Oct. 31st, 2011
(Published in the Kingston Whig-Standard, Oct. 26, 2011, Editorial-Opinion, Page 5)
Law and Security
Man openly mocks so-called law-and-order agenda
By: LUBOMYR LUCIUK
This particular KGB man arrived in September 1997. He was found out in 2002. So Mikhail Lennikov said he was a refugee. He failed to convince the Immigration and Refugee Board of that, in May 2006. So he appealed. In June 2009, the Honourable Mr. Justice Russel Zinn of the Federal Court of Canada upheld the deportation order. The same judge, on June 4, 2009, ruled Ottawa must return Abousfian Abdelrazik from Sudan, a decision applauded by those who otherwise studiously ignore his contemporaneous decision in this KGB man's case.
Justice Zinn wrote: "The applicant has had the benefit of every procedure available to him under the Act. At some point, a deportation order must be carried out otherwise the integrity of the process is called into question." He also cited Mr. Justice Evans: "...the balance of convenience does not favour delaying further the discharge of either the applicant's duty...to leave Canada immediately, or the Minister's duty to remove them as soon as reasonably practicable...This is not simply a question of administrative convenience, but implicates the integrity, and fairness of, and public confidence, in Canada's system of immigration control."
The applicant's duty was to leave. Instead he decamped into a pre-prepared suite in Vancouver's First Lutheran Church, asserting a right of sanctuary. There is no such thing.
The Honourable Vic Toews, Minister of Public Safety, is responsible for the Canada Border Services Agency. On Jan. 28, 2010, he insisted: "The Immigration and Refugee Board and the courts have determined that Mr. Lennikov is not admissible to Canada under our laws." He has done little since.
Supposedly, Conservatives favour a law-and-order agenda. Yet, someone openly defying our laws remains untroubled. Recently Harper's government circulated descriptions of alleged war criminals, encouraging snitches to help the Canada Border Security Agency deport bad guys (a few were). Since this KGB man's whereabouts are known why wasn't he removed?
The Conservatives also cater to ethnic communities. More than 1.2 million Canadians are of Ukrainian heritage, many thousands more are of other eastern European origins, and more than a few have family members who suffered persecution by the Communist secret police, known variously as the CHEKA, NKVD, SMERSH, and KGB. Some victims were even Lutherans. Giving 'Captain KGB' the boot would earn "ethnic votes."
Supporters plead this former Soviet agent should stay because he is a well-educated family man and Mozart aficionado who only worked as a translator. They argue he poses no security threat since the U.S.S.R. collapsed more than two decades ago.
Would they rally behind someone with a PhD who treasured Tchaikovsky and was 'only' a Russian-language translator while in the Gestapo or SS? Not likely. Simply being part of an organization that perpetrated crimes against humanity, even if you were 'only' a cook, bottle washer, or translator, renders you inadmissible. All KGB veterans fit that description. That's Canadian law, like it or not.
Of course our KGB man is a white European. Most other n'erdo- wells being hunted down are Third Worlders. And although Communists are atheists by definition, this one was clever enough to steal away into a church. Since the remarkably delicate souls of the CBSA won't enter a place of worship to do their jobs, God forbid any of Canada's other most wanted read this. Any law-breaker who absconds into a mosque, synagogue, or temple can apparently chortle home free!
Offering citizenship to KGB or Gestapo veterans is unconscionable. And Canadians want federal laws upheld. Yet that's not happening. Deploying the usual remedies -- chiding Ministers, sending protest cards to MPs, alerting the media -- has had little consequence. The taxpayer- funded CBC even broadcast reports sympathetic to this bogus refugee claimant and illegal alien, obfuscating the KGB's murderous role. Those claiming there's no left-wing bias at the CBC must be joking.
So we hired a private investigator and put this KGB man's bolthole under surveillance. If he leaves, the authorities will be alerted immediately and will deport him. Alternatively, he can spend the rest of his days in his hidey-hole at First Lutheran. That's fine with us.
Some hint that this once loyal servant and beneficiary of the Soviet regime "found God" in their midst. How nice, if true. As Christians we might have "turned the other cheek" if there was credible evidence this KGB man genuinely sought forgiveness for what he was, made public his repentance. He hasn't. So we say: "No wolf in sheep's clothing will ever be welcome in the flock."
Lubomyr Luciuk, PhD, is director of research for the Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Association (www.uccla.ca)
Oct. 12th, 2011
GROUP PLACES KGB MAN UNDER SURVEILLANCE
For Immediate Release - (Ottawa, 14 October, 2011)
Concerned over the failure of the Canada Border Services Agency to remove a known veteran of the notorious Soviet secret police, the KGB, from Canada, the Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Association today announced that it has engaged the services of a private investigation firm to put a Lutheran church basement in east Vancouver under surveillance:
"According to the Minister of Public Security, the Honourable Vic Toews, this KGB man had no right to enter Canada, and he has no right to remain. He is not a refugee, as confirmed by the Immigration and Refugee Board. His appeal of that finding was dismissed by the Honourable Mr. Justice R. Zinn of the Federal Court of Canada. He should have been removed immediately, but he claimed 'sanctuary' in a pre-prepared bolt-hole in a church basement, even though no 'right of sanctuary' exists in Canadian law. He remains there to this day, nearly three years later, openly defying our country's laws. Repeated calls upon the Government of Canada to enforce the decisions of both the IRB and the Federal Court of Canada have not been acted upon. As a result, we have begun another campaign calling upon Mr. Toews to instruct the CBSA to do their job while letting all MPs and Senators in Parliament know about what needs to be done and why. Until this KGB man is returned to his country of origin, we are placing the site under surveillance. If he attempts to leave his cellar, he will be apprehended and turned over to the RCMP/CBSA.
"It's troubling that the enforcement of Canada's laws is being left to concerned citizens. But this man was a part of the Soviet apparatus, a willing and promoted enabler of a corrupt, undemocratic and violently ruthless secret police force. We must, at a minimum, ensure that the freedoms we enjoy in Canada are shared with the tens of thousands of real refugees who wish to come here."
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Oct. 4th, 2011
UCCLA MEDIA RELEASE - Ukrainian civil liberties groups hold joint conclave in Saskatoon
For Immediate Release: Ottawa (4 October 2011)
Representatives of the Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Association (UCCLA) and
officials from the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR) spoke during UCCLA's annual conclave, held this year in Saskatoon.
"We were very pleased that Stuart Murray, CEO of the national museum, arranged for our teleconference with museum content experts Dr. Rhonda Hinther and Dr. Clint Curle," said R.W. Zakaluzny, chair of the UCCLA. "Both they and Communications director Angela Cassie assured us that the CMHR remains dedicated to reaching out and consulting with all Canadians. In response, the UCCLA confirmed that we remain dedicated to ensuring all 12 galleries in this publicly funded museum are inclusive, comparative and thematic in their treatment of the many episodes of crimes against humanity and genocide that occurred before, during and after the Second World War. We will continue to insist upon that, even after the museum opens next
The UCCLA executive began their three days of meetings with a public lecture at the Ukrainian Museum of Canada by Professor Lubomyr Luciuk, the UCCLA's Director of Research, who gave a fulsome speech on Canada's first national internment operations, and how those operations related to the human rights museum.
The UCCLA met with Slawko Kindrachuk, president of the Saskatchewan provincial council of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress, and Catherine Schabel, chair of its Holodomor awareness committee. Both groups shared information and vowed to work together on several projects of mutual interest.
Members of the Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Foundation (UCCLF) also met for their annual general meeting in Saskatoon, initiating a series of new book prizes for academic achievement at five universities in Canada. It is hoped that book prizes will be created in memory of Kari Moore at the Slavic Studies Department of the University of Victoria; to honour Yevhen Harasymiw at the University of Alberta's Faculty of Law; to recall the service of Ft. Lt. Bohdan Panchuk at the Prairie Centre for Ukrainian Heritage at the University of Saskatchewan; to mark the valour of Cpl. Filip Konowal at the Royal Military College of Canada; and to remember internee survivor Mary Manko Haskett with a prize through the Chair of Ukrainian Studies at the University of Toronto.
The UCCLF also elected a new executive. Andriy Harasymiw of Edmonton has taken over as chair, assisted by Ryan Boyko of Toronto as a director, with Calgary's Borys Sydoruk continuing in the role of treasurer.
The next joint UCCLF and UCCLF conclave will be in Halifax Sept. 27-30, where the groups will hold a commemoration ceremony at The Citadel, site of one of the 24 internment camps that held Ukrainians and other Europeans during Canada's first national internment operations of 1914-1920.
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For more information, please contact the UCCLA at email@example.com
May. 3rd, 2011
I am thrilled that Stolen Child has won the SCBWI Crystal Kite Award for the Americas -- Canada, Mexico, Central & South America. What makes it especially wonderful is that this is a peer award.
The press release can be found here.
Congratulations to all of the winners!
Apr. 22nd, 2011
Mar. 26th, 2011
26 March 2011
For immediate release (Ottawa)
OTTAWA— The chairman of the Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Association (UCCLA), Mr. R.W. Zakaluzny, expressed his thanks today to Mr. Tim Uppal, MP, whose private member's bill in the House of Commons has now received Royal Assent. Bill C 442, An Act to Establish a National Holocaust Monument, will commemorate all of the victims of Nazi Germany, including the many millions of Ukrainians enslaved or murdered by the Nazis and the Ukrainian survivors of the Holocaust who made Canada their home.
"Canada welcomed tens of thousands of Ukrainians, Poles, Russians, Jews and others who were persecuted by the Nazis, who lost family members and friends during the Second World War, who saw their homelands devastated by both the Soviet and Nazi regimes, as so thoughtfully underscored in Professor Timothy Snyder's book, Bloodlands," said Mr. Zakaluzny. "Mr. Uppal is to be congratulated for crafting a bill that will ensure that all of the victims of Nazi Germany are remembered, a perspective too often lost when the focus is only on one or another community's suffering. We would also like to congratulate the Canadian Jewish Congress for its determination in moving this legislation forward. We know how hard it can be to get a private member's bill to the stage where it receives Royal Assent.
"And, of course, we will support a Canadian national monument that, as the CJC's Bernie Farber affirmed, 'will pay homage to the thousands of Holocaust survivors who made Canada their adopted home after the Second World War and contributed in remarkable ways to all aspects of Canadian society [and] honour those who perished, Jews and non-Jews alike.' A genuinely inclusive commemorative project of this sort is one that we will support."
Mar. 21st, 2011
For immediate release (Ottawa) – 23 March 2011
According to a recent national NANOS survey Canadians overwhelmingly want the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR) to cover all episodes of genocide inclusively.
Asked whether they preferred a thematic gallery dealing with genocide or wanted a particular example of genocide to be permanently highlighted in its own gallery, a majority of just over 60 per cent of Canadians opted for the former, preferring a thematic genocide gallery that treats all such crimes against humanity in an inclusive manner.
“A majority of voters from all age groups, of both genders, in every province and region, and representing every major Canadian political party, agreed with our view that no community’s suffering should be elevated above all others in a national museum funded by all Canadian taxpayers,” said Mr. R.W. Zakaluzny, chairman of the Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Association (UCCLA). “Preferential, prominent and permanent recognition for one or two groups in a national museum funded from the public purse is unacceptable to Canadians. It’s time for the CMHR’s board of trustees to take note – the people of Canada don’t want their tax dollars funding partiality.”
“On the eve of a possible federal election we call on the Government of Canada, and in particular on the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage, to replace members of the CMHR’s existing board of trustees with citizens more representative of Canadian society and to have the proposed contents of the CMHR carefully reconsidered with a view to ensuring that all 12 of its 12 galleries are thematic, comparative and inclusive. That’s what Canadians want.”
NANOS random telephone survey of 1,216 Canadians conducted from 12 March to 15 March 2011. An aggregate total of 60.3% wanted “one exhibit which covers all genocides equally.” The margin of accuracy for a sample of 1,216 Canadians is plus/minus 2.8%, 19 times out of 20. “Our next question is about the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, a national museum funded by Canadian taxpayers. Would you prefer that there be one gallery that covers all genocides equally or that there be one gallery that highlights a particular genocide permanently while all the others are grouped together in a separate exhibit?” An aggregate of 15.3% were unsure while 24.4% wanted one gallery that highlighted a particular genocide.
For an interview contact Dr. Lubomyr Luciuk, UCCLA’s director of research, firstname.lastname@example.org
|Total||One exhibit which covers all genocides equally||One gallery that highlights a particular genocide permanently, while the others are grouped together in a separate exhibit||Unsure|
|Aggregate||Canada, March 2011||1,216||60.3||24.4||15.3|
|Vote Profile||Liberal Party||262||57.3||26.8||15.9|
Random telephone survey of 1.216 Canadians from March 12th to March 15th, 2011. The margin of accuracy for a sample of 1,216 Canadians is +/- 2.8%, 19 times out of 20. www.nanosresearch.com
Feb. 25th, 2011
04:42 pm - Politicians & groups that support substantial change to current makeup and design of CMHR
Politicians & groups that support substantial change to current makeup and design of CMHR
Over the past few weeks and months, a number of prominent Canadians have come forward to note their objection on the record to the current iteration of the Canadian Museum of Human Rights being built in Winnipeg.
Noting that it is a federal institution funded entirely by taxpayers, on par with other national museums like the Museum of Civilization in Gatineau, Que., and the War Museum in Ottawa, the growing list of politicians, experts and stakeholders below have noticed the inherent unfairness of a museum supposedly dedicated to the human rights of all Canadians favouring the story of just one or two groups.
This list continues to grow and updates will be made as more people go on the record.
- Dec. 23, 2010: Elizabeth May and the Green Party of Canada:
"... we need to document the history of all Canadians and show how their experiences have shaped and will continue to shape our values of equality, dignity and inclusiveness. Genocide, no matter where or under what pretense it happens, is unacceptable to Canadians. The Green Party of Canada notes the genocide of between 7 and 10 million people in the (sic) Soviet Ukraine during 1932-1933 as an example that needs to be interpreted at the museum. Also, the history of internments during the two world wars should be better recognized by Canadians."
- Jan. 20, 2011: Paul Dewar, MP (NDP, Ottawa Centre), NDP Foreign Affairs Critic, in a latter addressed to Hon. James Moore, Minister for Canadian Heritage and Official Languages:
“Dear Mr. Moore, (UCCLA Chair R.W. Zakaluzny) points out that there will be two galleries in the museum devoted to the suffering of aboriginal peoples and of the Jewish people. All other crimes against humanity will (be) grouped in a third single gallery. He requests that other atrocities that have profoundly affected Canadians be accorded equal treatment in the museum.
Mr. Zakaluzny raises an important and troubling point. I would appreciate it if you would address his concerns directly. I too am concerned that all atrocities be well addressed by the Human Rights Museum.”
- Feb. 2, 2011: James Bezan, MP (Conservative, Selkirk-Interlake):
" I believe that: The Holodomor genocide should have a unique, autonomous and prominent place in the CMHR; the CMHR Board of Directors contain respected members of the Ukrainian community with knowledge of the Holodomor and other human rights violations."
- Feb. 8, 2011: Leon Benoit, MP (Conservative, Vegreville-Wainwright):
"Benoit has heard from constituents about their specific worries – that the Holodomor will be lumped into a general section of 'Mass Atrocities' which does not provide autonomy and permanent recognition of the event in the museum. They are also worried that other elements of their history will not receive ample recognition and be subsumed under other permanent exhibits promoted by the Content Advisory Committee Report. 'I think the Advisory Committee is to be thanked for their report, but it is also important to remember that it is just a report,' states Benoit. 'It isn’t the final decision and it isn’t government policy.'
'I certainly believe that the Holodomor genocide should have a unique, autonomous and prominent place in the CMHR,” affirms Benoit. “I also think it is quite important that the CMHR Board of Directors contain respected members of the Ukrainian community with knowledge of the Holodomor and other human rights violations. I’m proud of our Government’s support for the CMHR. I hope the Museum’s Board of Trustees finds the courage to provide the Holodomor with the appropriate and respectful recognition it deserves.”
- Feb. 8, 2011: Devinder Shory, MP (Calgary Northeast) issued this statement (excerpts below):
"...Our Canadian government was one of the first around teh world to recognize the Holodomor genocide as just that: genocide . . . I would like to add my voice in support of the Ukrainian community to recognize the Holodomor with a unique and appropriate place within the CMHR"
- ~Feb 13, 2011: The Latvian, Lithuanian, Estonian, Hungarian, and Slovakian communities of Canada: In the Globe and Mail, called for “an embargo on any further or incremental funding” until there’s an independent review of the museum’s contents and a new board created. “We are dismayed that the hard lessons learned by our communities … are callously ignored at present,” said CECC chair Markus Hess.
- ~Feb. 13, 2011: Polish Canadian Congress, in the Globe and Mail: The CMHR in its current form is “an inequitable display of what has happened in the world that has gone against human rights.”
Having “a separate, permanent room that says ‘the Holocaust’ leaves you questioning what the value is of all the other people who died otherwise . . . Without minimizing the Holocaust, we just feel that whole idea of ‘mass atrocities’ has to be rethought and perhaps have a larger display area in which the Holocaust, the Holodomor, the Armenian genocide, those things, [are] part and parcel of that,” said CPC president Teresa Berezowski.
- Feb. 17, 2011: Tim Uppal, MP (Conservative, Edmonton-Sherwood Park):
"Recently I have heard from many representatives of the Ukrainian-Canadian community with their concerns regarding the Canadian Museum of Human Rights. Specifically, many are worried that the Holodomor genocide and the Canadian internment of Ukrainians of World War I will not be given proper recognition, and will be included in a general section of ‘Mass Atrocities.'
"I support the following statement made by my colleague, James Bezan, Member of Parliament for Selkirk-Interlake: ‘I believe that the Holodomor genocide should have a unique, autonomous and prominent place in the CMHR, and that the CMHR Board of Directors contain respected members of the Ukrainian community with knowledge of the Holodomor and other human rights violations.' "
Borys Wrzesnewskyj, MP (Etobicoke Centre)
Gerard Kennedy, MP (Parkdale-High Park)
Kevin Lamoureux, MP (Winnipeg North)
Hon. Navdeep Bains, P.C., MP (Mississauga-Brampton South)
Bonnie Crombie, MP (Mississauga-Streetsville)
“The Canadian Museum for Human Rights presents an opportunity to illustrate the promise and the importance of human rights, but sadly part of its mission will necessarily also be to educate Canadians about the consequences of denying those rights. The Holodomor is as graphic and moving an illustration as can be imagined of the denial of the basic Human Right to Food.”
“We federal Liberal Party Members of Parliament hold that this publicly funded national Canadian museum should create and operate a permanent gallery dedicated to the Holodomor, and that the Board of Directors of the CMHR should embrace and include respected members of the Ukrainian Canadian community with expertise in the Holodomor.
“It was the Jewish-Polish scholar Raphael Lemkin, known as the ‘Father of The Genocide Convention’ who coined the term ‘genocide’ when referring also to the Holodomor in his 1944 book Axis Rule in Occupied Europe. Unfortunately, the full extent of this horrific “genocide by famine” of millions of Ukrainians was suppressed behind the Iron Curtain during the subsequent 58 years by the Kremlin’s communist regime.
“By taking a leadership role in establishing a permanent gallery for the Holodomor, Canada would encourage post-communist countries that are now our economic and security partners to begin to more critically address the human rights violations and genocidal crimes perpetrated in the name of communism and to cease the Holodomor denials which continue to this day.
“By having the Holodomor in a permanent zone (exhibit) in our national human rights museum, Canada would fulfill its traditional role in leading the world in the promotion of human rights.”
- Feb. 24, 2011: Joy Smith, MP (Conservative, Kildonan-St. Paul): "I believe the Holodomor genocide should be given a prominent presentation that is independent of the Mass Atrocity gallery. Providing a unique and prominent exhibit for the Holodomor will rightly expose the violations of human rights and restore the dignity of victims through the acknowledgement of their suffering. Visitors to the museum will learn of the brutal human rights abuses of the Holodomor genocide and this will enlighten them to strive for human rights for all people.
"The Holocaust and the Holodomor were both black spots of history of humanity. Having both stories as prominent displays is imperative. Nations must learn so these tragedies will never happen again.
"I also believe the Ukrainian community should have a representative voice on the Board of Directors for the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. Canada boasts the third largest Ukrainian population in the world and our Parliament has officially recognized the Holodomor as a genocide. Thus it is appropriate that strong Ukrainian representation be present when planning a national museum about Human Rights."
- Feb. 28, 2011, 2011: The Canada-Ukraine Parliamentary Friendship Group, from chair Mark Warawa, MP, moved the following motion: "That the Canada-Ukraine Parliamentary Friendship Group endorse that a prominent exhibit of the Holodomor Genocide be part of the Canadian Museum of (sic) Human Rights; an exhibit which would fully tell the story of this genocide and that a Board of Directors include representations submitted by the Ukrainian Canadian Congress."
- March 1, 2011: Laurie Hawn MP (Conservative, Edmonton Centre), issued this statement (excerpt below):
"Our government has made a positive investment in preserving Canada's history through the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR) in Winnipeg, MB. It is important that this investment results in a museum which has value for all Canadians . . . The main concern that has been expressed to me is that the Holodomor will be grouped into a general section of 'Mass Atrocities' and will not be provided its own independent, permanent and distinct zone, similar to the Holocaust and Aboriginal zones . . . I must recommend that the Holodomor genocide receive a unique and permanent place in the CMHR which will adequately reflect its impact on the Canadian Ukrainian community, its relationship with Canada and our understanding of human rights and genocide around the world."
- March 3, 2011, an additional 10 sitting Liberal MPs (below in alphabetical order) agree to support this statement spearheaded by MP Borys Wrzesnewskyj:
Hon. Wayne Easter, P.C., M.P. (Malpeque)
Hon. Hedy Fry, P.C., M.P. (Vancouver Centre)
Andrew Kania, M.P. (Brampton West)
Hon. Jim Karygiannis, P.C., M.P. (Scarborough-Agincourt)
Hon. Keith Martin, P.C., M.P. (Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca)
Massimo Pacetti, M.P. (Saint-Léonard-Saint-Michel)
Hon. Bob Rae, P.C., M.P. (Toronto Centre)
Scott Simms, M.P. (Bonavista-Gander-Grand Falls-Windsor)
Alan Tonks, M.P. (York South-Weston)
Frank Valeriote, M.P. (Guelph)
- March 9, 2011, an additional 15 sitting Liberal MPs (below in alphabetical order) agree to support this statement spearheaded by MP Borys Wrzesnewskyj:
John Cannis, M.P. (Scarborough Centre)
Hon. Denis Coderre, P.C., M.P. (Bourassa)
Sukh Dhaliwal, M.P. (Newton-North Delta)
Marc Garneau, M.P. (Westmount-Ville-Marie)
Mark Holland, M.P. (Ajax-Pickering)
Hon. Maria Minna, P.C., M.P. (Beaches-East York)
Brian Murphy, M.P. (Moncton-Riverview-Dieppe)
Hon. Shawn Murphy, P.C., M.P. (Charlottetown)
Joyce Murray, M.P. (Vancouver Quadra)
Bernard Patry, M.P. (Pierrefonds-Dollard)
Todd Russell, M.P. (Labrador)
Mario Silva, M.P. (Davenport)
Michelle Simson, M.P. (Scarborough Southwest)
Hon. Judy Sgro, P.C., M.P. (York West)
Lise Zarac, M.P. (LaSalle-Émard)
- March 12, 2011, Peter Goldring MP, Conservative, issued this statement (pdf file). Excerpt below:
"When the CMHR was first planned, Ukrainian Canadians were led to believe there would be a permanent exhibit about the Holodomor a horrific time which saw some eight million people die. But apparently plans changed and now there will only be two human rights tragedies with their own permanent display.
"Certainly we should not be somehow ranking examples of man’s inhumanity to man. The issue is not eight million dead Jews and others in the Holocaust of World War II, as many as eight million during the Holodomor or the 1.5 million dead in the “killing fields” of Pol Pot’s Cambodia or the million killed in the Rwandan genocide.
"The Holodomor was a genocide on the size, scale and relative duration of the Holocaust. It does make sense that this atrocity that impacted so many Canadians (1.2 million of whom are of Ukrainian ancestry, my wife included) be on permanent display at the CMHR – particularly due to the lack of knowledge of this genocide, even by politicians."
- March 25, 2011, an additional 10 sitting Liberal MPs (below in alphabetical order) agree to support this statement spearheaded by MP Borys Wrzesnewskyj:
Scott Andrews, M.P. (Avalon)
Hon. Ujjal Dosanjh, P.C., M.P. (Vancouver South)
Kirsty Duncan, M.P. (Etobicoke North)
Hon. Lawrence MacAulay, P.C., M.P. (Cardigan)
Alexandra Mendes, M.P. (Brossard-La Prairie)
Glen Pearson, M.P. (London North Centre)
Marcel Proulx, M.P. (Hull-Aylmer)
Yasmin Ratansi, M.P. (Don Valley East)
Pablo Rodriguez, M.P. (Honoré-Mercier)
Paul Szabo, M.P. (Mississauga South)
Feb. 21st, 2011
06:51 pm - UCCLA comments on Heritage Day
For immediate release (Ottawa)
February 21, 2011
Commenting on Heritage Day, UCCLA's chairman, RW Zakaluzny, said:
"Today is an appropriate day for recalling the many millions of people who came to Canada fleeing oppression in their homelands, who then made this country their own, and whose descendants have contributed so much to the creation of an inclusive, welcoming and democratic society here.
"Whether they were east Europeans fleeing Communist tyranny, or Vietnamese, Chinese, Cambodians, Tibetans and others escaping similarly oppressive regimes in East Asia, Canada has been enriched by those who came here seeking, and finding, freedom. We hope that the new national museums, namely the Canadian Museum of Immigration (Pier 21) in Halifax, and the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR) (Winnipeg) will pay particular tribute to these heroic people, victims of Communism, who never gave up the hope that someday their homelands would be free, continue to struggle to secure that end, but who, in the meantime, have given so much of themselves to building up a prosperous Canada.
"Their suffering, their endurance, their dreams and their triumphs must be the central stories told in our national museums."
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For more information, please visit www.uccla.ca or www.twitter.ca/uccla
Feb. 15th, 2011
Feb. 15, 2011
For Immediate Release (Ottawa)
A Canadian human rights organization is wondering what Canada's Heritage Minister, the Honourable James Moore, has got to hide.
The Conservative MP for Port Moody-Westwood-Port Coquitlam is an ace on the Twittersphere. With some 5,000 followers and more than 2,600 tweets, @MPJamesMoore has an even greater reach than Prime Minister Stephen Harper, at least according to Klout.com.
Yet sometime after Feb. 11 the Minister hid himself from the Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Association (@uccla) by “blocking” it from viewing his messages and securing himself against receiving any of theirs.
“We’re a 25-year-old national organization, with a proven track record of advocacy, education and lobbying,” said R.W. Zakaluzny, UCCLA's chair. “We have taken principled positions on civil liberties issues. UCCLA helped craft, then signed, Bill C 331, which resolved redress issues arising out of Canada's first national internment operations. And our members and supporters are taxpayers and voters living in ridings right across the country. So we expect to be heard when we respectfully raise issues of public concern.
“Minister Moore’s censorship of UCCLA is rather odd. Not only is he an elected official but this is a minority government. You'd think Mr Harper's cabinet would be seeking the opinions of as many Canadians as possible, particularly over an issue that is increasingly controversial and likely to cost them votes in the next federal election.”
Since December 2010 UCCLA has been at the forefront of calls for a review of the proposed contents and governance of the taxpayer-funded Canadian Museum for Human Rights. UCCLA has recommended that all 12 of this national museum's galleries be thematic, comparative and inclusive rather than giving one or two communities permanent, prominent and privileged space, elevating the suffering of some above all others. At present 2 galleries are dedicated to aboriginal issues and the Shoah.
“We’ve been persistent in getting our message out on Twitter.” said Zakaluzny. “This government spends considerable resources monitoring and analyzing Twitter messages and blogs. Yet Minister Moore seems intent on putting a wall up between himself and our legitimate concerns along with those of the many other Canadians likewise protesting against the proposed contents and governance of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. We wonder why. Unfortunately, he isn't answering when we Twitter him so we're asking other Canadians to help us. Tweet Minister Moore and ask him why he's hiding from UCCLA.”
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For more information, please visit www.uccla.ca or www.twitter.com/uccla.
For more on the federal government monitoring of the social web:
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