Mr. Speaker, I am honoured today to rise in the House to introduce my private member’s bill, an act to establish a national Holocaust monument.
At present there is no public monument to honour either the victims or the Canadian survivors of the Holocaust. I believe that such a monument is important in order to remember what happens when humanity and fundamental basic rights are discarded.
The national Holocaust monument shall forever remind Canadians of one of the darkest chapters in human history and of the dangers of state-sanctioned hatred and anti-Semitism. Hitler and the Nazis extinguished the lives of millions, including Jews, disabled persons, homosexuals, political prisoners and Romas.
Even today propagators of hate, like the President of Iran, express doubts that the Holocaust was a real event. This makes it even more critical that the Holocaust continue to have a permanent place in our nation’s consciousness and memory.
This monument will serve as a symbol of Canadian values and diversity as much as it will be a memorial for the millions of victims and families destroyed. This monument will be a testament to the Canadian commitment and resolve to never forget and always stand up against such atrocities.
I would like to acknowledge Laura Grosman as the driving force behind this initiative, and my colleague, Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas) for his guidance, as well as members of my own caucus and the opposition who have expressed their willingness to work with me in moving this bill forward.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)