Citizenship and Immigration Canada

Citizenship and Immigration Canada

August 23, 2011 12:37 ET

Government of Canada Marks Black Ribbon Day

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Aug. 23, 2011) - Last night, members of parliament attended ecumenical services in Vancouver, Edmonton, Winnipeg, and Toronto to mark Black Ribbon Day on behalf of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney.

In 2009, the House of Commons of Canada unanimously adopted a resolution to designate August 23 as the national day of remembrance of Canada for the victims of Communism and Nazism.

"Canada is home to numerous communities whose members have been affected by Communism and National Socialism," said Minister Kenney.

"For decades, Canada has been a beacon of freedom for thousands of people escaping dictatorship and oppressive regimes from across the world, so it is only fitting that we pause every year to commemorate the hundreds of millions of people who have been victims of Communism and National Socialism, among the worst examples of totalitarianism in our history."

72 years ago today, on August 23, 1939, the Communist Soviet Union and Nazi Germany signed the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, establishing a non-aggression agreement. The two regimes pledged to remain neutral in the event that either nation was attacked by a third party. The pact remained in effect until June 22, 1941.

"As Prime Minister Stephen Harper said in November 2009 at a ceremony to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Memorial to Victims of Communism 'shall stand as a reminder that all political systems are not the same, that our democracy and our freedoms are to be cherished, exercised and protected'," noted Minister Kenney.

The government is working closely with communities that were directly affected by Communist and Nazi totalitarianism to build monuments, in our nation's capital, to both the victims of Communism and to the victims of the Holocaust.

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Building a stronger Canada: Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) strengthens Canada's economic, social and cultural prosperity, helping ensure Canadian safety and security while managing one of the largest and most generous immigration programs in the world.

Contact Information

  • Candice Malcolm
    Minister's Office
    Citizenship and Immigration Canada

    Media Relations
    Communications Branch
    Citizenship and Immigration Canada