Recently BC Province government refused to support a private members bill in the B.C. Legislature, that would allow the province to officially recognize the fourth Saturday of each November as a day to commemorate the anniversary of the Ukrainian Famine and Genocide (Holodomor) in Ukraine [read the article here].
That caused a major disappointment among local Ukrainian Community. Couple days later a proclamation became available from General-Governor of BC, The Honourable Judith Guichon, stating that “throughout a British Columbia, Saturday, November 22, 2014 is proclaimed as “Holodomor Memorial Day”.
This gesture was not exactly what Ukrainian Community has expected. As per comment by local Ukrainian Canadian Congress representative: “In place of enacting the Ukrainian Famine and Genocide (Holodomor) Memorial Day Act, the BC government issued this one-time proclamation. Its a very small gesture, and far from the Memorial Day Act that we had proposed. What is more, this proclamation was so poorly publicized that the Ukrainian community was not made aware of its existence until two days later.”
There’s also some questions asked by Marco Levytsky, editor of “Ukrainian News” (Edmonton):
- Five provinces – Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec have all passed similar legislation. Alberta even holds a special ceremony in the Legislature each year commemorating the genocide. If these five provinces do not believe they are duplicating the work of the federal government in this regard, why does BC think otherwise?
- BC has a Holocaust Memorial Day Act, as does the federal government. Is that not duplicating the work of the federal government in this regard?
- Does the BC government practice a double standard where different communities are concerned?
And some comments he received from the BC officials:
MLA Linda Reimer made a statement in the house on Nov. 20, 2014, in support of the proclamation:
“The Holodomor is marked in Ukraine as a national memorial day, and in 2008 an act was passed by our federal parliament that recognizes and commemorates the Holodomor on behalf of all Canadians.
This Saturday, November 22, is Holodomor Memorial Day in British Columbia and Canada. I ask everyone to please join me in solidarity with our Ukrainian community in remembrance of the millions who were killed in this genocide.”
Courtney Carne, Senior Public Affairs Officer, BC Government Communications and Public Engagement:
“The B.C. government stands proudly with Canadian-Ukrainians and has made its support of Ukrainian heritage and sovereignty known in a number of ways. For example, in December 2013, Premier Christy Clark issued a statement in support of the right to peaceful demonstrations in the Ukraine, and on March 5, 2014, she made a statement in the House in support of Ukrainian sovereignty. The B.C. government has also committed $30,000 in humanitarian aid for the Ukraine and recognises Ukrainian Independence Day each year.”
© Ukrainian Vancouver