Ottawa, November 25, 2011 – The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, issued the following statement to commemorate the 78th anniversary of the Holodomor:
On Saturday, November 26, 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 and 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 perpetuated.
In 2008, Canada became the first nation to recognize the Ukrainian famine of 1932-33 as an act of genocide. Parliament unanimously passed a bill establishing the fourth Saturday in November as Ukrainian Famine and Genocide (“Holodomor”) Memorial Day.
I had the privilege of representing the Government of Canada that year at the solemn 75th anniversary commemoration of the Holodomor in Kyiv, Ukraine. Three years later, we remain committed to memorializing the Holodomor victims and to promoting international recognition.
Every year, Parliamentarians join with the Ukrainian-Canadian community in commemorating the Holodomor on Parliament Hill, as we did again on November 22. Moreover, Canadians take part in Holodomor memorial gatherings held across the country.
In doing so, Canada honours the memory of those who perished, reaffirms our shared obligation to prevent future atrocities, and expresses our unwavering commitment to freedom and human rights.
As Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, I stand with that community and with all Canadians in commemorating the Ukrainian Famine and Genocide of 1932-33.