OTTAWA, Canada (A.W.)—On April 24, on the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, the Canadian Parliament unanimously adopted Motion M-587, calling on all current and subsequent governments to honor the victims of all genocides by recognizing the month of April as Genocide Remembrance, Condemnation, and Prevention Month. Member of Parliament Brad Butt (C-Mississauga-Streetsville) had presented the motion on March 25.
“The government of Canada is proud to support Conservative MP Brad Butt’s private members motion M-587,” said Defense Minister Jason Kenney. Butt himself went on to say that he joins “thousands of people in recognizing the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. … We must never forget what happened then and we must always work to ensure these tragic events never happen again.”
On behalf of the New Democratic Party of Canada (NDP), which also supported the motion, Member of Parliament Alexandre Boulerice said, “the month of April is an important time to re-commit ourselves to protecting human rights and dignity for all people around the world.”
Very close collaboration between Jewish, Tutsi, Ukrainian, and Armenian organizations was instrumental in securing quick passage of Motion M-587 by the Canadian Parliament. All political parties united behind this motion, and its adoption is even more meaningful as it comes on the Centennial of the Armenian Genocide.
“The adoption of M-587 on today’s centennial is an important message to all perpetrators of genocide, and especially Turkey, that all Canadians stand together in condemning heinous acts such as the Armenian Genocide,” stated Mher Karakashian, chair of the Armenian Genocide Centennial Committee of Canada.
Speaking to the Armenian Weekly, Dr. Girair Basmadjian, chair of the Armenian National Committee of Canada (ANCC), said, “Both the government and all parties involved are to be congratulated for their principled stance. We are very proud that our government refuses to be challenged by external forces contrary to our neighbors to the south.” He added that the passage of the motion “demonstrates refusal of all the parties involved to be affected by external denialist pressure or direct interventions by Turkish authorities.”
The Armenian Weekly also spoke to Daron Keskinian, chair of the Armenian Youth Federation of Canada and a member of the Armenian Genocide Centennial Committee of Ontario, who stressed the significance of the motion. “The passage of the motion reaffirmed Canada’s position on the Armenian Genocide especially given that the motion was adopted with unanimous consent.”
“Canada has sent a strong message to the international community that it will not tolerate the act or denial of genocide,” said Keskinian.