Canadian Jewish Political Affairs Committee
Task Force for International Cooperation on Holocaust Education, Remembrance and Research

[June 12, 2007]

PRAGUE- Canadian Jewish Congress (CJC) praised a policy pronouncement in a speech given today by Hon. Jason Kenney, Secretary of State for Multiculturalism and Canadian Identity at the Task Force for International Cooperation on Holocaust Education, Remembrance and Research (ITF) in Prague seeking official observer status on the ITF. Canada has declared its desire to gain full membership rights, and this is the first step towards that goal.

"This announcement follows many years of advocay with the previous government to encourage Canada to seek status at the ITF, and I was proud to be part of the Canadian delegation when Minister Kenney announced Canada’s intention to become full members of this important Task Force," explained Farber, who was appointed by CJC National President Ed Morgan to represent CJC as part of the official Canadian delegation to the ITF on the invitation of the Minister.

"Canada has a strong history of memorializing the Holocaust, with official commemorations nationally and in each province. Canada’s full membership in the task force is a natural next step, and we are very pleased the government is taking this vital initiative," said Morgan.

"We are extremely pleased the Prime Minister understood the importance of our participation on the ITF and took the initiative to move forward so readily, and we also thank Hon. Peter MacKay, Minister of Foreign Affairs, for his support in this matter," he added. "As a member of the Task Force, Canada will stay current with contemporary Holocaust education, remembrance and research avenues and approaches. We are hopeful that Canada’s participation on the ITF will help educate future generations of the evil of human rights abuses by memorializing the tragedy of past genocides," Morgan noted.

As part of its membership on the ITF, the Canadian government will work with groups like CJC to develop appropriate projects and learning opportunities for young people to promote education and awareness of the Holocaust and other genocides.