Mr. Speaker, I rise today as chair of the Canada-Armenia Parliamentary Friendship Group to commemorate a solemn anniversary. Almost 100 years ago a policy of systematic extermination resulted in the deaths of between a million and a million and a half Armenians.
In recent years, both houses of Parliament have adopted resolutions referring to these events as “the first genocide of the twentieth century”, but I draw faith from the Armenian people. To visit Armenia today is to enjoy a country that has grown and recovered and today, enjoys democracy.
Today, our Armenian Canadian communities celebrate their culture in healthy communities from Montreal to Vancouver, including in my own home area of Waterloo region.
We remember this today, not to look back to 1915, but to learn from the lessons of history and to recommit ourselves to ensuring that such a tragedy never happens again.