Selkirk-Interlake MP James Bezan is extremely thankful that the Senate has unanimously supported his Private Members Bill C-459 to establish a Ukrainian Famine and Genocide (Holodomor) Memorial Day and recognizes the Ukrainian Famine of 1932-33 as an act of genocide, according to a press release, forwarded to UNIAN from the office of the MP Bezan.

 “I would like to express my appreciation and thanks to all parties for the support that I received.   I would also like to thank Senator Raynell Andreychuk, who sponsored my bill in the Senate and expedited its quick passage,” said Bezan.

 On Tuesday in the House of Commons, in one motion moved by Bezan the bill was deemed to have been read a second time, considered in committee, reported, concurred in, read a third time and passed.  The bill then went the Senate, where it passed all stages on Wednesday.  The bill received Royal Assent today at Rideau Hall.

 Bezan also stated, “This bill is about recognizing a historic wrong ignored by the West.  The communist ideology of Soviet Dictator Joseph Stalin targeted and exterminated millions of Ukrainian men, women and children through forced famine.”

 The Ukrainian Famine and Genocide (Holodomor) Memorial Day Act not only establishes every fourth Saturday of November a memorial day commemorating this atrocity, but  also recognizes the Holodomor as a genocide.

 “It is important that this bill be recognized by Parliament and the Government of Canada, which will allow us to honour the victims and survivors of the Holodomor that are in Canada, Ukraine and around the world.  It will also let Ukraine and the International community know that Canada supports calling Holodomor, a genocide,” said Senator Andreychuk.

 Ukrainian President, Victor Yushchenko is currently in Canada and has asked for Canada’s support in recognizing the Holodomor as genocide.  Bezan met the President and personally discussed the bill with him on Monday during the President’s state visit to Ottawa.

 The bill was introduced last year as Ukrainian-Canadians and the international community marked the start of the 75th anniversary of one of the most heinous crimes in modern history - the state-sponsored Famine-Genocide of 1932-33 perpetrated by the communist regime under Soviet dictator, Josef Stalin against the Ukrainian people.  For decades the truth about this horrific crime was suppressed and denied by Soviet authorities.