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

School buses for SD91 to start running from June 1

Parents urged to drop off and pick kids up whenever possible

COVID-19 highlights lack of connectivity in First Nations communities

Many don’t have access required to utilize online platforms, says First Nations Technology Council

Salmon closures announced for Skeena and Nass watersheds

DFO notice expands on May 21 chinook ban throughout Skeena watershed

New traffic lanes for Six Mile west of Burns Lake coming soon

Construction to begin on lane extension and traffic improvement

Coastal GasLink pipeline work ramps up

With spring thaw ending, workers start to arrive for summer season

VIDEO: Injured bald eagle rescued in B.C. First Nations community

Bird suspected injured in fight, whisked off to Coquitlam rehab

Love flourishes at Peace Arch Park, but COVID-19 concerns loom

South Surrey park becomes only place for international couples to meet

UPDATE: B.C.’s Central Kootenay issues evacuation orders for hundreds of residents due to flooding

An evacuation alert covers all areas except the Cities of Castelgar and Nelson

PHOTOS: Thousands gather at Vancouver Art Gallery to protest racism

Rally is in response to the deaths of black Americans and a Toronto woman

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

Number of students returning is a wild card as B.C. schools reopen Monday

A common model will see other teachers work four days a week in class then the fifth remotely,

Toronto Raptors’ Ujiri says conversations about racism can no longer be avoided

Thousands have protested Floyd’s death and repeated police killings of black men across the United States

‘I’m afraid’: Witnesses of wolf attack on senior near Prince Rupert worried about safety

Frank Russ shows where the unprovoked wolf attacked his father

Most Read