Legislative Assembly Commemorates Holodomor

“Holodomor, the horrific man-made famine in the Soviet Ukraine, is remembered as one of the darkest periods in human history,” said Honourable Robert E. Wanner, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta.

“In commemorating the Holodomor, we join with the people of Ukraine and Ukrainians around the world in honouring the victims of this terrible tragedy and giving voice to their stories.”

Speaker Wanner will host a ceremony in the Legislature rotunda on Monday, November 19, 2018, at 12:15 p.m. to mark Ukrainian Famine and Genocide (Holodomor) Memorial Day in Alberta.

Remarks will be provided by Debbie Jabbour, MLA, Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Legislative Assembly; Honourable Deron Bilous, MLA, Minister of Economic Development and Trade on behalf of the Premier of Alberta; Leela Aheer, MLA, on behalf of the Leader of the Official Opposition; Rick Fraser, MLA, on behalf of the Alberta Party opposition; Daria Luciw, past president of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress Alberta Provincial Council and Jars Balan, director of the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies.

To recognize the anniversary, the ceremony will also include choir performances by students from three schools, including St. Martin’s Catholic school, St. Matthew Catholic school and St. Theresa Catholic school, followed by a candle lighting and prayer.

Visit our Flickr page for photos after the event: flickr.com/photos/legassemblyofab/.

The Holodomor was a government-imposed famine in the Ukrainian SSR, where an estimated 4 million to 10 million individuals died of starvation from 1932 to 1933. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta’s Bill 37, Ukrainian Famine and Genocide (Holodomor) Memorial Day Act. The Act proclaims the fourth Saturday in November of each year as a day of Holodomor remembrance in Alberta.

Holodomor: Statement from Premier Notley

Premier Rachel Notley issued the following statement on Holodomor Memorial Day:

“Holodomor is a combination of two Ukrainian words: Holod, meaning hunger, and moryty, meaning a slow, cruel death. That is exactly what Ukrainians suffered during this deliberate starvation of an entire people.

“In 1932, Soviet police removed all food from Ukraine and sealed its borders. Over two years, 10 million people died, up to 25,000 a day. Then Ukraine’s religious, artistic, intellectual and political leaders were arrested, deported or executed.

“For decades, the outside world didn’t know. Mentioning Holodomor was a crime subject to imprisonment, exile or execution. After the Soviet Union fell in 1991, classified documents revealed the horror to the world. Eyewitness accounts were gathered, some from survivors living in Edmonton.

“More than 300,000 Albertans are of Ukrainian heritage. They have helped build our province from the ground up. Some are survivors of the Holodomor, or are the descendants of those who suffered.

“On the fourth Saturday every November, Alberta joins Holodomor survivors and all people of Ukrainian heritage in remembrance. We do more than remember. We stand vigilant against racism, violence, hatred and persecution. And we promote the acceptance of all people and cultures, so everyone can live in peace and safety.

“On this 10th anniversary of Alberta’s Ukrainian Famine and Genocide (Holodomor) Memorial Act, I encourage everyone to honour the victims of the Holodomor. May we stand forever united against such a tragedy ever happening again.”

United Conservatives mark Holodomor

EDMONTON, AB: United Conservative leader Jason Kenney has issued the following statement in recognition of Holodomor:

“This week, Canadians will remember one of the great crimes of the 20th century – the deliberate starvation of millions of Ukrainian men, women, and children in the famine-genocide of 1932-33.

“Those deaths resulted from the murderous policies of Joseph Stalin’s Communist regime which sought to crush Ukrainian resistance to collectivization by confiscating food and sealing off targeted regions. It  remains among the worst crimes against humanity ever perpetrated.

“A decade ago, I was honoured to play a role in Canada becoming one of the first nations in the world to recognize the Ukrainian famine of 1932-33 as an act of genocide. Parliament unanimously passed a bill establishing the fourth Saturday in November as Ukrainian Famine and Genocide (“Holodomor”) Day, and I announced the Government of Canada’s official recognition of the genocidal nature of the Holodomor in the presence of then Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko during 75th anniversary commemorations of the Holodomor on Parliament Hill.

“Memory of the Holodomor was officially repressed by the Soviet Union, as it is to this day in the Russian Federation. Many in the western media knowingly cooperated in a shameful cover up of this crime, most notoriously the New York Times Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Walter Duranty. We should never forget how truth was sacrificed for political reasons in this campaign of lies.

“That is in part why Holodomor commemoration and education is so important. We must recover the memory of this unspeakable crime, and prayerfully remember the millions of victims. For them let us recall the words of the Byzantine Liturgy for the dead, “Vichnaya pamyat – memory eternal!”