OTTAWA – MP James Bezan, the Official Opposition Critic for National Defence, and MP Peter Kent, the Official Opposition Critic for Foreign Affairs, issued the following statement to mark Black Ribbon Day, the National Day of Remembrance for the Victims of Communism and Nazism in Europe:
“Today, we join all Canadians in paying tribute to the tens of millions of victims of Communist and Nazi tyranny, which marked one of the darkest periods in modern history. We also honour all the brave men and women who stood up to these evil regimes to defend their freedoms.
“In 2009, Parliament declared Black Ribbon Day a national day of remembrance. Black Ribbon Day marks the signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact between Nazi Germany and the Communist Soviet Union in 1939. This notorious event ultimately led to the breakout of the Second World War.
“For more than half a decade, throughout Central and Eastern Europe these oppressive regimes caused vast destruction and senseless suffering, and brutally murdered millions of innocent men, women and children. Many of these victims found refuge in Canada. Their stories are an integral part of Canada’s history.
“Unfortunately, many innocent victims continue to face unjustified violence and repression around the world today. The entire global community has become familiarized with the barbaric and disgusting practices of ISIS, who are callously targeting innocent religious and ethnic minorities. Furthermore, Vladimir Putin’s regime’s continued aggression and illegal activities in Eastern Europe serves as a reminder that the world is not free from tyrannical rulers.
“Canada must continue to be a leader and work with our international allies to ensure that these oppressive regimes are never again able to cause mass sufferings on innocent victims. We must stand up for those who cannot to protect their own values, beliefs and faiths.
“We must also remember the important role that many of the victims of Communism and Nazism have had in shaping Canada. The Conservative Party of Canada continues to support the construction of a National Memorial to Victims of Communism and a National Holocaust Monument, memorials dedicated to honouring and preserving the legacy of the millions of men, women and children who struggled against these despotic regimes.
“As Canadians, we must continue to defend and uphold Canadian values of freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law to prevent such historical evils from ever taking hold again.”