Mr. Wladyslaw Lizon (Mississauga East—Cooksville, CPC):
Mr. Speaker, last week The Globe and Mail used the phrase, “Polish concentration camps” in reference to the Nazi German concentration and extermination camps in occupied Poland.
Brave Polish citizens were the victims of Nazi occupiers and not the perpetrators of their evil crimes.
The reference in the The Globe and Mail article was an insult to thousands of Polish Righteous Among the Nations who risked their lives to save Jewish neighbours.
Could the minister update the House on what our government has done to correct the offensive misconception about the existence of Polish concentration camps?
Hon. Jason Kenney (Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, CPC):
Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for raising this important and sensitive matter.
He is absolutely right that it is offensive to the memory of so many Poles who fought the Nazi occupation and invasion and who have been declared Righteous Among the Gentiles to refer to Nazi concentration camps as being Polish ones.
That is why the Government of Canada has supported at UNESCO the official designation of the Nazi German concentration and extermination camps in occupied Poland.
Let there be no mistake about this point in history. The Government of Canada certainly asks that all people be sensitive to the legitimate historic concerns of the Polish community in this regard.