Mr. Speaker, this year Ukrainian Canadians mark the 75th anniversary of one of the most heinous crimes in modern history, the state sponsored famine of 1932-33 perpetrated by the Soviet regime of Stalin against the Ukrainian people.
Called Holodomor, which in Ukrainian means murder by hunger, millions of Ukrainians were stripped of their produce in a forced farm collectivization campaign that killed close to 10 million Ukrainians and was devised to destroy aspirations for a free and independent Ukraine.
For decades, the truth about this horrific crime was suppressed by Soviet authorities. The omission of this forced famine and genocide from our history books is very troubling to me, which is why today, as a Ukrainian Canadian myself, I am introducing an act to establish Ukrainian Genocide and Famine Memorial Day.
This bill would not only designate the fourth Saturday of November as a memorial day for the Ukrainian famine, but it also acknowledges the famine as an act of genocide.
I would like to thank the continued efforts of the Ukrainian Canadian community that has worked tirelessly to bring public awareness to the Ukrainian famine and genocide.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)