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As Zelenskyy set to speak to Parliament, a look at other leaders who have spoken

OTTAWA — Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is scheduled to deliver a virtual address to Canada's Parliament on Tuesday as his country resists a brutal invasion from Russia.
In this image from video provided by the Ukrainian Presidential Press Office and posted on Facebook early Saturday, March 12, 2022, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy speaks in Kyiv, Ukraine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP

OTTAWA — Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is scheduled to deliver a virtual address to Canada's Parliament on Tuesday as his country resists a brutal invasion from Russia.

He is not the first international leader to speak to Parliament, and in fact, he is the third Ukrainian president to address Canadian MPs and senators. In 2008, Viktor Yushchenko received several standing ovations as he spoke about his country's struggle to assert its sovereignty and its push to join the NATO alliance. In 2014, after Russia annexed the Crimean Peninsula, Petro Poroshenko told Parliament that Ukraine had "crossed the Rubicon" to a new westward-looking future with the signing of a co-operation agreement with the European Union.

Canada has been home to other historic speeches from leaders during times of crisis. United Kingdom prime minister Winston Churchill delivered an electrifying address in the House of Commons in December 1941, just weeks after the attack on Pearl Harbor. He first spoke to the American Congress before arriving in Ottawa, where throngs of people gathered on Parliament Hill to hear his remarks through a loudspeaker. Referencing past comments by a French general who had said that England would have her neck wrung like a chicken, Churchill scoffed, "Some chicken! Some neck!"

And in 1990, Nelson Mandela, then the deputy president of the African National Congress and only recently freed from prison after 27 years, appeared in Parliament where he thanked Canada for supporting the anti-apartheid movement and urged the country not to lift trade sanctions on South Africa. Mandela returned as his country's president in 1998, when he said there had been a great transformation in South Africa in the past eight years and it is forever indebted to Canada for its help. 

Despite Canada's long history of hosting foreign leaders in Parliament, Zelenskyy will be the first to deliver his address virtually.

Here's a look at the foreign dignitaries who have delivered joint addresses to Canadian senators and MPs: 

Dec. 30, 1941: Winston Churchill, prime minister, United Kingdom

June 16, 1943: Madame Chiang Kai-shek, spouse of the leader of the Republic of China

June 1, 1944: John C. Curtin, prime minister, Australia

June 30, 1944: Peter Fraser, prime minister, New Zealand

Nov. 19, 1945: Clement R. Attlee, prime minister, United Kingdom

June 11, 1947: Harry S. Truman, president, United States

Oct. 24, 1949: Pandit Jewaharlal Nehru, prime minister, India

May 31, 1950: Liaquat Ali Khan, prime minister, Pakistan

April 5, 1951: Vincent Auriol, president, French Republic

Nov. 14, 1953: Dwight D. Eisenhower, president, United States

Feb. 6, 1956: Sir Anthony Eden, prime minister, United Kingdom

March 5, 1956: Giovanni Gronchi, president, Republic of Italy

June 5, 1956: Achmed Sukarno, president, Republic of Indonesia

March 4, 1957: Guy Mollet, prime minister, French Republic

June 2, 1958: Theodor Heuss, president, Federal Republic of Germany

June 13, 1958: Harold Macmillan, prime minister, United Kingdom

July 9, 1958: Dwight D. Eisenhower, president, United States

July 21, 1958: Kwame Nkrumah, prime minister, Ghana

May 17, 1961: John F. Kennedy, president, United States

May 26, 1964: U Thant, secretary-general, United Nations

April 14, 1972: Richard M. Nixon, president, United States

March 30, 1973: Luis Echeverria, president, Mexico

June 19, 1973: Indira Gandhi, prime minister, India

May 5, 1980: Masayoshi Ohira, prime minister, Japan

May 26, 1980: José Lopez Portillo, president, Mexico

March 11, 1981: Ronald W. Reagan, president, United States

Sept. 26, 1983: Margaret Thatcher, prime minister, United Kingdom

Jan. 17, 1984: Zhao Ziyang, premier, State Council, People’s Republic of China

May 8, 1984: Miguel de la Madrid, president, Mexico

March 7, 1985: Javier Perez de Cuellar, secretary-general, United Nations

Jan. 13, 1986: Yasuhiro Nakasone, prime minister, Japan

April 6, 1987: Ronald W. Reagan, president, United States

May 25, 1987: François Mitterand, president, French Republic

May 10, 1988: Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands

June 16, 1988: Helmut Kohl, chancellor, Federal Republic of Germany

June 22, 1988: Margaret Thatcher, prime minister, United Kingdom

Feb. 27, 1989: Chaim Herzog, president, State of Israel

Oct. 11, 1989: King Hussein Bin Talal of Jordan

June 18, 1990: Nelson Mandela, deputy president, African National Congress

April 8, 1991: Carlos Salinas de Gortari, president, Mexico

June 19, 1992: Boris Yeltsin, president, Federation of Russia

Feb. 23, 1995: William J. Clinton, president, United States

June 11, 1996: Ernesto Zedillo, president, Mexico

Sept. 24, 1998: Nelson Mandela, president, Republic of South Africa

April 29, 1999: Vaclav Havel, president, Czech Republic

Feb. 22, 2001: Tony Blair, prime minister, United Kingdom

March 9, 2004: Kofi Annan, secretary-general, United Nations

Oct. 25, 2004: Vicente Fox Quesada, president, Mexico

May 18, 2006: John Howard, prime minister, Australia

Sept. 22, 2006: Hamid Karzaï, president, Islamic Republic of Afghanistan

May 26, 2008: Viktor Yushchenko, president, Ukraine

May 27, 2010: Felipe Calderón, president, Mexico

Sept. 22, 2011: David Cameron, prime minister, United Kingdom

Feb. 27, 2014: The Aga Khan, imam of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims

Sept. 17, 2014: Petro Poroshenko, president, Ukraine

Nov. 3, 2014: François Hollande, president, French Republic

June 29, 2016: Barack H. Obama, president, United States

April 12, 2017: Malala Yousafzai, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 15, 2022.

The Canadian Press