Long-time friend of Canadian Armenians James (Jim) Karygiannis, a Toronto councillor and former member of parliament, was honored with the Mkhitar Gosh Medal at the Sept. 18 celebrations of the 24th anniversary of the Republic of Armenia. The award was presented by Armenia’s Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Canada H.E. Armen Yeganian.
A staunch supporter of Canadian-Armenians, veteran politician Karygiannis worked for many years with the Ontario Armenian community to have the Canadian House of Commons recognize the Genocide of Armenians. Canada recognized the Genocide in April 2004. The medal was presented to Councillor Karygiannis for his substantial input in international recognition of the Genocide of Armenians.
Karygiannis has several times been to Armenia and to Artsakh. He is an outspoken supporter of Artsakh independence.
September 21, 2015
Prime Minister Stephen Harper Marks Armenia’s Independence Day
Ottawa, Ontario – Prime Minister Stephen Harper today issued the following statement to mark the Republic of Armenia’s Independence Day:
“I am pleased to extend my best wishes to the Armenian community in Canada and around the world celebrating the 24th anniversary of the Republic of Armenia’s independence.
“In a referendum held on September 21, 1991, Armenians voted in favour of full independence from the Soviet Union. Canada was among the first Western nations to recognize Armenia as an independent state.
“Since that time, Canada and Armenia have enjoyed strong bilateral relations and strong people-to-people ties, supported by Canada’s Armenian community, which has contributed significantly to the economic, cultural and social fabric of our great nation.
“In recognition of this, we were proud to announce last week that a re-elected Conservative government will establish a new Trade and Consular office in Armenia.
“Moreover, this past April, the Honourable Chris Alexander travelled to Yerevan, Armenia to participate in events commemorating the Armenian Genocide Centennial on behalf of our Conservative government, which coincided with our government’s initiative to designate April as ‘Genocide Remembrance, Condemnation and Prevention Month.’
“Once again, I wish all Armenian citizens and people around the world of Armenian heritage a happy Independence Day.”
Canadian Recognition of the Armenian Genocide
The statement on Mr. Karygiannis notes that Canada recognized the Armenian Genocide in 2004. That needs correction. In 2004 , the House of Commons passed a private member's resolution, proposed primarily by a Bloc Quebecois MP (also sponsored by Mr. K. and others) recognizing the Genocide. The Canadian Government ordered its ministers to oppose the motion. (that is why Jim Peterson and Irwin Cotler left the chamber before the vote).
It was in 2006 that the government of Canada first formally recognized the Genocide
in the annual April 24 statement. That is why Turkey recalled its ambassador, etc.
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