On May 18, 1944, the Soviet secret police forces dragged thousands of Crimean Tatars from their homes, packed them into cattle cars, and deported this entire nation to a remote corner of Central Asia.
Today is the 73rd anniversary of this brutal crime, an attempt to wipe a small nation from the face of the Earth. Last year, the House debated my bill which would have recognized this atrocity as genocide, but the Liberal government shamefully ordered Liberal MPs to vote against it in an attempt to appease Russia. The Liberals’ efforts to please Vladimir Putin were repaid with a smear campaign against their foreign minister, showing the futility of this approach.
Today, the Crimean Tatars face renewed peril at the hands of Vladimir Putin’s illegal occupation of Crimea. They are denied freedom of speech, the freedom to practice their faith, and are subject to harassment, assault and kidnappings simply because of their nationality.
The same evil ideology is at play in both the Soviet regime’s brutal deportation of an entire nation, and in Vladimir Putin’s unending war against Ukraine.
Canada has always been a friend to Ukraine, and today’s anniversary is a reminder of why we stand with Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars to defend our values against the brutality of regimes like that of Vladimir Putin.