OTTAWA – Selkirk-Interlake MP James Bezan rose in the House of Commons yesterday and with the support of all parties successfully moved that his Private Members Bill
C-459 be passed at all stages. The bill establishes a Ukrainian Famine and Genocide (Holodomor) Memorial Day and recognizes the Ukrainian Famine of 1932-33 as an act of genocide. In one move, the bill was deemed to have been read a second time, considered in committee, reported, concurred in, read a third time and passed. Bill C-459 is now in the Senate for final consideration before it will become law.
In a show of solidarity, Liberal MP Borys Wrzesnewskyj (Etobicoke Centre) supported the move and ensured that the Bill would be passed at all stages. During his final speech, Bezan stated, “I want to thank the member for Etobicoke Centre for his hard work on behalf of all Ukrainians and for making sure that we get this done today.” Bezan also expressed his appreciation for the all party support that he received from the Liberals, New Democratic Party, and Bloc Quebecois.
Ukrainian President, Victor Yushchenko is currently in Canada and has asked for Canada’s support in recognizing the Holodomor as genocide. Bezan met the President and personally discussed the bill with him on Monday during the President’s state visit to Ottawa.
“I cannot stress enough the importance of recognizing the Holodomor now as genocide even though the west sat silent while this took place,” concluded Bezan. “This is an important time for Ukraine, for this Parliament and for Canada.”
The bill was introduced last year as Ukrainian-Canadians and the international community marked the 75th anniversary of one of the most heinous crimes in modern history – the state-sponsored Famine-Genocide of 1932-33 perpetrated by the communist regime under Soviet dictator, Josef Stalin against the Ukrainian people. For decades the truth about this horrific crime was suppressed and denied by Soviet authorities.
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