Commemoration of the Armenian Genocide – Ontario Parliament

MPP Aris Babikian’s statement, Ontario Provincial Parliament, 24 April 2024

Today, April 24, Armenians in Ontario, in Canada, and all over the world will observe the 109th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire. On the night of April 24, 1915, the Ottoman authorities gathered Armenian intellectuals, members of parliament, clergy, teachers, writers, civic and political leaders and marched them to concentration camps for slaughter.

The Armenian Genocide claimed the lives of 1.5 million Armenians and over one million Greeks. Among the victims were my great grandparents on my Armenian grandfather’s side and on my maternal Greek grandmother’s side.

Who would have thought that one day the grandson of survivors of two genocides will be serving as Canadian citizenship judge and be elected to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario?

This is the promise of Canada to the persecuted people of the world.

In March 1980, the Ontario Legislative Assembly of Ontario recognized the Armenian Genocide. On April 24, 1986 the Premier of Ontario declared April 24 as Armenian Memorial Day in Ontario.

In his annual commemoration statement, Premier Doug Ford stated: “Today, we remember the strength and bravery of the Armenian people and honor the memory of those who perished during this dark chapter in human history. In remembering, we ensure that present and future generations reject hatred, intolerance, and injustice in all their forms.”

I feel proud as an Ontarian for having such a principled, ethical, and visionary leader.

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