RCC Statement on Libel and Slander in reply to the statements made in the media with the aim to smear the reputation of  the civic organization of Russian Canadians

October 7th, 2017

The Russian Congress of Canada has on numerous occasions explained that the organization has been created by the Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada without any official or unofficial sponsorship from any third party. We unite Russian-speaking Canadians of any ethnic origin on the basis of their shared interest to the Russian culture and history, as well as well-being of people of the multinational Russian Federation and other countries of the former Soviet Union. We have never made a secret of our desire to correct the all-too-common biases and misrepresentations of Russia and the Russians in the western media. The organization, registered as a not-for-profit in Canada, operates in full compliance with the law of the land and has never taken any guidance from outside. Our budget is formed on the basis of membership dues, voluntary donations and fundraising.

All allegations of our presumed acting as a front of the Russian Embassy in Canada or a proxy tool for the Kremlin are false and should be qualified as a slander. We do cooperate with the Russian representatives in Canada in the same vein any diaspora organization would be interested to cooperate with representatives of its country of origin. We invite them to our events, share information of our cultural initiatives and take part in open doors events that the Russian Embassy occasionally announces. Whatever communication we might initiate with the Canadian MPs and members of the Canadian government is our sole initiative and entirely within our discretion. Our statutory activities are in no way different from similar activities of other ethno-cultural organizations across Canada. We resolutely object to all insinuations representing the Russian Congress of Canada as an organization taking orders from the Russian government to disrupt and discredit Canadian legislation and democracy. Our main goal and purpose is to work toward the improvement of Canada-Russia relations to the benefits of both our nations which has been stated on numerous occasions and spelled out in RCC Manifesto.

It is therefore with sincere regret that we observe some Canadian politicians to repeat the Russophobic tropes and stereotypes more suitable to the period of the Cold War than the present period of global collaboration in resolving most pressing issues that the humankind faces today. The fear-mongering toward Russia and, by means of a faulty association, the Russian-speaking citizens of Canada that these politicians and journalists promote does not befit any person of a liberal-democratic persuasion. The groundless accusations that they make will remain on their conscience.

On behalf of the Russian Congress of Canada

Igor Babalich