B.C. Green Party leader Andrew Weaver, his father John Weaver (left) and and Ukraine’s Ambassador to Canada Andrii Shevchenko attend a reception at the B.C. legislature to mark passing of Weaver’s bill proclaiming Holodomor Memorial Day, Oct. 29, 2019. (B.C. Green Party)

B.C. proclaims Ukrainian Holodomor Memorial Day in November

Green leader Andrew Weaver’s grandfather escaped Stalin’s genocide

B.C. officially recognizes the annual day of remembrance for Ukraine’s Holodomor, thanks to a personal effort from B.C. Green Party leader Andrew Weaver.

Weaver gained unanimous support Tuesday for his private member’s bill designating the fourth Saturday of November as Ukrainian Famine and Genocide (Holodomor) Memorial Day. The bill was a collaboration with Surrey-Whalley NDP MLA Bruce Ralston, minister of jobs, trade and technology, who tabled a similar bill in 2009. Kootenay East B.C. Liberal MLA Tom Shypitka also took part in the effort, along with Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows MLA Lisa Beare, whose tourism ministry is responsible for recognition days.

Holodomor is the Ukrainian word meaning “death by hunger” that resulted from Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin’s brutal suppression of Ukrainian dissidents. The deliberately organized famine killed an between three and four million Ukrainians from 1932 to 1933, and the program was covered up for decades by Soviet authorities.

RELATED: Canada urged to ‘freshen’ its Ukrainian ties

RELATED: Canada extends military mission to Ukraine

“My grandfather and his family were survivors of the Holodomor,” Weaver told the B.C. legislature. “He and his wife, together with my mother and her siblings, made their way to Canada after the Second World War. She told me stories of living in a refugee camp in southern Europe and a chicken coop in France as they made their way to safety.”

B.C. has long marked the occasion, which was created by federal legislation, but had no official recognition of its own.

“By formally commemorating Holodomor Memorial Day, we take a firm stance alongside the people of Ukraine and all their descendants by recognizing this dark period in world history,” Shypitka said.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Clearwater RCMP weekly report

Clearwater RCMP responded to 22 calls for service last week

Highway upgrades aim to protect North Thompson water supply

Cement barrier expected to prevent trucks from contaminating river

Last weekend on the ice

Busy activity at the North Thompson Sportsplex

RBC donates to animal rescue

Funds will go toward much-needed vet bills for rescued animals

BC Cannabis Stores set to open in Williams Lake Nov. 27

BC Cannabis Stores is slated to open for business at 10 a.m. next Wednesday, Nov. 27.

VIDEO: ‘Climate emergency’ is Oxford’s 2019 Word of the Year

Other words on the shortlist included ‘extinction,’ ‘climate denial’ and ‘eco-anxiety’

Canucks erupt with 5 power-play goals in win over Nashville

Vancouver ends three-game slide with 6-3 triumph over Predators

65-million-year-old triceratops makes its debut in Victoria

Dino Lab Inc. is excavating the fossilized remains of a 65-million-year-old dinosaur

B.C. widow suing health authority after ‘untreatable’ superbug killed her husband

New Public Agency Health report puts Canadian death toll at 5,400 in 2018

Changes to B.C. building code address secondary suites, energy efficiency

Housing Minister Selina Robinson says the changes will help create more affordable housing

Security guard at Kamloops music festival gets three years for sexually assaulting concertgoer

Shawn Christopher Gray walked the woman home after she became seperated from her friends, court heard

Algae bloom killing farmed fish on Vancouver Island’s West Coast

DFO says four Cermaq Canada salmon farms affected, fish not infectious

Most Read