Alberta, Canada – On Thursday October 30, the Alberta Legislature passed Bill 37, the Ukrainian Famine and Genocide (Holodomor) Memorial Day Act recognizing the Holodomor as genocide and setting aside the fourth Saturday of every November as Holodomor Memorial Day. Introduced by the Honourable Gene Zwozdesky, Deputy House Leader and Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, the legislation recognizes the millions who died during the Ukrainian Famine and Genocide (Holodomor) of 1932-1933.
The Bill received unanimous support by all members of the Legislative Assembly and was only the fourth bill in Alberta history to have been introduced and conclude all stages of a bill on the same day. To this, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly Ken Kowalski stated “Mr. Premier, Mr. Minister, and Honourable Members, you can do very, very good work in this Assembly. You did such today.”
“This Bill was the result of almost 10 years work by the Ukrainian Canadian community in Alberta. We are very grateful to and would like to recognize Minister Zwozdesky who, with the support of Premier Stelmach, has been working diligently to have such a Bill passed in Alberta,” stated Daria Luciw, President of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress Alberta Provincial Council.
During the Holodomor (extermination by starvation) in Ukraine in 1932-33, over 7 million Ukrainians perished through seizures of food deliberately aimed to starve-out the nationalistic pro-Ukrainian peasantry, thereby eliminating a serious threat to the integrity of the Soviet empire.
“By letting the world know that the Holodomor did happen and that we will never forget, we pay tribute to those who died as a result of this man made, forced famine. We thank the Premier, Speaker Ken Kowalski, Opposition Leaders and all Members of the Legislative Assembly for their leadership, for raising awareness about this tragedy, and for honouring the victims of the Holodomor in this manner today,” said Luciw.
In attendance in the Members Gallery and Public Gallery were over 100 guests, including survivors of the Holodomor and representatives of many Ukrainian organizations from across the Province.
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