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Canadian Friends of Ukraine HELP IMPLEMENT historic law

Recognizing Ukrainian Famine as Act of Genocide

June 14, 2007

Canadian Friends of Ukraine welcome the historic legislation, Bill C-459, put forth in the House of Commons by Conservative MP James Bezan on June 13, 2007 calling for the recognition of the forced Ukrainian Famine of 1932-33 as an act of genocide against the Ukrainian people.

“We are proud to have played a key role in the drafting of this historic legislation,” said Jurij Darewych, President of Canadian Friends of Ukraine.

Canadian Friends of Ukraine have worked closely with the Office of the Prime Minister, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the Secretary of State for Multiculturalism and Canadian Identity to ensure that comprehensive legislation is put forth by the Canadian Government in the House of Commons recognizing the Ukrainian Famine as an act of Genocide.

In presenting his Bill, Mr. Bezan, a Ukrainian-Canadian MP for Selkirk-Interlake, Manitoba, spoke eloquently in the House of Commons. “The Holodomor, which in Ukrainian means “murder by hunger”, was devised to destroy aspirations for a free and independent Ukraine,” he said.

Speaking in the House of Commons, Mr. Bezan said:

 “I am a Ukrainian-Canadian and want to put forward this bill so that our government will acknowledge the deaths of 10 million victims as an act of genocide against the Ukrainian people,” said Bezan. I am also calling upon historians, journalists, and educators to record and include the facts from this horrible genocide so that all Canadians can learn from this tragic piece of Ukrainian history.”

Mr. Bezan’s legislation, known as Bill C-459 is entitled “ An Act to establish a Ukrainian Famine and Genocide  Memorial Day and to recognize the Ukrainian Famine of 1932-33 as an act of genocide”

“This piece of legislation is significant because it not only designates the fourth Saturday of November as a Memorial Day for the Ukrainian Famine-Genocide, but acknowledges irreversibly, that the forced Famine of 1932-33 was an act of genocide against the Ukrainian people,” said CFU Executive Director, Lisa Shymko.

Mr. Bezan further stated:

“The omission of this forced famine and genocide from our history books is very troubling to me and I hope that this bill will bring to light the atrocities that were committed against the Ukrainian people. Canada has a long-standing history of condemning all war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocides and this bill will once and for all acknowledge the forced famine and genocide against the Ukrainian people.”

The Bill comes this year as Ukrainian-Canadians and the international community mark the 75th anniversary of one of the most heinous crimes in modern history – the state-sponsored Famine-Genocide of 1932-33 perpetrated by the Soviet regime under Joseph Stalin against the Ukrainian people.

Mr. Bezan’s Bill was seconded in the House of Commons by fellow Conservative Ed Komarnicki MP for Souris-Mouse Mountain, Saskatchewan.

“Canadian Friends of Ukraine further recognize the contribution on this issue made by Senator Raynell Andreychuk whose 2003 initiative for a unanimous motion in the Senate helped spearhead awareness of this issue in both Houses of Parliament,” said Margareta Shpir, Vice-President of Canadian Friends of Ukraine.

Canadian Friends of Ukraine recently initiated a series of activities and projects aimed at raising international awareness of the 1932-33 Famine-Genocide of the Ukrainian people.

For further information, contact:

Canadian Friends of Ukraine

620 Spadina Ave. Toronto, ON  M5S 2H4
Tel: (416) 964-6644  Fax: (416) 964-6085

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June 14, 2007

Canadian Friends of Ukraine
620 Spadina Ave.
Toronto, Ontario M5S 2H4
Tel: (416) 964-6644 Fax: (416) 964-6085

Copyright  2014 Canadian Friends of Ukraine