Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Holodomor bill being introduced in two provinces today

In BC's legislature, the MLA for Surrey-Whalley Bruce Ralston (NDP) is introducing legislation today that would recognize the “Holodomor,” the famine and genocide that killed millions of Ukrainians in 1932-33.

His press release states that the Holodomor occurred during the period of forced collectivization in the Soviet Union, which is true. However, it is still not widely known that by 1932 collectivization was almost complete. So, like drought was cited used at the excuse for genocide before it was debunked, now collectivization has become it is a very handy red herring being used by die-hard deniers to downplay the genocidal nature of the Holodomor.

Nonetheless, this initiative is very welcome, and it is to be hoped that partisan politics do not get in the way of it passing.

The legislation proposes the fourth Saturday in November of each year as Holodomor Memorial Day in British Columbia to memorialize those who perished. The legislation also recognizes the survivors of Holodomor who moved to British Columbia and made a positive contribution to the province.

Meanwhile, in Quebec, Madam Louise Beaudoin, the MNA for Rosemount (PQ) is introducing a similar bill today as well. There, too, it is hoped that partisan politics will take a back seat to human compassion and decency while this bill is passed.

It is a matter of both pride and gratitude to note that Canada's federal government and four provincial governments (Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Alberta and Ontario) have already passed Holodomor memorial bills.

I hope that BC and Quebec will join their ranks today.

4 comments:

Ukemonde said...

I certainly hope that BC and Quebec will join their ranks today as well.

Pawlina said...

It appears that Quebec indeed will, seeing as it passed first reading today. No word yet what happened in BC's legislature today.

Tomorrow I'll be speaking to the leader of the delegation from the Lower Mainland that went to Victoria to support Mr. Ralston.

Hopefully he'll tell me that our province followed the good example of yours.

Stay tuned!

Stanislav said...

As I know in Quebec it is a long story and there were discussions with MNA last year, publications in newspapers, etc. Also the Flame of Holodomor... Did we have the Flame in 2008 in BC? I mean that in QC there is a ground, informational support for the recognition.

Pawlina said...

There's support here, Stan, as in Quebec. Certainly there are several Holodomor survivors in our midst, and they are more willing to talk lately.

If memory serves me well, there were several valid reasons the torch didn't stop here, including a conflicting community event. But that's in the past and nothing can be done about it now.

IMHO what's more important is the positive steps taking place now to commemorate the Holodomor and venerate the memory of those who perished, as well as to celebrate and cherish those who survived.