Citizenship and Immigration Canada

Citizenship and Immigration Canada

July 03, 2009 14:53 ET

Minister Kenney's Trip Highlights Canada's Commitment to Combating Anti-Semitism and Recognizing the Evils of Communism; Honours Newfoundland's Sacrifice at Beaumont-Hamel

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - July 3, 2009) - Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney returned to Canada yesterday after a successful visit to the United Kingdom and continental Europe to promote Canada's strong commitment to combating anti-Semitism, as well as denounce the evils of communism.

The Minister visited Norway, the United Kingdom, Hungary, the Czech Republic and France. One of the highlights of the trip was Canada's inauguration as a full member of the Task Force for International Cooperation on Holocaust Education, Remembrance and Research (ITF) in Oslo.

"Though the ITF was officially launched in 2000, the Government of Canada only began the process of seeking membership in 2007. I was proud to announce last week that Canada has achieved full membership in the ITF," said Minister Kenney. "We are making a statement to the international community about how important it is to ensure that we learn from the Holocaust and work to prevent future acts of genocide."

While in London, Minister Kenney was the keynote speaker at a luncheon discussion hosted by Policy Exchange, one of the United Kingdom's leading think-tanks. The luncheon brought together British politicians, academics, public policy analysts and business leaders and focused on best practices in combating radicalism and homegrown terrorism.

In Budapest, the Minister represented Prime Minister Stephen Harper at the Official Commemoration of the 20th Anniversary of the Demolition of the Iron Curtain. There he highlighted Canada's strong support for efforts to denounce the evils of communism and reiterated his support for a Monument to the Victims of Communism in Canada.

In Prague, Minister Kenney attended the Holocaust Era Assets conference and visited Terezin memorial, the site of a former concentration camp. His speech urged nations to implement the principles of the Terezin Declaration without delay.

The Minister concluded his trip in France, where he represented the federal government at a commemoration ceremony for the Dominion of Newfoundland's role in the Battle of the Somme at the Beaumont-Hamel memorial. "On behalf of the Minister of Veterans Affairs, I am proud to honour the Dominion of Newfoundland's brave and significant contribution to this battle," said Minister Kenney. "This memorial illustrates Newfoundland's historic role in the First World War."

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