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Canada Recognizes the Armenian Genocide

Staff Report

APRIL 22, 2004

On April 21, 2004, the House of Commons of the Canadian Parliament adopted 153-68 a motion recognizing the Armenian Genocide. Since the Senate had already passed a resolution recognizing the Armenian Genocide (June 13, 2002), the adoption of the Bill M-380 finalizes a complete acknowledgement by Canada’s legislature of the fact of the Armenian Genocide.

Bill M-380, introduced by Mrs. Madeleine Dalphond-Guiral (M.P. Laval Center) and seconded by Mr. Sarkis Assadourian (M.P. Brampton-Center), Mr. Jason Kenney (M.P. Calgary-South-East) and Mrs. Alexa McDonough (M.P. Halifax) reads “That this House acknowledges the Armenian genocide of 1915 and condemns this act as a crime against humanity.”

Prior to the April 21 vote, there were two debates on the motion, on February 25 and again on April 20. During both readings, the overwhelming majority of MPs spoke in favor of the Resolution. Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs has been firmly opposed and even obstructive to the passing of this resolution. Nonetheless, despite that and threats emanating from the Turkish Embassy in Ottawa, the majority of opposition MPs and even many of individual members of the ruling Liberal party voted in favor of the Resolution.

The passing of the Bill M-380 is the result of decades of hard work and dedication on the part of the Armenian community of Canada. Efforts of many influential individuals, community leaders and organizations made it possible for Canadian legislature to adopt the resolution. Clearly formulated position of the government of the Republic of Armenia on this issue has also contributed to Canada’s recognition of the Armenian Genocide.

On Thursday, April 22, Armenia welcomed Canadian Parliament’s recognition of the Armenian Genocide.

“The parliamentary resolution recognizes the genocide of Armenians and condemns (it as) a crime against humanity,” said Hamlet Gasparian, spokesman for the Armenian Foreign Ministry. “In doing so, Canada pays tribute to millions of Armenians who suffered genocide under the Ottoman Empire,” he added.