Ottawa – Prime Minister Stephen Harper joined with Edmonton East MP Peter Goldring this evening at a solemn Parliament Hill ceremony remembering the deaths of seven million Ukrainians during the Holodomor, an artificial famine created by the USSR in 1932-33.
Sponsoring the event were the Ukraine – Canada Parliamentary Friendship Group, of which Mr. Goldring is the chair, the Embassy of Ukraine in Canada and the Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC).
As well as hearing from Prime Minister Harper and Mr. Goldring, Ukrainian Ambassador Ihor Ostash and UCC President Paul Grod spoke their thoughts on the genocide with the gathering. A time of prayer and remembrance was also held.
In the House of Commons earlier Wednesday Mr. Goldring spoke of the need to remember the atrocities of the past to ensure similar events do not happen in the future.
“We remember today the victims of the Holodomor, of the dark side of humanity,” Mr. Goldring said. “By remembering we help the world guard against those who would repeat such genocide. “
The full text of Mr. Goldring’s statement reads:
Today we remember the Holodomor, a crime against humanity the world has chosen to forget.
More than seven million perished in Ukraine in a planned famine created by Stalin’s despotic 1930s regime.
This annihilation was not caused by the ravages of nature, nor the scourge of pestilence, nor by the obliteration of war, but by the hand of a dictator consumed with hatred.
Why mankind wreaks death and destruction on its own in such unimaginable numbers might not even have the understanding given it by the Almighty in the Hereafter.
Ukrainians, starved to death in the “Breadbasket of Europe,” are being remembered in ceremonies across Canada and around the world.
We remember today the victims of the Holodomor, of the dark side of humanity, and by remembering we help the world guard against those who would repeat such genocide. “