Friday, February 27, 2015

Warriors' Music: Incredible works performed by Ukrainian soldiers and friends

'Музика Воїнів' (Warriors' Music) is a new art initiative budding in Ukraine, in which soldiers and their friends perform classic pieces of Ukrainian (and other) origin with the goal of bringing beauty and joy to their brothers facing difficult circumstances. The 4 videos posted so far have accumulated almost 500 000 hits since the original "Hymn Ukrainy" played on cello went up on YouTube on February 8th.

As coordinator and Ukrainian serviceman Oleksandr Tkachuk reported to "The Day" here,

“We decided that music should be put at the service of the army. My primary objective has been to raise the morale of our boys through the art. Secondly, we want to show people from all over the world that the Ukrainian soldiers are not murderers and do not conduct punitive operations, but are people of culture and high spiritual development. The project’s idea is that musical instruments are weapons too, and musicians are warriors. However, while weapons destroy everything, the art, on the contrary, builds up personality. Culture is a front of this war, and we should pay attention to it. Our project aims to raise the spirit of people, to show them that things are not as bad as they seem, and Ukraine will definitely become a united and prosperous country.”

The latest video performed by a Maidan activist and volunteer member of the Donbas Battalion, who was captured in Illovaysk and forced to play for his captors.

Financial Comment: The price of gold is a mirror of the world’s ignorance

Instability caused by Ukraine-Russia war not reflected in price

The price of gold usually rises when there is global instability or war. Throughout the last 12 months, the Ukrainian drama unfolded with thousands dead and heavy fighting, which involved two large regular armies and by intensity arguably surpassed everything the world had seen since the Iran-Iraq war. Many observers and analysts have argued that the Ukraine-Russia war is a threat to global and especially European security.

And yet, this war had almost no effect on the price of gold. Over the past 12 months, gold has dropped by almost 5% in price to around $1,200 per ounce. In a more recent instance, market analysts noted that, in mid-February, the price of gold fell and global stock markets rose despite heavy fighting around Debaltseve, which violated the ceasefire agreed upon in Minsk.  

Obviously, Ukraine is a regional economy which, unfortunately, had not grown to a prominent global place even before the war (55th globally in 2013 as compared to, say, Greece’s 43rd place). The lack of any effect on the price of gold stemming from this conflict can also be explained by the low effect of the sanctions on Russia on the global economy. However, this ignorance of the war in the middle of Europe resembles the West’s attempts to stay out of the conflict politically and militarily. At the same time, if the West was more decisive in its help for Ukraine, the war would probably have better prospects to finish more quickly and with less casualties. In the end, the effect on the price of gold would be the same.

By: Ukrainian Credit Union Limited

The Kremlin Black Book: Facts on the Invasion

The Ukrainian Government has published an English-language online publication which outlines the costs that Ukraine has incurred as a result of Russian aggression in Krym and the ATO zone since it began in February of 2014.

The report presents some startling statistics on the tolls - civilian, financial, and infrastructural that has thus far been difficult to obtain. 

For example, did you know that in the Donetsk region ~117,000 are left without power, and around ~515,000 have no water?

That 978,482 Ukrainians have registered as displaced?

Подайте Заяви на Стипендії 2015р.!!

Славко Борис,
Chair, Scholarship Committee,
UCU Board of Directors
Знов настала саме та пора року. Пора починати думати про те, як ви збираєтеся фінансувати наступний рік в університеті. Якщо ви є членом Української Кредитової Спілки Лимитед (протягом як мінімум двох років), то ми хочемо допомогти вам. Я пропоную вам подумати про подання на одну з наших стипендій.

Щороку Українська Кредитова Спілка Лимитед видає стипендії на тисячі доларів найкращим і найяскравішим студентам, що навчаються в університетах або коледжах. 

У нас є три головні нагороди:

• Меморіальна Стипендія Михайла Ребрика - $2,500
• Меморіальна Стипендія Василя Ситника - $2,500
• Стипендія Голови Правління УКС - $2,000

Ми також надаємо цілу низку стипендій за Громадську Діяльність на суму $1,000. Нижче подані короткі описи кожної з цих стипендій. Щоби дізнатися більш детальну інформацію та вимоги, будь ласка, відвідайте наш веб-сайт за адресою

UCU is now accepting 2015 Scholarship applications!

Slawko Borys,
Chair, Scholarship Committee,
UCU Board of Directors
It’s that time of year again. The time to start thinking about how you are going to afford another year of school. If you are a member of Ukrainian Credit Union Limited (for a minimum of two years) then we want to help you out. I want to invite you to think about applying for one of our scholarships.
Every year, Ukrainian Credit Union Limited gives out thousands of dollars of scholarships to the best and brightest students attending university or college. 

We have three major awards:

·     Michael Rebryk Memorial Scholarship Award – $2,500
·     Wasyl Sytnyk Memorial Scholarship Award – $2,500
·      UCU Board Chair’s Scholarship Award – $2,000

We also give out a number of $1,000 Community Leadership Awards. Following, are brief descriptions of each of these awards. For full details and eligibility requirements, please visit our web site at

Michael Rebryk Memorial Scholarship
This award of $2,500 is given in honour of Michael Rebryk (1927‐2010). It is awarded to students showing community involvement and studying in the fields of either sports & recreation OR performing arts (Music, Dance, Drama, etc.). Mr. Rebryk was first elected to the UCU Board on February 20, 1966 eventually becoming its second president/chair in 1981. Mr. Rebryk held the post of Chair until 1997. Upon his retirement from the Board on January 26, 2000, the Board honoured Mr. Rebryk for his over three decades of active service to the credit union by appointing him an Honorary Life Director.

Mr. Rebryk was a very active member of the Ukrainian National Federation and the broader Ukrainian community in Toronto. He was a sports enthusiast who was a onetime basketball and volleyball coach and who helped introduce baseball into Ukraine in the early 1990s. He had a great tenor voice and loved to sing and was a past member of the UNF Boyan Choir and the St. Demetrius choir for many years.

Wasyl Sytnyk Memorial Scholarship Award
This award, valued at $2,500, is given in honour of Wasyl Sytnyk (1907‐2000). It is awarded to students showing community involvement and studying in the fields of business, finance, banking, IT, marketing, computer science and wealth management. Wasyl Sytnyk led Ukrainian Credit Union through its early years, serving as its first President of the Board from 1944 until 1979. Upon his retirement from the Board in 1987, Mr. Sytnyk was appointed Honorary Director for Life for his outstanding contribution to our credit union. In recognition of his exemplary service to Ontario's credit union movement, Mr. Sytnyk was awarded the Credit Union Central of Ontario's Distinguished Service Award in 1982. In addition to his role as UCU President, Mr. Sytnyk was a long‐time president of the Council of Ukrainian Credit Unions of Canada, The World Council of Ukrainian Co‐operatives, and was very active in the church and organizational life of the Ukrainian Community.

UCU Board Chair’s Scholarship Award
This award, in the sum of $2,000 is awarded to students showing community involvement and studying in various fields of ukrainianistics.

UCU Community Leadership awards
These awards are each valued at $1,000 and may be given to one or more students each year. The UCU Community Leadership Awards are given to students showing community involvement and studying in various programmes in a post-secondary educational institution.

Application process and deadline
We think you are worthy of a scholarship from Ukrainian Credit Union Limited. Do you? Apply now, before the deadline of March 16, 2015. For applications and full details, please visit our website at

Cooperatively yours,
Slawko Borys
Chair, Scholarship Committee
Ukrainian Credit Union Limited

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

UCU Helps Ukraine: Yurij Ljashenko

Yurij Ljashenko with volunteer and UCU Helps Ukraine partner Yurij Lipar
It is always sad to report that the Lviv Military Hospital must continue to expand its roster of patients - just last week, 36 new injured soldiers arrived from the ATO zone, several of them severly injured. Among them is Yurij Ljashenko, who spent 6 months defending his homeland until an attack by Russian tanks at Chernukhino on January 30th resulted in him losing his left leg in an RPG strike.

Like our great hero and poet Taras Shevchenko, Yura hails from Moryntsi, in the Cherkasska Oblast' of Ukraine. A great patriot, for him there was no question of whether he would go and defend his homeland, and he was deployed in the third major mobilization to the ATO zone in the fall of 2014.

Friday, February 20, 2015

The Heavenly Hundred: A Year Later & Moleben Info

The Maidan, February 20th, 2015
(Photo from Euromaidan Press Facebook page)

It has been a year since the most pivotal moment in Ukraine's recent history - the deadliest day on the Maidan, the start of what has been an only worsening crisis of needless death at the hands of Putin and his army of pawns.

A scene from Maidan, 2014.
It was a day that tore apart our hearts, enraged us, awakened emotions many of us have never felt, some of which we still struggle to understand. The shockwave of pain felt around the world was huge - and while the epicentre may no longer be in flames, the aftershocks still hit us all - wave after wave, as we receive news of more fathers, brothers, sisters, cousins and friends who have died for something that could have long since been over. It makes very little sense.

Perhaps it is that the international community is struggling as much as we, reaching and searching for a more rational explanation, when that answer lies not in the fora of diplomacy or in the halls of justice, but in a dark cave or in a bunker, slithering amongst relics of war and barbarism that have no place in the free and modern world, the world which Ukraine has every right and reason to belong to.

Thursday, February 19, 2015


Борден Осьмак,
Голова Номінаційного Комітету УКС

Вибори до Ради директорів УКС
Чи знаєте ви, що одною з переваг членства у кредитовій спілці є той факт, що члени є також власниками спілки? І вони є не лише власниками, вони також мають право голосу в управлінні кредитовою спілкою.

Щороку на річних загальних зборах члени Української Кредитової Спілки Лимитед мають право голосувати за членів Ради директорів, які представляють членів і наглядають за роботою керівництва спілки. Особи, які зараз складають Раду директорів УКС, роблять неоціненний внесок у процвітання Спілки, вони є видатними фахівцями в таких галузях як високі технології, роздрібна торгівля, будівництво, телекомунікації, автомобільна, аерокосмічна, банківська справа, виробництво і урядування. Нинішнє правління включає в себе колишнього офіцера військово-повітряних сил Канади, всесвітньо-визнаного піонера ІТ-індустрії, який віддано працює над розвитком ІТ-сектору України, посадову особу банка, який допоміг привести команду Raptors в Торонто, та багатьох інших провідних фахівців у галузі бізнесу та громадського життя.

Номінації до Ради директорів
Цього року на загальних зборах членів, які відбудуться 28 квітня 2015 р., ми будемо проводити вибори чотирьох членів Ради директорів. Чотири нових члени будуть обрані на трьохрічний термін. Усі ці позиції є відкритими для всіх дійсних членів кредитової спілки.

Для нас дуже важливо, щоби Рада директорів відображала усю сукупність членів спілки. Ми шукаємо людей різних професій: юристів, інженерів, фахівців у галузі людських ресурсів, бухгалтерів, маркетологів, ІТ-новаторів і багатьох інших. Ми також закликаємо жінок і молодих членів подавати свої кандидатури, а також людей, які представляють різні українські громади, в яких працює наша спілка, від тих, чиї сім'ї жили в Канаді протягом багатьох поколінь, до тих, хто лише недавно обрав Канаду своєю батьківщиною.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Чи продовжиться ріст цін на нафту?

Чи продовжиться ріст цін на нафту?

Ціна нафти зросла на 18% від свого довготермінового мінімуму на рівні нижче $45/барель (сорт WTI), який був встановлений в середині січня, до $53/барель зараз. У останні 30 днів ціна досить різко коливалася у певному діапазоні, і за останні кілька днів вона виросла більш ніж на 10% (до того як вона впала до $51/барель у вівторок).

Цей ріст був викликаний очікуваннями більш низького росту виробництва нафти, які є результатом попереднього падіння цін на нафту. За інформацією Bloomberg, зараз очікується, що виробництво нафти поза державами OPEC виросте на 850,000 барелів на день, на 420,000 барелів на день менше, ніж у попередньому прогнозі. Падає також кількість нових нафтових скважин у США та інвестиції у розвиток головних нафтових компаній.

У той же час, світове виробництво нафти продовжує рости. Найбільш імовірно, що воно продовжуватиме рости щонайменше ще кілька місяців, оскільки нові скважини, кількість яких зменшується, можуть бути введені в експлуатацію лише через кілька місяців. Згідно, Citigroup очікує, що нафта WTI може впасти до US$20 за барель у короткостроковій перспективі, оскільки виробництво нафти горизонтальним методом у США росте, а виробництво нафти у Росії та Бразилії залишається на рекордних рівнях. Citibank очікує, що цього року нафта Brent буде торгуватися в середньому за US$54 за барель, а у 2016 р. - за US$69 за барель.

Один з індикаторів ціни нафти, канадський долар, залишається на низькому рівні. Незважаючи на нинішній ріст цін на нафту, канадський долар коливається на рівні 80 американських центів вже пару тижнів. Якби перспективи нафти значно покращилися, канадський долар, імовірно, виріс би до 85 американських центів і вище, до рівня, де він був протягом 2014 року.

Українська Кредитова Спілка Лимитед

Oil prices inching back up

Any chances for continued oil price growth?

The price of oil has lifted from its recent low below $45/barrel for West Texas Intermediate (WTI) oil in mid-January to about $53/barrel now, up 18%. Within the past 30 days, the price has been largely flat, frequently running up and then down again, but in the past several days, the WTI oil price has risen by more than 10% (before it went down to about $51/barrel on Tuesday).

Behind this rise are lowering expectations for global oil production growth, a result of the current lower oil prices. According to Bloomberg, non-OPEC growth of oil supply is currently forecast to be 850,000 barrels a day, down by 420,000 barrels/day from the previous forecast. The sharp drop in the number of rigs drilling for oil in the U.S. and the announcements from major oil companies that they are cutting back on investment have also helped stimulate oil prices higher.

That said, global oil production continues to grow. It will likely continue to rise over the next several months despite the decline in the number of new oil wells being drilled as those new wells take time to be completed. According to, Citigroup assumes that the price of WTI could drop to as low as US$20 a barrel in the short term because shale production in the US is still on the rise, and Russia and Brazil are continuing to produce oil at record levels. Citibank expects an average Brent price for 2015 at around US$54 a barrel, and for 2016 at US$69 a barrel.

An indicator of the strength of oil prices, the Canadian dollar (CAD) remains subdued. Despite the recent oil price gains, CAD has been fluctuating around the US 80 cent level over the past couple weeks. If oil price prospects were to brighten materially, expect to see a strengthening CAD, potentially above US 85 cents, where it was in 2014.

By: Ukrainian Credit Union Limited

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

UCU Helps Ukraine: Serhiy Tovstyk

Over the next few weeks, UCU Helps Ukraine will be focussing our efforts toward helping hero Serhiy Tovstyk afford the two prostheses he needs to move on with his life - this brave father of two was a telecommunications engineer working for the Ukrainian army, 93rd Mechanized Brigade operating out of Dnipropetrovsk.

Last fall, his crew were installing some wires near a check point outside of Debaltseve when they heard over the radio that 3 tanks were approaching a weakly fortified position not too far away. Unable to stand idly by as 5 of their brothers faced impossible odds, they redeployed to help them.

On their way, they met 2 tanks that promptly started shelling their vehicle. Serhiy managed to inflict some damage on one of the tanks, but in the process, lost his left hand to the fire of the other. 

Monday, February 16, 2015

Do you have what it takes? Elections to the UCU Board of Directors

Borden Osmak,
Chair, Nominations Committee, UCU

Did you know that one of the best things about being a member of a credit union is the fact that members are also owners of the credit union? Not only are members owners, but they have a say in how the credit union is managed and operated.

Every year, at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) members of Ukrainian Credit Union Limited have the right to vote for board members who represent the members and who oversee the work of the credit union’s management. There are currently 12 individuals sitting on the UCU Board of Directors. They represent a deep talent pool of professionals with experience in industries including high tech, retail, real estate development, telecommunications, automotive, aerospace, banking, manufacturing and government. Sitting members of the board include a former RCAF officer, a globally-recognized IT pioneer who has worked hard to develop Ukraine’s IT sector, a bank executive who helped bring the Raptors to Toronto, and many other leading professionals in business and community life.

Nominations to the board
At this year’s AGM, which will take place on April 28, 2015, we will be holding elections for a total of 4 positions on the board. Each of the four spots is for a three year term. All of the positions open to all members (in good standing) of the credit union.

It is important to us that the board of directors reflect the membership of the credit union as a whole. We are looking for people from many different professional backgrounds: lawyers, engineers, human resource experts, accountants, marketers, IT innovators and more. We also encourage women and younger members to consider nomination as well as people who represent the diverse Ukrainian communities that we serve, from people whose families have lived in Canada for many generations to those who have recently chosen Canada to be their homeland.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Котра з канадських фінансових орґанізацій має другу найбільшу мережу банкоматів?

Юрій Дякунчак
Director of Marketing, UCU
Якщо ви подумали про Українську Кредитову Спілку Лимитед, похваліть себе, налийте собі шклянку чаю та подивіться свій улюблений новорічний фільм. Тому що ви мали рацію. Українська Кредитова Спілка Лимитед бере участь у спільній для більшості канадських кредитових спілок мережі банкоматів з метою надання найвищого рівня послуг та зручностей для своїх членів.

Будучи членом Української Кредитової Спілки Лимитед, або будь-якої іншої кредитової спілки, ви можете користуватися більш ніж 2,500 банкоматами по всій Канаді не платячи комісійних! Все, що вам треба зробити, це знайти логотип THE EXCHANGE® Network (див. внизу).

Це – канадська мережа банкоматів, які надають безкоштовні послуги вкладення та зняття коштів, зміни PIN та ін. Отже, якщо ваша кредитова спілка є членом THE EXCHANGE®, ви більше не будете платити комісійні, якщо будете використовувати банкомати EXCHANGE! THE EXCHANGE® є мережею банків та кредитових спілок, які домовилися не брати комісійних від власників карток фінансових орґанізацій – членів мережі, які мають тисячі банкоматів по всій Канаді. Мережа THE EXCHANGE® є єдиною канадською мережею банкоматів, які належать різним фінансовим орґанізаціям.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Використання подружнього (Spousal) RRSP

Володимир Карман,
UCU Branch Manager - Bloor West
Тепер ви вже, напевно, знаєте важливість інвестування в RRSP як засіб заощадження для вашого майбутнього пенсійного доходу, і як ефективний метод зменшeння податкiв на ваші доходи. Подружній (Spousal) RRSP є ефективним засобом зменьшення податків на пенсійний дохід шляхом перерозподілу пенсійних планів між чоловіком і жінкою. Подружній RRSP дає змогу зменшити податки як під час внесення коштів в RRSP, і так само знизити податки пізніше, коли обоє з подружжя будуть вже на пенсії.
Що таке перерозподіл доходів (income-splitting)?
Перерозподіл доходів (income-splitting) це спосіб зменшення загальної суми податку, який платить ваша сім'я, передаючи дохід від працівника з більш високим рівнем доходу до іншого члена сім’ї з нижчим рівнем доходу, сума якого буде обкладатися податком за значно нижчою ставкою чи не буде оподатковуватися взагалі.

Інші переваги перерозподілу доходів
Перерозподіл доходів також дає переваги при розрахунку держаної пенсії за віком (OAS) і дозволяє запобігти необхідності повертати частину цієї допомоги (OAS) державі у випадках, коли дохід одного з подружжя буде дуже високий. В 2014-2015 роках програма OAS вимагає повернення частини отриманої допомоги, як тільки ваш особистий дохід перевищує $70,954 на рік.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Crisis in Ukraine - US Senators urge arms for Ukraine

Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing
4 February, 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 continue intense shelling of Ukrainian positions towards Debaltsevo, Severodonetsk, Shchastya and Stanystia Luhanska. The RNBO stated that Kremlin-backed terrorists are amassing weapons, ammunition, military equipment and personnel to renew offensives towards Debaltsevo and Volnovakha. The RNBO stated that in the last 24 hours, 4 Ukrainian soldiers were killed and 25 Ukrainian soldiers were wounded. The press-center of the anti-terrorism operation (ATO) stated at 6 PM Kyiv time that throughout the day, Kremlin-backed terrorists shelled Ukrainian positions 42 times; the heaviest shelling was towards Debaltsevo. Kremlin-backed terrorists attacked Ukrainian positions at Ridkodub (near Debaltsevo); the attacks were repelled. The press center of the ATO reported that Debaltsevo remains under control of Ukrainian forces. The press-center of the ATO reported that in the last 24 hours, 18 Kremlin-backed terrorists were killed and 55 Kremlin-backed terrorists were wounded. The Ministry of Defense of Ukraine reported at 10AM Kyiv time that on 2 February, over 150 Kremlin-backed terrorists were killed (more than 80 near Debaltsevo) and over 280 Kremlin-backed terrorists were wounded.

2. 15 US Senators send letter to US President urging increased military assistance to Ukraine
On 3 February, a bipartisan group of 15 Senators (6 Republicans, 9 Democrats) signed a letter to US President B. Obama urging Obama and NATO “to rapidly increase military assistance to Ukraine to defend its sovereign borders against escalating Russian aggression.” The group, led by Senators R. Portman (R-OH) and D. Durbin (D-IL) stated, “Working with our NATO allies, the United States must implement a comprehensive strategy to support Ukraine, deter Russian aggression, and help maintain stability in the region.  [...]Ukraine needs an immediate infusion of effective defensive military equipment and financial aid to thwart Putin’s naked aggression.  Defensive military assistance such as anti-tank weapons, counter-battery radars, armored Humvees, and increased training are all critical to ensuring Ukraine has the capabilities to defend its territory and its citizens.”  The full text of the letter is available at

3. Parliament recognizes jurisdiction of International Criminal Court regarding crimes against humanity

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Spousal RRSPs

Vlad Karman,
UCU Branch Manager, Bloor West.
You probably already know about the importance of investing in RRSP as a means of saving for your future retirement, and as an effective method to reduce your income taxes. A Spousal RRSP is an effective way to reduce taxes on your retirement savings by redistribtuing the savings (and subsequent pension incomes) between yours and your spouse’s RRSP plans. Spousal RRSPs can reduce your taxes both when you put the money in the RRSP and in the future, when both spouses are retired.
What is income-splitting?
Income-splitting is a way to reduce the total amount of taxes that your family pays, by transferring the income from a person with a higher income to another family member with lower income. This income will then be taxed at a significantly lower rate or not taxed at all.
Other benefits of income splitting
Income splitting also offers the advantage of avoiding the need to repay Old Age Security (OAS) payments back to the government in cases where the income of one spouse is very high. For the 2014-2015 tax years, the OAS program requires partial return of the OAS received as soon as your personal income exceeds $70,954 per year.