Citizenship and Immigration Canada

Citizenship and Immigration Canada

June 01, 2009 09:42 ET

Government of Canada Supports National Task Force on Holocaust Research, Remembrance and Education

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 1, 2009) - The Government of Canada will partner with B'nai Brith Canada to invest in the newly formed National Task Force on Holocaust Research, Remembrance and Education.

Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced the three-year agreement this morning while speaking at a conference entitled The St. Louis Era: Looking Back, Moving Forward.

"I am happy to announce today that the Government of Canada, through its Community Historical Recognition Program (CHRP), will contribute $984,500 to assist in the development and operation of the National Task Force on Holocaust Research, Remembrance and Education," Minister Kenney said. "The League for Human Rights of B'nai Brith Canada is a leader in the field of Holocaust education and is ideally suited to take on this important task."

In the first year of the agreement, funding will be directed towards the costs of the St. Louis conference itself and the initial launching of the National Task Force on Holocaust Research, Remembrance and Education (NTF). This centralized body, operating under the auspices of B'nai Brith Canada, will bring together scholars, legal experts and educators with Holocaust survivors and Jewish community stakeholders in an effort to share and enhance the important Holocaust research and educational work being done in Canada.

During the second and third years of the agreement, the NTF will conduct a more extensive study of the M.S. St. Louis incident, which saw a ship carrying Jewish passengers from Germany refused refuge in North America on the eve of the Second World War. In addition, the NTF will develop and publish educational resources, including a teacher's manual, a textbook designed for secondary school students and a DVD documentary, and provide training for educators who teach about the Holocaust.

"We applaud the Government of Canada for its vital recognition of the need to further Holocaust education in this country and for putting our nation on the world map in this field of study," said Frank Dimant, B'nai Brith Canada's Executive Vice-President. "We are pleased to partner with the Government in the launch of the National Task Force on Holocaust Research, Remembrance and Education, which will ensure Canada's place as a global centre for advancing Holocaust research and a base from which scholars and community experts can network and interact with each other."

Support for the conference and the NTF advances the Government of Canada's effort to achieve full membership in the Task Force for International Cooperation on Holocaust Education, Remembrance and Research (ITF). Canada's application for full membership will be presented at the ITF's plenary session later this month in Oslo, Norway.

"By seeking full membership, Canada is committing to act and to support the Task Force's efforts to engage all people, teach future generations the lessons of the Holocaust and help prevent future acts of genocide," Minister Kenney explained, adding, "Canada will continue to ensure the memory of the Holocaust is never lost."

The CHRP was announced in June 2006 as part of the Government of Canada's comprehensive historical recognition programming. The CHRP funds community-based commemorative and educational projects that recognize the experiences of communities affected by historical wartime measures and/or immigration restrictions applied in Canada and that promote the contributions of these communities to building this country. Eligible projects can include monuments, commemorative plaques, educational materials and exhibits.

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