Mr. Speaker, I would like to draw hon. member's attention to an atrocity committed against the Armenian people on April 24, 1915.
A total of 1.5 million Armenians lost their lives at the hands of the Ottoman Empire. This year marks the 85th anniversary of the Armenian genocide.
The Hellenic Republic was the first NATO member to denounce this crime against humanity, followed by Belgium, which passed a resolution acknowledging the Armenian genocide in 1998. A number of other nations have followed their lead and I trust that my government will soon do the same.
This coming Saturday in Montreal I will have the honour to represent the Prime Minister at a ceremony organized by the Armenian National Committee commemorating the victims of 1915.
Whether we choose to name it a tragedy, a massacre, an ethnic cleansing or a crime against humanity, it remains an historical event that today would be described by the United Nations as genocide.
I invite all my colleagues to join Canadians of Armenian origin in remembering the victims of the first genocide of the 20th century.