Joy Smith, Member of Parliament for Kildonan–St. Paul in Manitoba, will join Ukrainian-Canadians across Canada this weekend as they solemnly remember and mourn one of the most tragic chapters in Ukrainian history, the man-made genocide Holodomor.
“Canada has long been a close friend of Ukraine. By joining Ukraine in remembering Holodomor, we deplore the acts and policies that brought about mass starvation and the deaths of millions of people. We are convinced that exposing violations of human rights and restoring the dignity of victims through acknowledgement of their suffering, will guide future societies and help to avoid similar catastrophes in the future.
Through the strong leadership of our Prime Minister, Canada is committed to commemorating the victims of Holodomor. In 2007, Canada co-sponsored Ukraine’s motion honouring the millions who perished in the Famine at UNESCO. Last month, during Prime Minister Harper’s visit to the Ukraine, he solemnly remembered Holodomor as he placed a pot of grain in front of a commemorative statue called ‘Sad Memory of Childhood’.
Let us never forget this atrocity and may we continue to pursue the freedoms and rights of those oppressed today.”
Canada officially recognizes Ukrainian Famine and Genocide (“Holodomor”) Memorial Day on November 27, 2010. This Memorial Day is a result of the passage of Bill C-459 in 2008 that established the fourth Saturday of every November as the national Memorial Day for Holodomor and officially recognized the Holodomor as a genocide.
MP Joy Smith currently serves on the Executive of the Canada-Ukraine Parliamentary Friendship Group and served as the Chair in 2008.