Statement by Prime Minister Stephen Harper on the 77th Anniversary of the Holodomor:
I am honoured to join Canadians in the solemn commemoration of the 77th anniversary of the Holodomor. On this day, we remember the millions of Ukrainians who suffered and perished during one of the most terrible crimes in history. Millions of men, women and children – predominantly Ukrainian – died of starvation under Joseph Stalin’s oppressive regime.
Canada’s heritage is forever connected to this unimaginable tragedy through the more than one million Canadians of Ukrainian decent, many of whom lost loved ones in that time of horror. The Holodomor is a part of the past that we as Canadians must never forget. Two years ago, our Government was proud to lead an effort in Parliament to officially recognize the Holodomor as a genocide and establish an annual day of commemoration on the fourth Saturday of each November.
I was deeply moved by the vivid depictions and sad memories of this humanitarian catastrophe preserved at the National Holodomor Memorial, when I visited Kyiv this October. I was reminded of the Ukrainian communities back home that honour the memory of victims of the Holodomor with monuments in parks and public squares.
During my visit to Ukraine, I was impressed by the profound friendship our two countries share. Canada stood against the oppression of Ukraine during the two World Wars and the Cold War, and was the first western country to formally recognize its independence from Soviet communism.
As our friendship grows, Canada will continue to support Ukraine in its journey toward strengthening freedom, democracy, justice and human rights. As Canadians, we admire and respect Ukrainians’ pursuit of liberty and freedom, their spirit of independence, and their courage and determination.
The Rt. Hon. Stephen Harper, P.C., M.P.
Prime Minister of Canada