Qubec National Assembly Passes Armenian Genocide Bill

Following years of effort by the Armenian National Committee of Canada (ANCC)–on November 19–the National Assembly of Qubec passed Bill 194–in recognition of the Armenian Genocide.

The motion was presented by National Assembly member Yvan Bordeleaum from Acadie–who represents the Qubec Liberal Party. In his introduction–Bordeleaum presented the history of the Armenian Genocide and stressed necessity to pass the bill.

Official opposition critic for international relations and Canadian intergovernmental affairs Daniel Turp (Parti qubcois)–also pushed for the passage of the bill–recalling the film "Ararat," and closing his statement with words from Charles Aznavour’s "Pour toi Armenie."

Also expressing support were Michelle Courchesne (Qubec Liberal Party)–Minister of Relations with the Citizens and Immigration Marc Picard (Action dmocratique du Qubec)–and Louise Harel (Parti qubcois)–who spoke of her visits to the Diarbekir and Jerusalem Armenian museums.

After a debate–the motion was carried and Bill 194 was accordingly passed in principle. House Leader Jacques Dupuis moved that the bill be referred–clause-by-clause–for consideration to the Committee on Culture. And the motion was carried. Since 1980–Qubec’s National Assembly has regularly adopted resolutions commemorating the Armenian Genocide; it is the first time–however–that it passes an official law–as did France in 2000.

The ANCC has intensified lobbying efforts for Canada to recognize the Armenian Genocide. During the past few weeks–various meetings were held in Toronto–Montreal–and Ottawa–and with ministers and MPs from all political parties–to generate a consensus for the adoption of a Parliamentary motion of recognition–where all efforts were met with encouragement and support.

"The main objective of the ANCC is to accelerate the pace of consultations with all political parties so that a motion is brought to the floor of this 37th Parliament before it adjourns," said ANCC Chairman Hagop Der Khatchadourian. "We are encouraged by the response from the ran’s of the governing Liberals as well as the opposition parties who have come out in support of such a motion. We shall work towards the establishment of a consensus so that the House of Commons follows in the footsteps of the Senate in providing official recognition of the Armenian Genocide," he added.

"We are aware that the Turkish Embassy is actively pursuing its campaign of denial ‘of the Armenian Genocide.’ The feedback we have received so far indicates that such a campaign–based on falsifications–is not making any inroads–and are confident that truth will prevail," declared ANCC President Dr. Jirair Basmadjian.

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