“This week, Canadians will remember one of the greatest tragedies of the last century: the deliberate starvation of millions of men, women and children in Ukraine between 1932- 1933.
“Those deaths resulted from the murderous policies of the Soviet regime under Josef Stalin. The famine-genocide in Ukraine remains among the worst crimes against humanity ever perpetrated. Prime Minister Stephen Harper has called the Holodomor “one of the great crimes of history.”
“In 2008, Canada’s Parliament unanimously passed a bill to recognize the Ukrainian Famine as an act of genocide and to establish a Ukrainian Famine and Genocide Memorial Day.
“The passage of this Bill expressed the fundamental values Canadians hold dear: freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law. It also honours the millions of Canadians of Ukrainian descent who have played an important role in building our society, while taking great pride in both their traditional heritage and their adopted home.
“Our country is committed to honouring the Holodomor victims and to promoting international recognition. Every year, Parliamentarians join with the Ukrainian-Canadian community to commemorate the Holodomor on Parliament Hill. Moreover, Canadians take part in Holodomor memorial gatherings held across the country.
“As Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, I stand with the Ukrainian community and with all Canadians in commemorating the Ukrainian Famine and Genocide of 1932-33.
“In remembering the victims of the Holodomor, we remind Canadians that we share a responsibility to ensure that such atrocities never happen again.”
“This week, we stand with people of Ukrainian descent across Canada and around the world in remembering the Holodomor—the catastrophic famine of 1932-33 that claimed the lives of millions of Ukrainian men, women and children.
“The Holodomor was a genocide by starvation perpetrated by the ruthless Stalin regime to stamp out the Ukraine people’s aspirations for a free and independent country.
“In communities across Canada this week, sombre services will honour the memory of those who perished and reaffirm our strong commitment to combatting the type of inhuman evil that has led to the deaths of so many.
“Their suffering and sacrifice compels us to recognize that, still today, far too many people around the world are denied their basic rights, freedoms and dignity. Our shared humanity compels us to keep working toward what is right and just for all.
“In 2008, Canada recognized the Holodomor as an act of genocide and designated the fourth Saturday of November as a memorial day dedicated to remembering the victims of the Ukrainian famine and genocide.”