DECEMBER 17 - 2020 MILESTONES
OTTAWA, ON – On Wednesday, The Honourable Yonah Martin, Co-Chair of the Canada Korea Interparliamentary Friendship Group (CKIFG) and Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Senate, hosted a 2020 Milestones virtual year-end event. His Excellency Keung Ryong Chang, His Excellency Michael Danagher, Co-Chair Ali Ehsassi and members of CKIFG, regional representatives of the national Korean community, Korean War Commemorative Committee members from various regions, current and former Parliamentary interns, educators (working on the 70th anniversary Korean War Legacy Project), and beloved veterans of the Korean War joined together for a special virtual year-end event. Both Ambassadors highlighted the milestones of 2020 and the developments in the Canada and Korea bilateral relationship. In spite of the challenges of 2020, the year-end event was an opportunity to celebrate the important milestones of the year, and be together virtually.
DECEMBER 12 - WORLD CONGRESS CONFERENCE
Senator Yonah Martin delivered keynote remarks at The World Congress Conference. Teachers, including Canadian educators, of countries that fought together in the Korean War as part of the Special UN Allied Forces participated in the first virtual conference, which was possible through the visionary leadership of Dr. Jongwoo Han and his team. Together, teachers will ensure the Korean War legacy of service and sacrifice is forever remembered and honoured in classrooms around the world.
DECEMBER 12 - 2020 OKPC VIRTUAL CONFERENCE
Senator Yonah Martin co-organized the Overseas Korean Politicians Council (OKPC) Virtual Conference (with the theme of Unforgettable 2020: #OneOKPC) that took place with politicians of Korean descent from around the world. Some members included newly elected US Congresswomen, Young Kim (CA) and Marilyn Strickland (WA), as well as MP Nelly Shin (the 1st Korean Canadian MP in Canadian history), among others from around the world.
DECEMBER 4 - CANADA-BULGARIA PARLIAMENTARY FRIENDSHIP GROUP AGM
As founding Co-Chair of the Canada Bulgaria Parliamentary Friendship Group, Senator Yonah Martin hosted the first virtual AGM. Members of the Senate and the House of Commons of Canada as well as diplomats from the Bulgarian Embassy in Ottawa took part in the meeting. Senator Yonah Martin was acclaimed Co-Chair of the Friendship Group along with MP Shaun Chen. H.E. Svetlana Stoycheva-Etropolski addressed the Friendship Group members following the AGM, highlighting the importance of the Canada Bulgaria bilateral relations which will mark its 55th anniversary in 2021.
DECEMBER MEETINGS & EVENTS
Senator Yonah Martin held and participated in various meetings and events with organizations and stakeholders on a variety of topics. She and her colleague Sen. Miville-Dechène met with representatives of the Vancouver Collective to discuss issues of importance (sex trafficking, pornography, and Sen. Miville-Dechène’s Senate Bill, S-203). She also met with the Social Studies Educators Network of Canada’s (SSENC) writing team to discuss the timeline for the 70th anniversary Korean War Legacy Project. She met with key staff from the Veterans Affairs Canada’s Commemoration team to discuss the upcoming 70th anniversary milestones in 2021 and various aspects of the 70th anniversary #koreanwarforgottennomore campaign. Senator Martin met with students of the Canadian Medical Association to discuss their concerns on their priority health issue as an association; and with Gerry and Carol Sherman and thanked them for their servant leadership and work at Embassy Connections Canada. In addition to many events that took place in December, Senator Martin participated in Canada-Korea Society’s 36th Annual General Meeting that was held virtually with keynote speaker H.E. Keung Ryong Chang of the Embassy of the Republic of Korea.
NOVEMBER 30 - KOREAN EMBASSY SPEAKER SERIES
Senator Yonah Martin took part in a special event organized by the Embassy of the Republic of Korea that featured the life story of Captain Roland Bacon, who posthumously received a deserving Civil Service Merit award and medal. Captain Roland Bacon was a true Canadian hero who served as a missionary to Korea and then as a special officer who was tasked to work with 6 members of the National Korean Liberation Army in Burma (Myanmar) during the Second World War. He died in action in service to help liberate the people of Korea from Japanese colonial rule
NOVEMBER 11 - REMEMBRANCE DAY/VETERANS' WEEK 2020
During Veterans’ Week (Nov 5-11), in small numbers at cenotaphs and memorials, from home or online, Canadians gathered and stood united for a moment of silence to honour our fallen heroes and thank the veterans and current serving men and women in uniform at home and abroad. In Ottawa, a special Turn Toward Busan ceremony was held at the cairn at City Hall, timed with the November 11, 11am commemorative ceremony being held in Busan, Korea at the United Nations Memorial Cemetery. In Brampton, ON wreaths were lain at the KVA Wall of Remembrance; and in BC, Senator Martin laid a wreath accompanied by Korean War veteran Frank Smyth at the Blue Mountain Cenotaph and she and Woo Seok Lee laid a wreath at the Ambassador of Peace Korean War Memorial in Burnaby, BC. Also timed with Veterans Week, Sen. Martin’s office organized a virtual tribute event for veterans with students of Intergenerational Integrities where each student read their written composition about the veteran he or she had interviewed. Lastly, Senator Martin attended a Tribute Concert at YVR airport and participated in 2 virtual Remembrance Day ceremonies organized by Blessed Sacrament School and Seaforth Highlanders. Veterans Week 2020 was a meaningful week of remembrance, and the #koreanwarforgottennomore campaign continues. We will remember them. Nous nous souviendrons d’eux. Lest we forget.
HIGHLIGHTS OF NOVEMBER
Various Regions - Senator Martin participated in various stakeholder meetings and events that were held virtually across Canada. She attended the AKCSE virtual conference to discuss Canada and Korea’s strategic science and technology partnership and opportunities for youth in this field. She also hosted a virtual roundtable with MP Jag Sahota, Shadow Minister for Women and Gender Equality and a diverse group of women, to discuss women in leadership and other topics of interest to the group. In addition to organizing or participating in these virtual meetings and events (among many), students and young adults remained an important priority for Senator Martin. She met virtually with student leaders of Canadian Alliance of Student Associations, CPC Club members of SFU, UBC and University of Victoria; University of Toronto Women in House Program; as well as with members of a non-profit Ottawa based organization (Hanway Society), to inspire these young adults and professionals on their career paths as they serve their local communities.
FALL SITTING 2020
The Fall sitting began with the Speech from the Throne at the end of last month, and October was filled with on-going committee meetings, debates on the chamber floor and constituency work in Ottawa, BC and across Canada. Online and in person meetings at weekly Regional, National and Senate caucus were held. In BC and through Zoom, Senator Martin has met with many stakeholders and participated in forums and webinars on a range of important topics. She also hosted roundtable meetings with regional community leaders and Korean war commemorative committees in preparation for Veterans Week (Nov. 5-11) and to discuss ways veterans and community members can be better supported.
OCTOBER 22 - CANADA KOREA FORUM
The 17th annual Canada-Korea Forum was held Virtually, co-chaired by former Ambassador Len Edwards and Ambassador Sung-joon Yim in partnership with the Sprott School of Business at Carleton University and Seoul Forum for International Affairs. CKR is held annually to discuss the state of relations between Canada and Korea as well as to provide expert insights through panel presentations and discussions with forum participants. As Co-Chair of the Canada-Korea Interparliamentary Friendship Group, Senator Martin participated in the Forum and delivered remarks on behalf of her colleagues and thanked former Prime Minister Lee Hong-Koo Lee, after his special opening remarks. The Forum consists of legislators, high-level Canadian and Korean leaders from business, academic institutions and think tanks, as well as current and former government officials.