34yrs), was illegally captured on Ukrainian soil in June 2014 by Russian-backed rebels and handed over to Russian forces, who deported her against her will to Russia, where she is jailed.  A Ukrainian MP and a delegate to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), [she] has been on a hunger strike since Dec 13, 2014.  She was recently moved into solitary confinement and is not being passed letters.

Through my protest – my hunger – I wish to achieve common sense from the Russian authorities and an awakening of conscience from the Russian Investigative Committee. There is irrefutable evidence of my lack of involvement and innocence of the crimes they accuse me of.” – Nadiya Savchenko, Jan 12, 2015, an open letter.

Support rallies are scheduled to be held across the world on January 26 to coincide with the opening of the next PACE session, which Savchenko has been formally invited to attend.


Hashtag  #FreeSavchenko on Twitter

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Some very sad news to share

With heavy hearts we share the sad news that Olya Melnyk, our beloved Call Centre Telephone Services Officer and long-time employee, lost her brief but strongly-fought battle with cancer on the morning of Tuesday, January 20, 2015. We extend our sincere condolences to her sons Mathew and Luke, parents Serafima & Alexander Litwinchuk, her brother UCU COO Roman Litwinchuk, sister Irene, and Olya's extended family.

A book of condolences is available for members at our Bloor and Armadale Branch.

Information about funeral arrangements can be found here: Turner & Porter-Neweduk Erin Mills Chapel

May Olya rest in peace.  Вічна Їй Пам'ять!

Taras Pidzamecky
Chief Executive Officer & General Counsel
Ukrainian Credit Union Limited

Friday, January 16, 2015

UCU Helps Ukraine: Ruslan Filipsonov and info on our new initiative

Ruslan Filipsonov, 24 year old severely injured by
explosives while rescuing his injured friends near Luhansk.
The Ukrainian Credit Union Limited is proud to announce "UCU Helps Ukraine" - a powerful and effective campaign initiated by our very own Kateryna Litvinjuk and her network of friends working at the Lviv Military Hospital. 

Every few weeks, we will focus our efforts and collect money to assist in the rehabilitation of a soldier (and his family) who has been seriously injured in the current Ukrainian conflict. 

This month, we are collecting to help support Ruslan Filipsonov, a 24 year-old Ukrainian solider who has survived tremendous skeletal and soft tissue damage in a series of horrendous explosions and shelling attacks at the end of August in Hryhorijivka near Luhansk. Everyday, he displays the same bravery he exhibited when he dragged six of his fellow soldiers to safety in the middle of an intense shelling by tanks. In shielding the body of a seventh friend with his own, he sustained his most severe internal injuries, and has since undergone 36 surgeries to carefully reconstruct what is left of his lower torso and body. 

Ruslan holds onto the hope that one day he will be able to stand on his two feet again, and resume his role as the rock in his family. He stays positive and often laughs with his friends on Skype. He is kept company by his mom, sister, and her two children, whom he supported prior to going to fight, and wants nothing more than to one day return home to them, and is regularly visited by volunteers.

How UCU Helps Ukraine began
Ruslan with volunteer Yuri Lipar at the Lviv Military Hospital.
When Kateryna's good friend Anna, who works at the Lviv Military Hospital told her of the stories some of these soldiers were bringing back, Kateryna could not sit still. What started as a collection among a group of friends has become a tight network of volunteers dedicated to delivering the required support to severely injured soldiers who may be in need of complex prosthetics, surgeries, therapy and assistance beyond what the Lviv hospital can provide.

After vetting contacts and ensuring that monies sent from Canada were being spent on what they were intended for, the Ukrainian Credit Union officially supports Kateryna's initiative and has opened an account (UCU#721225) for additional donations.

Starting with this post, will begin featuring stories of the brave soldiers this initiative has already helped, as well as those we are currently collecting for - every dollar, donation, and good wish truly makes a difference.

Lots of photos of the injured soldiers we are helping can be found on our Facebook page in the album UCU Helps Ukraine.

Read the stories of some of our other heroes:

Visit your branch or contact the call centre at 1.800.461.0777 to make a donation.

Questions and inquiries about this initative can be directed to the UCU Helps Ukraine committee, Kateryna Litvinjuk (, Michael Zienchuk (, and Roman Mlynko (

Що таке ТFSA (Tax-Free Savings Account)? Як ним зкористатися?

Тетяна Басмат, CFP
Financial Services Associate, UCU
ТFSA (Tax-Free Savings Account) є найновішим і найгнучкішим реєcтрованим інвестиційним інструментом на фінансовому ринку, який з’явився 2009 року в додаток до таких назагал відомих реєстрованих продуктів, як RRSP i RRIF.

Попри всю нескладність цього фінансового продукту, наш досвід показує, що ТFSA поки що викликає найбільше за-питань щодо його особливостей, способів інвестування, можливостей відкликання коштів, а також викоpистання ТFSA як інструменту спадковового планування.

Хто може відкрити ТFSA?
Будь-яка особа, яка не виступає довірчою (trust) і досягла віку 18 років і старше, а також має дійсний SIN, може відкрити ТFSA. Власником TFSA є особа, що зробила внесок y ТFSA; і на її ім’я реєструється рахунок з СRA (Податковою аґенцією Канади). Ви можете дати кошти вашомy подружжю на відкриття ТFSA; і при цьому ні сума, яку ви дали, ні дохід від інвестицій не будуть віднесені до вас із метою оподаткування (tax attribution).


Roman Mlynko, CIM, CFP
Consultant, UCU Wealth Strategies Group

You probably already use RRSPs as a way to save for the future. But ever since the federal government introduced Tax Free Savings Accounts (TFSA) in 2009, you have another option. This type of investment account can serve as a supplement to your RRSP, but how do you decide which plan is best for you?

First the great news: Your lifetime contribution limit to a TFSA rose to $36,500 as of January 1, 2015! What follows in this article is a list of information that might help you decide which is best for you, RRSP, TFSA (or maybe a mix of both).

If you wish to access your money frequently and conveniently – use the TFSA. You can remove your savings from a TFSA tax-free at any time, and then you can put it right back at a future time. As for RRSP, it is more useful as a long-term investment tool. 

If your annual income is low, then the TFSA can be a better alternative because the tax-free withdrawal feature and flexibility with which you can sue the TFSA can outweigh the benefits of the small tax deduction you get for making an RRSP contribution.


Lt. Nadiya Savchenko, a Ukrainian pilot and politician
 illegally imprisoned in Russia since mid-June 2014.

Ottawa - 14 January, 2015 - The Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC) 
supports the call by the Ukrainian World Congress for the immediate 
release of Ukrainian pilot, Member of Ukrainian Parliament and delegate to the
 Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), Lt. Nadiya Savchenko.

Savchenko was taken hostage by Kremlin-backed terrorists in eastern Ukraine in 
mid-June 2014 and forcibly taken to Russia, where she continues to be illegally
 jailed. "The continued imprisonment and prosecution of Nadiya Savchenko 
by Russian authorities underlines the complete disregard for international law, 
treaties and human rights of the Putin regime," stated Paul Grod, President of 
the Ukrainian Canadian Congress. "Nadiya Savchenko is a political prisoner 
and a victim of Russia's war against Ukraine. She must be immediately released."

On 13 December, Savchenko began a hunger strike to protest her illegal 
imprisonment. On 12 January, 2015, she stated in a letter that her spirit will 
not be broken and that she will not end her hunger strike "Until the day I return 
to Ukraine or until the last day of my life in Russia." 

The UCC calls on the Government of Canada and the international community 
to use their influence to ensure the immediate, safe return of Savchenko to 
Ukraine, as well as other citizens of Ukraine being held illegally by the 
Russian Federation.


The Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group (KHPG) has initiated a petition 
asking PACE President Anne Brasseur to urge Russia to release Savchenko.

The UCC urges those concerned with her fate to sign the petition which 

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Apply for a UCU Scholarship!

Don't miss your chance, the deadline is March 15, 2015.

It's back to that time of year that UCU awards a number of scholarships to deserving students. We have several different scholarships available (more details here) ranging from $1,000 to $2,500.

Below are descriptions of the scholarships that are currently available for qualifying students:

Details on what you need to qualify for each of these are available on our website on the Scholarships page.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Crisis in Ukraine - UCC Briefing - Yanuk now on Interpol want list

Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing
12 January 2015, 11 PM Kyiv time

1. Russian Invasion of Ukraine
The National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine (RNBO) reported at 12:30 PM Kyiv time that the situation in the anti-terrorist operation (ATO) zone has worsened. In addition to small arms, Kremlin-backed terrorists fired on Ukrainian positions with tanks, mortars and Grads (truck-mounted multiple rocket launchers). Kremlin-backed terrorists attacked Ukrainian positions at the Donetsk airport; the attack was repelled. The RNBO reported that in the last 24 hours, no Ukrainian soldiers were killed and 2 Ukrainian soldiers were wounded. The Ministry of Defense of Ukraine reported that throughout the day Kremlin-backed terrorists fired on Ukrainian positions 58 times.

2. Merkel to Putin: No summit unless there is real progress
Reuters reported that German Chancellor A. Merkel told Russian President V. Putin in a phone call on 10 January that talks (Ukraine, Germany, France, Russia) to discuss the situation in Ukraine “would not take place until there was real progress on the Minsk peace plan.” The foreign ministers of Ukraine, Germany, France and Russia are meeting in Berlin today.

3. Interpol: Yanukovych, Azarov placed on wanted list

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Crisis in Ukraine - UCC Briefing - Soros calls for Ukraine rescue policy

Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing
8 January 2015, 4 PM Kyiv time

1. Russian Invasion of Ukraine
The National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine (RNBO) reported at 12:30 PM Kyiv time that Kremlin-backed terrorists continued to fire on Ukrainian position positions. In addition to small arms fire, Kremlin-backed terrorists shelled Ukrainian positions with Grads (truck-mounted multiple rocket launchers) and 9P140 "Hurricane" multiple launch rocket systems. Near Krymske, Kremlin-backed terrorists attacked a Ukrainian National Guard checkpoint. The attack was repelled. The Ministry of Defense reported at 9:00 AM Kyiv time that throughout last night Kremlin-backed terrorists fired on Ukrainian positions 8 times. The RNBO reported that according to operational information, the deployment of Russian army troops and Russian military equipment to Ukraine continued. The RNBO reported that in the last 24 hours, no Ukrainian soldiers were killed. 2 Ukrainian soldiers were wounded. On 7 January, the RNBO reported that 3 Ukrainian soldiers were killed.

2. RNBO: 11th so-called "humanitarian" convoy illegally enters Ukraine from Russia
The RNBO reported that another so-called "humanitarian" convoy illegally entered Ukrainian territory from Russia this morning. 124 trucks were in the convoy. The RNBO stated that Ukrainian border guards were able only to "visually observe" the crossing of the convoy and could not carry out controlling functions.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Which Canadian financial institution has the 2nd largest ATM network?

Yuriy Diakunchak
Director of Marketing

UPDATE: as of 2016 We now have over 3,300 ATMs across our network!

If you guessed Ukrainian Credit Union Limited, then pat yourself on the back. It’s true. Ukrainian Credit Union Limited, along with most of Canada’s credit unions, work together to share resources such as ATMs in order to provide our members the best possible level of service and convenience.

Currently, if you are a member of Ukrainian Credit Union Limited, or any other credit union, you can use your debit card at more than 2,500 ATMs across Canada without paying surcharges! All you have to do is look for the THE EXCHANGE® Network logo (shown below).

It’s simply a Canadian network of ATMs that provide surcharge-free deposits, withdrawals, PIN changes and more. The best part is that if your credit union is a member of THE EXCHANGE you will never pay any additional surcharge fees when you use an EXCHANGE ATM – anytime, anywhere! THE EXCHANGE® is a network of banks and credit unions that have come together and agreed to never charge each other’s cardholders any surcharge fees—at thousands of ATMs across Canada. As a proprietary ATM network, THE EXCHANGE® Network offers the only inter-institutional, full-function ATM network in Canada.

How can I find the nearest ATM that is part of the THE EXCHANGE Network? 
You can locate THE EXCHANGE network ATMs by visiting or by downloading the free ATM locator App for your Smartphone or GPS device.

Can I use my debit card surcharge-free in the US?

Computers for Ukraine! Please inquire at work and inspire Ukrainian orphans toward a career in IT!

Upgrаdes at the office!? Euromaidan-Canada-Toronto committee is collecting "old" workplace computers that will be cleaned, sent, and installed in orphanages in Ukraine, giving these children the opportunity to gain computer skills. It is no secret that Ukraine is Europe's most quickly emerging IT hub, and planting a seed that may grow into an in-demand career may be one of the most wonderful things we can do for these kids.

Details on the initiative follow: