Citizenship and Immigration Canada

Citizenship and Immigration Canada

June 24, 2009 09:33 ET

Canada Achieves Full Membership in the Holocaust Task Force

OSLO, NORWAY--(Marketwire - June 24, 2009) - Canada is now a full member of the Task Force for International Cooperation on Holocaust Education, Remembrance and Research (ITF), Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced today.

Canada's application for full membership was accepted during the ITF's plenary session earlier today.

"Membership in this important body provides Canada with an opportunity to work internationally to combat racism and anti-Semitism," said Minister Kenney. "This Government believes it is critically important to be engaged in efforts to teach future generations the lessons of the Holocaust and help prevent future acts of genocide."

In order to become a full member, Canada had to complete a baseline study on the current state of Holocaust education, remembrance and research in Canada and complete a project in liaison with ITF members.

For its liaison project, Citizenship and Immigration Canada and B'nai Brith Canada, in partnership with the U.S. Department of State, the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the U.S. Holocaust Museum, and the Memorial de la Shoah, hosted a conference in Toronto entitled, The St. Louis Era: Looking Back, Moving Forward. This conference examined Canada's actions and attitudes before and during World War II, including our country's refusal in 1939 to provide a place of refuge to passengers aboard the MS St. Louis, some of whom, tragically, later perished in the Holocaust.

At the conference, Minister Kenney also announced funding toward the creation of a National Task Force on Holocaust Research, Remembrance and Education.

As a full member in the ITF, Canada has committed to promoting the Declaration of the Stockholm International Forum on the Holocaust through appropriate forms of Holocaust remembrance, while encouraging research and enhancing education about the Holocaust.

The ITF is an international organization devoted to placing political and social leaders' support behind the need for Holocaust education, remembrance and research, both nationally and internationally. The organization provides funding for Holocaust-related projects around the globe, including training programs, books, publications, and educational material. With Canada's acceptance as a full member, the ITF now consists of 27 member countries.

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