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

Man accused in Salmon Arm church shooting also charged with arson

Parmenter family home badly damaged by fire a month before killing

Cod Gone Wild to serve the Shuswap another round of musical cheer

Celtic-inspired Okanagan band to perform in Salmon Arm and Sorrento

Kids Christmas shopping event coming to Salmon Arm

Friends and Neighbours by Leah Blain

Okanagan teenagers found after missing for four days

The pair, believed to be dating, had been missing since Nov. 15.

Shuswap families bring home medals from Calgary karate tournament

The Summit Open Martial Arts Challenge was good to martial artists from Salmon Arm and Sicamous

Bye bye Bei Bei: Giant panda born in U.S. zoo heads to China

Panda heads back to China as part of cooperative breeding program

B.C. to advocate for frustrated, confused, unhappy cellphone users, says premier

Maple Ridge New Democrat Bob D’Eith to advocate for more affordable and transparent cellphone options

WATCH: Coldstream garage fire as hot as 275 C: deputy fire Chief

Shop fire potential for ‘one heck of a fireworks show,’ O’Hara says

North Okanagan women head up college board

Gloria Morgan named chair and Juliette Cunningham vice-chair Tuesday

Artist waves women’s flag in Okanagan

SheShe declares femininity with all-encompassing exhibit

Mental health first aid course offered by CMHA at Salmon Arm Okanagan College campus

Students learn to engage with someone experiencing a mental health problem

B.C. man who killed Belgian tourist near Boston Bar gets life in prison, no parole until 2042

Sean McKenzie pleaded guilty to second-degree murder of 28-year-old Amelie Christelle Sakkalis

‘Very disrespectful’: B.C. first responder irked by motorists recording collisions on cellphones

Central Cariboo Search and Rescue deputy chief challenges motorists to break the habit

Most Read