National Holodomor Monument

December 01, 2011

Holodomor, a Ukrainian word that means “murder by forced starvation,” is the name given to a little-known planned famine inflicted on the Ukrainian people by Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin in the 1930s which killed an estimated eight million people.

I addressed this forced famine as genocide in 1999, and have brought the subject to Parliament’s attention on several occasions since. I have also spoken out internationally for the recognition of the Holomodor. At the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe Parliamentary Assembly in Kazakhstan in July 2008 I supported the Ukrainian Holomodor Resolution, - hoping that the motion would help to spread international recognition of the tragedy.

In order to recognize this event, I have introduced a motion in the House of Commons calling on the government to initiate discussion of establishing a Holomodor monument in the National Capital Region, to help educate Canadians and visiting dignitaries on this tragedy in Ukraine. Significantly 1.2 million Canadians are of Ukrainian descent, including my wife and daughters

A national monument to Holomodor would be helpful to inform the Canadian public about this horrific event that for too long was silenced behind the Iron Curtain of the Soviet Union. The establishment of such a monument would be an important tool to help future generations learn about the true cause of the Holomodor in order to prevent future acts of genocide.

In addition I am supportive of the establishment of a separate, significant permanent exhibition to the Holomodor genocide at the Canadian Museum of Human Rights (CMHR) in Winnipeg and to include education about this genocide in our public schools. To do otherwise is to continue the minimization of this horrific event by accepting the false history propagated by former Soviet Union historians.

What do you think?