Madam Speaker, this past Saturday in my riding of Parkdale—High Park, thousands of people lined Bloor Street in a candlelight memorial marking the 75th anniversary of Holodomor, the famine genocide of Ukraine's rural population in 1932 and 1933.
This deliberate famine, perpetrated by the Soviet regime of Joseph Stalin, starved millions to death in an attempt to destroy the aspirations of Ukrainian nationalists for a free and independent Ukraine. These families suffered the most terrible of fates, forced to experience the particular horror of being deprived of food in a land of plenty. Even more inhumane was the quiet violence of restraining families from feeding their own children.
The brutality of this tragedy visited upon the Ukrainian people is nearly impossible for us to comprehend, but we must try. It is tempting to turn away, but the only way to show respect to the 10 million lives lost and to the survivors, many of whom live in Canada today, is to pay attention, to remember, and to tell the story. We are required to compel the memory of the famine genocide forward and to work harder to guarantee--