Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank all hon. members of the House who have spoken to this historic bill over the first and second hour of debate.
I especially want to thank the member for Souris—Moose Mountain who moved this bill at first reading. I want to thank the member for British Columbia Southern Interior who seconded this bill at second reading. I want to thank the leadership that the member for Kildonan—St. Paul has shown for the Ukrainian community. I want to thank the member for Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie who also helped in drafting the request for unanimous consent on this bill that I am going to present later. Of course, I want to thank the member for Etobicoke Centre for his hard work on behalf of all Ukrainians and for making sure that we get this done today.
I want to thank the Ukrainian Canadian Congress for its support, the League of Ukrainian Canadians which has quite a large Internet wave of support coming from the Ukrainian community through its website, and also the Canadian Friends of the Ukraine who have been with me right from the start on drafting this legislation.
I also want to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to the Right Hon. Prime Minister. His continued leadership on the world stage was evident again yesterday when he hosted a state visit with the President of Ukraine. His devotion to democracy and human rights is always unwavering. His support for the Ukraine on the international stage is appreciated and commendable.
Yesterday, I stood by many Ukrainian Canadians outside this House in memory of the victims of the famine genocide of 1932-33, the Holodomor. They came to watch their homeland president, President Yushchenko, speak to them about the Holodomor.
I want to thank the hon. Secretary of State (Multiculturalism and Canadian Identity) who spoke at that event. He has worked very hard on this issue for over two years now on behalf of the government and, of course, on behalf of Canadian Ukrainians and Ukrainians worldwide. He gave a heartfelt speech yesterday in memory of the victims and I thank him for his thorough understanding of this issue and his support for this bill. I welcome the broad support this has received from all parties and I am truly, truly humbled.
I want to once again put this into modern day context so that people understand the atrocity of this crime. As I described in my previous address, if every single man, woman and child in western Canada were starved to death and all their food taken and thrown across the Prairies, off the farms, out of the grocery stores, out of their shelves and fridges, and thrown into Lake Winnipeg, then we would have an equal type of crime to the same extent that the Ukrainians suffered under the communist regime and the Stalin dictatorship.
When I started studying this issue and I listened to the personal accounts of survivors, I was overwhelmed with the magnitude of this atrocity. The individual pain and suffering that people endured is just simply overwhelming. I cannot stress enough the importance of recognizing the Holodomor now as a genocide even though the west sat silent while this took place. This is an important time for Ukraine, for this Parliament and for Canada.
Discussions have taken place between all parties and I would like to move the following motion. I move:
That, notwithstanding any Standing Order or usual practices of this House, Bill C-459, an Act to establish a Ukrainian Famine and Genocide Memorial Day and to recognize the Ukrainian Famine of 1932-33 as an act of genocide shall be amended as follows:
That Bill C-459 be amended by replacing the long title on page 1 with the following:
“An Act to establish a Ukrainian Famine and Genocide (“Holodomor”) Memorial Day and to recognize the Ukrainian Famine in 1932-33 as an act of genocide”
That Bill C-459, in the Preamble, be amended by replacing line 2 on page 1 with the following:
“ocide of 1932-33 known as the Holodomor was deliberately planned and”
That Bill C-459, in the Preamble, be amended by replacing lines 6, 7 and 8 on page 1, with the following:
“Ukraine, and subsequently caused the death of millions of Ukrainians in 1932 and 1933”
That Bill C-459, in the Preamble, be amended by adding an additional paragraph after line 8 on page 1 with the following:
“WHEREAS that forced collectivization by the Soviet regime under Joseph Stalin also caused the death of millions of other ethnic minorities within the former Soviet Union”.
That Bill C-459, in the Preamble, be amended by replacing line 28 on page 1 with the following:
“Austria, Estonia, Georgia, Hungary,”
That Bill C-459, in the Preamble, be amended by replacing lines 23 to 27 on page 2 with the following:
“WHEREAS Canada, as a party to the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide of December 9, 1948, condemns all genocides;”
That Bill C-459, in clause 1, be amended by replacing line 36 on page 2 with the following:
“Famine and Genocide (“Holodomor”) Memorial Day Act.”
That Bill C-459, in clause 2, be amended by replacing line 4 on page 3 with the following:
“(“Holodomor”) Memorial Day”.
That Bill C-459, in clause 3, be amended by replacing line 6 on page 3 with the following:
“and Genocide (“Holodomor”) Memorial Day is not a legal”.
following which, Bill C-459 shall be deemed to have been read a second time, referred to a committee of the whole, deemed considered in committee of the whole, deemed reported without amendment, deemed concurred in at report stage, and deemed read a third time and passed.