Krystina Waler was born and raised in St. Catharines, Ontario. Her grandparents were immigrants who came to Canada to find a better life. Krystina grew up with a sense of responsibility to give back to the country that provided so many opportunities to her family. She began her commitment to service by teaching Sunday school and working in the kitchen at her church, St. George’s, on Facer Street.
After completing high school at Sir Winston Churchill, Krystina continued her studies at Wilfrid Laurier University, receiving a Bachelor of Science Degree (Honours) in Biology.
Krystina’s commitment to service continued in both Peru and Ukraine where she learned the impact one person can have on the lives of children. She also learned that communities grow and improve when children’s lives improve.
Krystina worked in clinical research in Ukraine while continuing her service to orphans and disenfranchised youth. The world, as she knew it, changed in Ukraine when university students and young professionals were gunned down by Russian-backed government forces in the centre of Kyiv and a revolution began.
Canada was one of the first countries to support efforts to establish a real democracy in Ukraine. While helping to organize a soup kitchen out of an apartment in Kyiv, Krystina was asked to serve as an advisor to the Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs and later became a member of Canada’s official delegation to Ukraine.
On behalf of the Canada-Ukraine Foundation and upon her return to Canada, Krystina began organizing medical missions to help wounded soldiers in Ukraine, mobilizing leading Canadian surgeons and health care professionals to volunteer their time in war-torn Ukraine.
While on one of the medical missions, Krystina was approached to help a 9 year old boy who had stepped on an IED and lost three limbs. His prospects in Ukraine were dismal. With assistance from numerous people in Canada, this young man spent a year at Shriner’s Hospital in Montreal and returned to Ukraine with prosthetics and a new lease on life (click here for CTV's W5 - A Time Of Healing).
As a result of Krystina’s humanitarian work in Ukraine, she was awarded the Princess Olga Order of Ukraine in Bronze, the highest civilian award in the country, by the new President of Ukraine.
Krystina completed a Master of Science in Health Technology Assessment and Management from the University of Toronto with a focus on how to best use health care technology to improve the quality of life of people around the world.
Krystina worked as Senior Policy Advisor to the Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry and the Minister of Transportation in Ontario and is now the Director of the Ukraine Surgical Education & Training Partnership in association with Sunnybrook Health Sciences.
Krystina has the education and experience to make a real difference as a Member of Parliament for the residents of St. Catharines. She resides where it all began, living within walking distance of her parish, St. George’s, in the Facer Street area.