Canada’s Official Recognition of the Armenian Genocide

There was some uncertainty in seminar a few days ago regarding the Canadian government’s official stance on the Armenian genocide, which began in 1915. In short, Canada as of 2004 officially recognises the Armenian genocide. From a 2004 CBC story–“Canadian Parliament Recognizes Armenian Genocide”:

The House of Commons has reversed a long-standing policy and passed a resolution denouncing the Turks for committing genocide against Armenians in 1915.The vote passed easily, 153-68.

The motion said: “That this House acknowledges the Armenian genocide of 1915 and condemns this act as a crime against humanity.”

For decades consecutive Canadian governments have dodged the sensitive issue by calling what happened in eastern Turkey a “tragedy,” stopping well short of referring to the events as “genocide.”

The U.S. dropped a similar resolution a year earlier after the White House warned it could hurt U.S. security interests.

Before Wednesday’s vote in Parliament, Foreign Affairs Minister Bill Graham issued a statement saying “Canada has had friendly and co-operative relations with Turkey and Armenia for many years. The Canadian government is committed to make these relationships even stronger in the future.

For a transcript of the debate in the House of Commons, go here.

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