Robert Fisk, Ken Hachikian Join Canadian Armenians for Armenian Genocide Commemorations

TORONTO, ON – In commemoration of the 95th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, over one thousand members of the Canadian-Armenian community of Toronto, joined by a number of prominent political and community guests gathered at the Armenian Youth Centre on Sunday, April 25th.

Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism The Hon. Jason Kenney conveyed the message of Prime Minister Stephen Harper.  Michael Ignatieff, Leader of the Official Opposition delivered his message to the community.  Jack Layton, Leader of the New Democratic Party of Canada was unable to attend but sent a message.  

Keynote speaker Robert Fisk addresses the audience.
Keynote speaker Robert Fisk addresses the audience.

The evening’s keynote speaker was Middle Eastern Correspondent for The Independent, Robert Fisk, who discussed Turkey’s denial campaign and stressed the importance of worldwide recognition of the Armenian Holocaust, as it is referred to in The Independent.

Fisk holds more British and International journalism awards than any other foreign correspondent. In 2001, he was awarded the David Watt Prize for “outstanding contributions towards the clarification of political issues and the promotion of their greater understanding” for his investigation into the Armenian Genocide. To watch Robert Fisk’s televised interview on CTV on April 24th please visit http://watch.ctv.ca/news/latest/armenias-past/#clip293663.

Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) Chairman Ken Hachikian was also a guest speaker at the event and discussed the current state of House Resolution 252, the status of the Protocols as well as President Obama’s statement regarding the Armenian Genocide and Turkey’s continuous denial of this crime against humanity.

“For let there be no mistake, denial of the Armenian Genocide is the denial of security to the Armenian nation. Armenia cannot, today, be safe while the Turkish Republic remains on her border as an unrepentant, antagonistic, and over-armed denier state.” stated Hachikian.

Jivan Gasparyan Jr., famed Duduk player and grandson of the legendary musician Jivan Gasparyan, performed a set of songs dedicated to the one and a half million Armenians who were annihilated in 1915.

Additional dignitaries in attendance included David Caplan, Member of Provincial Parliament for Don Valley East delivered a message from Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty. Frank Klees, Member of Provincial Parliament for Newmarket-Aurora brought greetings from Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario leader Tim Hudak. Michael Prue, Member of Provincial Parliament for Beaches East York delivered the message of the Ontario New Democratic Party and its leader Andrea Horwath. Toronto Councilor Shelley Carroll, Ward 33 delivered Toronto Mayor David Miller’s message.  Jack Heath, Deputy Mayor of Markham brought a message from Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti. Toronto District School Board Chairman Bruce Davis delivered a message on the importance of genocide education.

Guest speaker, ANCA Chairman Ken Hachikian addresses the audience.

Also, in attendance were members of various levels of government including: Senator Consiglio Di Nino (Ontario); Jim Karygiannis, MP (Scarborough Agincourt); John McKay, MP (Scarborough-Guildwood); John Cannis, MP (Scarborough Centre); Derek Lee, MP (Scarborough Rouge River); Rob Oliphant, MP (Don Valley West); Borys Wrzesnewskyj, MP (Etobicoke Centre); Paul Calandra, MP (Oak Ridges-Markham); Lois Brown, MP (Newmarket-Aurora); Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Eric Hoskins, MPP; Chair of Cabinet and Minister Responsible for Seniors Gerry Phillips, MPP; Helena Jaczek, MPP (Oak Ridges-Markham); Toronto City Councillors Adam Giambrone (Ward 18), Chin Lee (Ward 41), Mike Del Grande (Ward 39) and Norm Kelly (Ward 40); York Regional Councillor Gordon Landon (Town of Markham); Markham Councillor Logan Kanapathi (Ward 7); Toronto District School Board Trustees Soo Wong (Ward 20) and Michael Couteau (Ward 17).

Additionally, Toronto Mayoral candidates George Smitherman, Rocco Rossi and Sarah
Thomson attended.

The event was organized by the United Committee of Toronto for the 95th Commemoration of the Armenian Genocide, consisting of A.R.F Soghoman Tehlirian Gomideh, S.D. Hnchagian Party Paramaz Chapter and A.D.L. (Ramgavar) Yesayi Yaghoubian Chapter.

The Armenian National Committee of Toronto is a chapter of the Armenian National Committee of Canada, a grassroots organization that was founded in 1965 to address the concerns of the Canadian Armenian community on a broad range of issues.

Authors

Discussion Policy

Comments are welcomed and encouraged. Though you are fully responsible for the content you post, comments that include profanity, personal attacks or other inappropriate material will not be permitted. Asbarez reserves the right to block users who violate any of our posting standards and policies.

5 Comments

  1. Aram said:

    Indeed Armenia is not safe while Turkey remains on her border; knowing Turkey's past and present predatory appetite in attacking, occupying and killing any vulnerable nation to gain the plundered booty, it behooves the great powers to send a strong message to Turkey to refrain from practicing the barbarity it is accustomed to.

    Unfortunately, Turkey has not changed, from the day it has invaded and occupied the Armenian and Greek lands 700 years ago, to the present day, it still has the mongol and tatar bloodthursty killing and plundering instinct; no matter how hard Turkey tries to convince the world by portraying itself as a civilized nation, it has not succeeded; the world knows Turkey's backwardness and Europe has shut its door to its entry into the EU.

  2. john said:

    very good point Aram. west knows this very well but it's just too stupid to do anything about it unless it gets overrun by these monkeys.

  3. vahe said:

    Turkey is a very important member of NATO and its millitary is essentially U.S. produced,supplied and trained, Is the world a safe place when the ruling elite of U.S. have been invading countries after countries all over the world for their political/economical interest and are using Turkey for their overall world domination?

  4. Eddy said:

    As much as I am ashamed of our untalented and corrupt government and part of society in Armenia as much I adore the courage and sincerity of Robert Fisk!

    Two weeks ago the German public TV , “ARD” broadcasted a strong and unique documentary film about the Armenian Genocide “ Aghet, Ein Völkermord, / Aghet- A genocide” . The best know German actors agree to take part in this documentary film !

    I recommend the Armenian Organisation and Armenian Diaspora in US to translate the documentary film made by German Public TV in Turkish and deliver at least 100 0000 copy of this strong documentary with the help of Turkish NGO´s and news paper to Turkish public

  5. Subir Guin said:

    I’ve been an ardent fan of Robert Fisk for several years. You could not have chosen a more knowledgeable individual as a guest speaker for this important anniversary.

    Persuading the Turkish government to accept responsibility for the genocide will likely be a slow process, that may take a generation or two to achieve; however, pursuing this goal would have better prospects of success if it is not totally confrontational. A measured approach – recognising the fact that this ugly episode took place decades ago, but cannot simply be forgotten – is a first step. Even bitter enemies have been able to reconcile their differences by diplomatic dialogue. If individuals from either side make the effort to get together, they might be surprised to find similarities they can identify with, in their adversaries. The more of such one-to-one engagements at grass root levels, the greater the chances of a rapproachement at community and national levels.

    The city of Toronto is an example: people from widely divergent cultures can and do live as neighbours and have the opportunity to witness both the good and the bad that can be found in all of us.

    Cynics may scoff at such ideas, but how else can we resolve the bitter conflicts that divide us? Invariably national pride, politics, bias religious extremism and propaganda remain major obstacles; but all of these can be overcome if we apply ourselves to the task.

*

Top