Statement by the Official Opposition and the Conservative Party of Canada at Commemoration of the Holodomor in Parliament

Thank you for the opportunity to bring greetings on behalf of the Official Opposition and the Conservative Party of Canada

‎Tonight is a solemn occasion to mark and more importantly to remember and bear witness to the Holodomor.

As you have already heard, the Holodomor was an unconscionable event in human history–a genocide conducted by Joseph Stalin and Soviet repression against the Ukrainian people and others.

The Holodomor – which literally means “murder by hunger” – was officially recognized as an act of genocide by the Parliament of Canada thanks to the tireless efforts of MP James Bezan who introduced the legislation and made sure it was brought forward to a vote in the House of Commons.

There are many facts and figures around the Holodomor, but one stuck out to me in particular:‎ almost as many Ukrainians died in the Holodomor during 1932-1933 as there were Canadians alive at that time.

At the height of the man-made famine, 25,000 people were killed each and every day. That is equal to the total number of Syrian refugees Canada is bringing in this year

That is a scale of evil that is truly shocking.

But in the face of evil, the human spirit triumphs.

Ukrainian Canadians across this country for decades raised the memory of this event at a time when the Soviet Union denied it ever happened, and engaged in systematic cover-ups and persecution of those who dared to speak the truth. We owe a debt of gratitude to the Ukrainians here, in this country, for their tireless work over the generations in keeping the truth alive. ‎

Why did they do this? Not just to raise awareness but also because they knew their brothers and sisters back in Ukraine could not publicly do so without the threat of severe punishment.

Canada’s support for Ukraine runs deep, as does that of the Conservative Party.

John Diefenbaker’s call for free elections.

Brian Mulroney’s recognition of Ukraine–the first Western country in the world to do so [editor’s note: Poland beat us to it by a couple hours in 1991].

And, the strong positions taken by Stephen Harper in its support for Ukraine, especially in the face of Russian aggression and occupation of Ukraine.

These are all positions that Canadians of any political stripe can take pride in.

Friends, in conclusion, let us all solemnly remember the ‎events of the Holodomor, and commit to continuing our remembrance of the victims of communism.

Thank you

Merci

Slava Ukraina!
Slava Kanadi!


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