Thursday, November 25, 2010

Canadian government statement commemorating the Holodomor

Today the Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, issued the following statement commemorating the 77th anniversary of the Holodomor:

“This week is National Holodomor Awareness Week, a time for all Canadians to remember the terrible famine in Ukraine which killed millions between 1932 and 1933.

“The Government of Canada is committed to remembering the victims of the Holodomor and heightening international awareness of what happened more than three-quarters of a century ago.

“During his trip to Ukraine last month, Prime Minister Stephen Harper called the Holomodor ‘one of the great crimes of history.’ He laid a symbolic pot of grain at the foot of a commemorative statue called 'Sad Memory of Childhood', depicting a wraith-like young girl.

“Honouring those memories is why in 2007 the Government of Canada proudly co-sponsored Ukraine's motion at UNESCO to honour the millions who perished in the famine and to acknowledge that their deaths were caused by the cruel actions and policies of a totalitarian regime.

“In 2008, Parliament unanimously passed a bill to establish a Ukrainian Famine and Genocide Memorial Day and to recognize the Ukrainian Famine of 1932–33 as an act of genocide.

“Establishing a memorial day and recognizing the Holodomor as an act of genocide expresses the fundamental values Canadians hold dear: freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law.

“It also honours the more than one million Canadians of Ukrainian descent who have played an important role in building our society, taking great pride in both their traditional heritage and their adopted home.

“By helping people remember the victims of the Holodomor, we remind Canadians that we share a responsibility to ensure that similar atrocities never happen again.

“Throughout this week, and in the days ahead, many events will be held across Canada to commemorate the Holodomor. I will be honoured to attend one such ceremony this coming Tuesday in Ottawa sponsored by the Ukrainian Embassy and the Canada-Ukraine Parliamentary Friendship Group.

“As Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, I join all Canadians, and particularly Canadians of Ukrainian origin, in solemnly marking the anniversary of this crime against humanity."

You can find details of events across Canada commemorating the Holodomor here.

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