Citizenship and Immigration Canada

Citizenship and Immigration Canada

January 27, 2011 11:09 ET

Minister Kenney Issues Statement on the International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Jan. 27, 2011) - The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, issued the following statement on the 6th annual UN International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust:

"Today we are called upon to remember the victims of the Holocaust – a genocidal campaign that stands alone in our collective history for its horror, its inhumanity and the scale of its hate-fuelled barbarism and criminality.

"As we mark this day of commemoration, I can't help but look back on my trip to Poland at this time last year, where I was honoured to represent the Government of Canada at the 65th Anniversary of the Liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, and to participate in a conference on Holocaust education and research hosted by the Polish government.

"The visit to Auschwitz had a lasting and profound impact on me, for there is no place in the world that more clearly reminds us of the pernicious and persistent hatred that is anti-Semitism and the cruelty and violence that it can incite.

"The message of Auschwitz echoed at the unveiling last week of 'The Wheel of Conscience' monument at Pier 21 – Canada's Immigration Museum – in Halifax. Designed by celebrated architect Daniel Libeskind, the monument is part of a larger Canadian Jewish Congress (CJC) project to memorialize and commemorate the tragic events that befell the MS St. Louis on the eve of the Second World War in 1939.

"More than 900 Jewish passengers fled persecution in Europe on board that ship and, to our eternal shame, were turned away from Canada. Upon their return to Europe, many later perished in the Holocaust.

"Teaching future generations the lessons of the Holocaust and the effects of xenophobia, including anti-Semitism, is very important. That's why the Government of Canada, through the Community Historical Recognition Program, provided funding for the CJC's St. Louis project, and why we are also partnering with B'nai Brith Canada to invest in the National Task Force on Holocaust Research, Remembrance and Education.

"These initiatives complement two related Canadian efforts: our membership in the Task Force for International Cooperation on Holocaust Education, Remembrance and Research, and the second-annual conference of the Inter-parliamentary Coalition for Combating Antisemitism. Taking place in Ottawa this past November, the conference was a great success and concluded with the development of the Ottawa Protocol on Combating Antisemitism.

"As Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, I urge all Canadians to take the opportunity today to learn more about the Holocaust and pay tribute to its victims, and to reject all forms of racism, hatred and discrimination."

Contact Information

  • Citizenship and Immigration Canada
    Minister's Office
    Alykhan Velshi
    Citizenship and Immigration Canada
    Communications Branch
    Media Relations