November 24, 2020


Selkirk, MB – James Bezan, Shadow Minister for National Defence and Member of Parliament for Selkirk-Interlake-Eastman, today issued a statement to commemorate National Holodomor Awareness Week:

“Canadians take a moment this week to join Ukrainians around the world to remember and raise awareness of 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 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.

“During National Holodomor Awareness Week, all Canadians should take the opportunity to learn about this history and what can happen if we do not stand up against totalitarian regimes. It is our responsibility to educate on, learn from, and ensure the mistakes of history will never be repeated.

“After almost three decades of independence, Ukraine continues to fight for its sovereignty and territorial integrity. Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea and increased aggression does not go unopposed. Canada will stand proudly alongside our allies to ensure Ukraine remains independent for decades to come.

“In 2008, I worked with Ukrainian Canadian organizations on an important Private Members Bill to ensure the Holodomor was not just recognized as a genocide by Ukraine, but by our Parliament. The bill was passed making Canada the first country to do so and encouraged other nations to follow suit.

“Each year, on the fourth Saturday in November, we mark Holodomor Memorial Day. While we cannot come together in person this year, I encourage all Canadians to take a moment to remember the millions of men, women, and children who paid the ultimate price for Ukraine’s national identity, culture and independence. Their memories shall be eternal.

“Vichnaya Pamyat.”