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Introducing a bill to establish a Holodomor day of remembrance in British Columbia

Today in the legislature I rose to table the private members’ Bill M211: Ukrainian Famine and Genocide (Holodomor) Memorial Day Act. If enacted, this bill would establish the fourth Saturday in November as an official day of remembrance: Ukrainian Famine and Genocide (Holodomor) Memorial Day. Similar legislation has already been passed by the federal parliament, as well as by Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec.

Below I reproduce the video and text of the Bill’s introduction. I also append a copy of our media release.


Video of Bill Introduction



Text of Bill Introduction


A. Weaver: I move that a bill intituled Ukrainian Famine and Genocide (Holodomor) Memorial Day Act, 2017, of which notice has been given in my name on the order paper, be introduced and now read a first time.

This bill establishes the fourth Saturday in November as an official day of remembrance. The term “Holodomor” is derived from the words морити голодом, meaning extermination by hunger.

As many as 10 million Ukrainians were killed by the Soviet government under Joseph Stalin through a deliberate state-induced famine in 1932 to 1933. One-third of those killed were children. This bill, if passed, would make B.C. the fifth province to establish an official day of remembrance for Holodomor. Similar legislation has already been passed by the federal parliament, as well as by Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec.

Canada is home to the world’s third-largest Ukrainian population behind Ukraine and Russia, with an estimated 1.36 million Ukrainian-Canadians living across country. Among them are members of my family.

In my family’s case, as part of Stalin’s collectivization of farms, my grandfather, дідо, was shipped to northern Russia. My mother was born in the Ukraine and fled as a refugee during the Second World War. She now lives here in Victoria and has joined us in the gallery.

In tabling this legislation, I would like to recognize the Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology for his continued efforts to have Holodomor recognized in this House. I also wish to thank the government for proclaiming, as a one-time event, November 25, 2017, as Holodomor Memorial Day, as well as the government’s commemoration of the victims of the famine and crimes against humanity in a ceremony this past weekend.

Mr. Speaker: The question is first reading of the bill.

Motion approved.

A. Weaver: I move that the bill be placed on the orders of the day for second reading at the next sitting of the House after today.

Bill M211, Ukrainian Famine and Genocide (Holodomor) Memorial Day Act, 2017, introduced, read a first time and ordered to be placed on orders of the day for second reading at the next sitting of the House after today.


Media Release


Weaver introduces bill to establish day of remembrance for Ukrainian genocide
For immediate release
November 27, 2017

VICTORIA, B.C. – Andrew Weaver, leader of the B.C. Green Party, today introduces a Private Member’s Bill to establish a permanent day of remembrance for Holodomor in British Columbia. The Bill, The Ukrainian Famine and Genocide (“Holodomor”) Memorial Day Act, 2017, would establish the fourth Saturday in November as an official day of remembrance. During Holodomor, 4-10 million Ukrainians were killed as a result of a man-made famine in 1932-33. One-third of those killed were children. An earlier version of the bill was twice introduced by NDP MLA Bruce Ralston.

“It is time this important day of remembrance was recognized by B.C.’s legislature,” said Weaver.

“Canada is home to the world’s third-largest Ukrainian population behind Ukraine and Russia, with an estimated 1.36 million Ukrainian-Canadians living across the country. Among them are members of my family. In my family’s case, as part of Stalin’s collectivization of farms, my grandfather (gig) was shipped to Northern Russia. My mother was born in the Ukraine now lives here in Victoria.

“I thank Mr. Ralston for his continued efforts to have Holodomor recognized in this House. I also wish to thank the government for proclaiming as a one-time event November 25, 2017 as Holodomor Memorial Day, as well as the government’s commemoration of the victims of the famine and crimes against humanity in a ceremony this past weekend,” Weaver continued.

“Let us now take the next step of establishing an official day of remembrance for Holodomor to reaffirm our province’s commitment to freedom, equality and human rights.”

Weaver’s Bill, if passed, would make B.C. the fifth province to establish an official day of remembrance for Holodomor. Similar legislation has already been passed by the federal parliament, as well as by Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec.

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Media contact
Jillian Oliver, Press Secretary
+1 778-650-0597 | jillian.oliver@leg.bc.ca

One Comment

  1. Igh Hanckhs-Reply
    November 28, 2017 at 2:51 am

    Thank you for reminding us of what happened to the UkraInians. It is so easy to forget. Thank you for serving us in politics. We need more humanitarians like you.

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