Canadian Parliament to Consider Naming April Genocide Remembrance Month

A view of Parliament Hill in Canada's capital Ottawa


OTTAWA—The Armenian National Committee of Canada (ANCC) has worked closely with Brad Butt, Member of Parliament for Mississauga – Streetsville (Conservative) on a motion to declare April as Genocide Remembrance, Condemnation and Prevention Month and, among other things, to mark April 24 of each year as Armenian Genocide Memorial Day, Horizon Weekly reports.

The ANCC urges all Canadians dedicated to the cause of preventing future genocides and properly recognizing past genocides to make their voices heard by writing or calling their Members of Parliament and asking them to vote for this motion.

ANCC President Dr. Girair Basmajian said “This motion reaffirms Canada’s commitment to the important cause of genocide prevention and recognizes that the first step to prevention is to ensure that we remember and condemn past genocides.” Dr. Basmajian further stated “We are very grateful that this motion designates April 24 as Armenian Genocide Memorial Day so that all Canadians can join with the Armenian community to work to prevent future genocides, which is especially important in light of the religiously and ethnically motivated violence against minorities currently taking place in Iraq and Syria.”

The Genocide Remembrance, Condemnation and Prevention Month motion was published on the Notice Paper today, which is the first step that must be taken before the motion can be introduced in the House of Commons and then brought to a vote. It is expected that the motion will be formally introduced in the House of Commons next week by Mr. Butt. It is also expected that other Members of Parliament will speak in favor of the motion at that time. It is not yet clear when the motion would be approved.

The Genocide Remembrance, Condemnation and Prevention Month motion recalls that Canada has officially recognized four genocides (the Holocaust, the Holodomor, the Rwandan Tutsi Genocide and the Armenian Genocide) and that three of these genocides have a memorial day in April, so it is appropriate to designate April of each year as Genocide Remembrance, Condemnation and Prevention Month. The ANCC notes that the designation of April 24 of each year as Armenian Genocide Memorial Day in this motion is the first time that any Canadian federal government body has formally recognized April 24 as Armenian Genocide Memorial Day.

Motion 587

March 26, 2015- Brad Butt, Member of Parliament for Mississauga-Streetsville, gave notice for a motion today. Motion 587 reads:

That this House re-affirm its support for

(a) the Holocaust Memorial Day Act, which received Royal Assent on November 7, 2003;

(b) the Armenian genocide recognition resolution, adopted on April 21, 2004;

(c) the Rwandan genocide resolution, adopted on April 7, 2008; and

(d) the Ukrainian Famine and Genocide (“Holodomor”) Memorial Day Act, which received Royal Assent on May 29, 2008;

That this House call upon the Government of Canada to honour the victims of all genocides by recognizing the month of April as Genocide Remembrance, Condemnation and Prevention Month; and

That this House acknowledge the associated commemorative days of

(a) Yom ha-Shoah, Holocaust Memorial Day, as determined by the Jewish Lunar calendar;

(b) Armenian Genocide Memorial Day, April 24;

(c) Rwandan Genocide Memorial Day, April 7; and

(d) Ukrainian Famine and Genocide (“Holodomor”) Memorial Day, fourth Saturday in November.

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