“Today, I join our Ukrainian friends and neighbours across Ontario, Canada, and throughout the world in remembering and honouring the millions who lost their lives during the atrocities of the Holodomor genocide.
“During this dark chapter of history, Ukrainian men, women, and children were cruelly and deliberately starved to death by Joseph Stalin’s Soviet regime between 1932-1933. This crime against humanity devastated families, cut off one generation from the next, and left a trail of horror and sorrow in its wake.
“By commemorating the victims of the Holodomor, we remind ourselves that we share a responsibility to advance our values—freedom and respect for human rights and the rule of law—and to oppose tyranny in all its forms.
“I have seen our Ukrainian friends’ love of country and community firsthand in the festivals, parades, and events I have been honoured to be a part of over the years. I could not have been more proud that Canada was the first country to recognize Ukrainian independence in 1991, and the first to call the Holodomor precisely what it was—genocide.
“Ontarians of Ukrainian descent have been making significant contributions to our province and country’s social, cultural, and economic development since the earliest years of Canada’s history. From the bravery and patriotism of decorated war hero Filip Konowal in World War I, to the contributions to Canadian multiculturalism made by individuals like Paul Yuzuk, Ukrainian-Canadians continue to make a positive mark in communities all across our great province.
“Ontario’s Ukrainian community continues to be an invaluable part of our social and cultural fabric. This time of mourning and remembrance provides us with the opportunity to learn more about the Ukrainian people’s harrowing history, and to reflect on the values we hold that recognize the dignity of all people.
“Let us never forget the unspeakable depths to which humanity can sink, and may we always remember the unbreakable spirit of the Ukrainian people.”