James Bezan, Member of Parliament for Selkirk-Interlake-Eastman and Conservative National Defence Critic, issued the following statement to mark Holodomor Memorial Day:
“United with Ukrainians all around the world, today Canadians commemorate the victims of Holodomor, a man-made famine ordered by Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin in Ukraine in 1932-1933. Holodomor is without any doubt the darkest chapter in Ukraine’s history, which took millions of lives and wiped out entire villages in central Ukraine, where national traditions and self-awareness were rooted. This horrific act of genocide was an attempt to destroy Ukrainian national identity by eliminating their culture and language.
“Canada became the first country to officially recognize Holodomor as an Act of genocide with the passing of my private member`s bill in 2008. Holodomor Memorial Day, on the fourth Saturday in November each year, serves as a lesson to all Canadians that we must stand up against totalitarian regimes and never allow the mistakes of the past to be repeated.
“After more than a quarter century of Ukraine`s independence, the county`s fight for its future and self-determination is not over. With Russia`s illegal annexation of Crimea and brutal military intervention in the East, Ukraine needs our support more than ever before. Canada stands proudly by the Ukrainian people and steadfastly supports Ukraine`s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
“I encourage all Canadians to attend Holodomor Memorial Day services being held in communities across the country and commemorate those Ukrainians who paid the ultimate price for Ukraine’s national identity, culture and, independence. Their memories shall be eternal. Vichnaya Pamyat.”