MONTREAL–With the intent to organize the Armenian communities of Montreal and Laval to review upcoming efforts towards recognition of the Armenian Genocide by Canada’s Parliament–an information session–organized by the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) and the Armenian Democratic Liberal (Ramgavar Azadagan) Party (ADL)–was held on January 15 at the Aharonian Armenian Center in Montreal.
Attending the gathering were Armenian Apostolic Church-Canadian Diocese Archbishop Hovnan Derderian; Catholicosal Vicar Bishop Khajag Hagopian of the Prelacy of Canada–Representative of the Armenian Evangelical Church of Canada Rev. Mher Khatchikian; representatives of fifty organizations–unions and associations–as well as interested individuals.
In opening the meeting–ARF Canada Central Committee representative Hagop Der Khatchadourian conveyed that the gathering is a historical undertaking in the context of Armenian genocide recognition. He noted that the various Armenian Political organization of Canada have–in fact–on several occasions united efforts; he explained–however–that at this critical stage the field of cooperation must expand greatly and invited additional organizations–associations and unions to participate. He also presented the structure of the collaborative body to be created:
a. Political parties (ARF–ADL) – humanitarian organizations (Armenian Relief Society–Armenian General Benevolent Union)
b. Organizations and Associations
c. Interested individuals
Speaking on behalf of the ADL party–Dr. Arshavir Geonjian established that the intent of the pan-community body will be the realization of Armenian Genocide Recognition by Canada’s Parliament. He noted that the next phase of undertakings–toward this goal–require vast financial and moral support–and only with the collective efforts of the community will the opportunity be created to effectively gain influence on various political levels. He revealed that such gatherings will be conducted in Toronto–Vancouver and others cities in Canada.
Speaking on behalf of the Armenian Evangelical Church of Canada–Rev. Mher Khatchikian recalled that during crucial turning points in Armenian history–the clergy have participated both with the cross as well as with the sword; he reassured that and at this stage as well–Armenian Christian brothers of Canada will be united and at the forefront.
Catholicosal Vicar Bishop Khajag Hagopian stressed that this Hai Tahd undertaking has evolved into a universal issue for Canadian-Armenia’s. He stated that the gathering is a touchstone for the community to seize the opportunity to organize and favorably direct the destiny of Armenia’s.
Archbishop Hovnan Derderian blessed the birth of the gathering and added that it presents a unique opportunity for the community to undertake the practical Hai Tahd effort with restored strength–and utilize all resources towards gaining a victory.
After discussions–an agreement was established to begin preliminary efforts and form an executive body in February.