Ottawa, April 23, 2013 — Today, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney joined Holocaust survivors from across the country at the National Holocaust Remembrance Day Ceremony to light candles in memory of the victims of the Holocaust.
“I was honoured to pay tribute to both Holocaust victims and survivors,” said Minister Kenney.
“Our Government is committed to ensuring that their stories are preserved for future generations so that the lessons of the Holocaust are not forgotten, especially as Holocaust denial, anti-Semitism, and anti-Zionism persist,” he added.
The annual Holocaust Remembrance Day Ceremony, hosted by the Canadian Society for Yad Vashem and the Zachor Coalition, commemorates Yom HaShoah, or Holocaust Remembrance Day – a day to reflect on the unique horror of the Holocaust, to remember the six million innocent men, women and children who were systematically and brutally murdered by the Nazi regime, to honour the survivors, and to recognize the righteous who bravely risked their lives to save others.
Earlier in the day, Minister Kenney presented certificates to a group of survivors in recognition of their courage, strength and resilience, and for contributing to Holocaust remembrance through the sharing of their personal stories.
In the 1980s, a number of organizations in Canada began to record the testimonies of Holocaust survivors for future generations, and in the coming year, as Canada serves as chair of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) under the leadership of Mario Silva, the Government will work with community partners to encourage further efforts to preserve survivor testimony.
This past March, Canada was named chair of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) for 2013-2014. The IHRA is an intergovernmental body of government officials and experts from 31 member countries that promotes Holocaust remembrance, education and research. Canada has committed to an ambitious campaign in the year ahead to raise Holocaust awareness and combat anti-Semitism, both domestically and internationally.
Some of the events and initiatives to promote Holocaust education and remembrance that will take place across Canada this year include:
- an international conference in Toronto in October 2013;
- an Award for Excellence in Holocaust Education to recognize outstanding teachers; and
- an international poster competition for Canadian students in Graphics, Art and Design to support Holocaust Memorial Day activities.
In addition, a National Holocaust Monument will be erected in Ottawa, the location of which was announced during the National Holocaust Remembrance Day Ceremony by the Honourable Tim Uppal, Minister of State for Democratic Reform, on behalf of Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird.
Learn more about the Canada’s initiatives on Holocaust education, remembrance and research.
Learn more about the location of the National Holocaust Monument.
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Photo of Minister Kenney will be available later today.
For further information (media only), please contact:
Citizenship and Immigration Canada
Citizenship and Immigration Canada
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.