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.

BC legislature

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Tofino and Ucluelet distilleries step up with hand sanitizer

Mass supply delivered to emergency operation centres in Tofino, Ucluelet, Bamfield and Port Alberni.

COVID-19: Isolation exemptions to frontline workers a danger to patients, say Island Health employees

Staff exempt from self-isolation upon return from international travel according to Island Health

B.C. COVID-19 contact restrictions working, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

’Not out of the woods yet’ as next two weeks are critical

Affordable housing project advances in Tofino

Proposal includes 72 units and three duplex townhouses with secondary suites.

Tsunami waves, earthquakes and COVID-19: What if the worst ‘worst’ case scenario hits the Coast?

“All the basic principles still apply here, in terms of community response.”

B.C. is seeing the highest rate of COVID-19 recovery in Canada, and there’s a few reasons why

British Columbia was one of the first to see rise in COVID-19 cases, and has also switched up testing

B.C. Ferries passengers staying away, as asked, during COVID-19 pandemic

Ferry corporation says ridership down 70-80 per cent over the last week and a half

Sewers stitch masks to free up supplies for front-line health-care workers

“We have little old ladies sewing up a storm,” said Joan Davis

Experts weigh in on best handling of groceries during COVID-19 pandemic

Study suggests the virus can live for up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to three days on plastic

COVID-19 world update: Enforceable quarantine in NYC?; France orders 1 billion masks

Spain warns EU’s future at stake; New York governor calls Trump’s idea ‘federal declaration of war

Duncan man asks community to donate RVs to essential workers in need of quarantine

Ryan Oakley creates a Facebook group to help coordinate the effort

Earth Hour 2020 kicks off online Saturday night

Action moves online due to COVID-19

B.C. COVID-19 cases rise 92 to 884, one more death, 81 in care

Outbreak action underway in 12 long-term care homes

B.C. veterinarians want to smooth the fur of COVID-19-worried pet owners

Vets expect to continue giving your fur buddies the help they need while social distancing

Most Read