“We remember the victims of the Armenian Genocide that began on April 24, 1915.
“During the First World War, the Ottoman Empire began arresting and executing Armenian cultural leaders. Through years of deportations to the Syrian Desert and elsewhere, as many as 1.5 million Armenians died from starvation and disease. It was the first genocide of the 20th century.
“I was honoured to co-sponsor the successful 2004 House of Commons motion recognizing the historical reality of the Armenian Genocide, and to announce the Government of Canada’s official recognition of the genocide in 2006. Alberta’s Legislature has also recognized this as Armenian Genocide Commemoration Day, a motion that was enhanced by the recent adoption of MLA Peter Singh’s Genocide Remembrance, Condemnation and Prevention Month Act.
“It is critical that we learn the lessons of the Armenian Genocide, of how festering ethnic and religious hatred culminated in killing on an industrial scale, designed to remove the Armenian people from their ancient homeland.
“Let us call to mind the eternal souls of those who were murdered in the genocide, while being grateful to their survivors and descendants for safeguarding their memory.”