Today, I had the honour to begin the debate in the House of Commons on my Private Member’s Bill, Bill C-306 – the Crimean Tatar Deportation (“Sürgünlik”) Memorial Day Act.
This Act would recognize the mass deportations of Crimean Tatars in 1944 by the Soviet regime as genocide and establish May 18 as a day of commemoration.
In 2015, the Parliament of Ukraine officially recognized the deportations of 1944 as genocide. Subsequently, they called on other countries to join them in recognizing this atrocity as genocide.
Canada has long-been a defender of human rights and the rule of law. As a loyal friend to Ukraine, now is the time to respond to that call.
This Bill is important today because we cannot separate the deportations of 1944 and Russia’s theft of Crimea from Ukraine 70 years later.