“In 1932-33, the communist regime of Joseph Stalin instigated a deliberate mass starvation of the Ukrainian people. Soviet forces removed all food from the country. Then Ukraine’s borders were sealed for two years. It was an act of genocide.

“Seven to 10 million people – entire communities – were killed.

“Holod, which means hunger, and moryty, which means a slow, cruel death, combine to form the word Holodomor, the name given to this atrocity.

“Stalin suppressed and destroyed famine information. When the Soviet Union fell in 1991, records were discovered that gave an account of the staggering number of people who had perished.

“Today, we stand with our neighbours of Ukrainian heritage to acknowledge this genocide. May we ever avow such tragedies for the crimes they are.

“And we all give thanks for living in Alberta, where we have freedom to mourn, freedom to acknowledge historical injustices and freedom to claim our heritage. Our province is made richer by the many people of Ukrainian origin who found a new life in Alberta, and who are such a vital part of the community.”