Canadian Jewish Political Affairs Committee
Holocaust Memorial Day

[April 19, 2004]

Ms. Judy Wasylycia-Leis (Winnipeg North Centre, NDP): Mr. Speaker, yesterday was a moment of great historical significance for this country. It was the first ever national Holocaust Memorial Day held on the occasion of Yom ha-Shoah.

For me it was a particularly emotional moment to see an idea which had come from the Winnipeg Jewish community actually come to fruition. It became a reality thanks to the work of members of all parties in this house, particularly the member for Charlesbourg—Jacques-Cartier.

It was an emotional moment for me to be at the ceremony at the Etz Chayim synagogue in Winnipeg. It was also a moment of great significance for the member for Halifax who was in Halifax for the ceremony and for our leader, Jack Layton, who was here in Ottawa for the official national Holocaust Memorial Day service.

We were all reminded yesterday of the need to honour and respect the six million Jews who died in the Holocaust, as well as the survivors of the Holocaust and to rededicate ourselves to ending growing anti-Semitism in our society today and conflicts everywhere in the world, including Rwanda and the Balkans.