Statement on International Holocaust Remembrance Day 28 January

Global Affairs Canada

The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today issued the following statement:

“On this day, we remember the more than 6 million Jewish children, women and men who were murdered during the Holocaust. We also remember the innumerable Roma and Sinti, LGBTQ2+ persons, persons with disabilities and dissidents who were persecuted and killed by the Nazis and their collaborators in horrific crimes against humanity. We remember the Holocaust survivors and all those who courageously confronted evil, such as Raoul Wallenberg, the first person to receive honorary Canadian citizenship, which he was awarded after having been credited with saving 100,000 Jews in 6 months alone. He remains a great example of how 1 person with the compassion to care and the courage to act can confront evil, prevail and transform history.

“The Holocaust was a time of terrible suffering and injustice, and sadly, we know that the hate and antisemitism that fuelled it are very much alive in Canada and the world today. Canada recognizes this fact and is taking concrete action to stop this surge of hatred.

“In November 2021, Canada renewed the position of special envoy on preserving Holocaust remembrance and combatting antisemitism and reappointed Irwin Cotler to continue serving in this vital role. As Canada’s representative at the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance [IHRA], Special Envoy Cotler will continue to vigorously promote Holocaust remembrance and research, as well as the international adoption of the IHRA’s working definition of antisemitism.

“Last fall, Canada also pledged to continue to fight antisemitism and hatred in all its forms and to defend human rights and inclusion at the Malmö International Forum on Holocaust Remembrance and Combating Antisemitism. Canada’s pledges include commitments to counter online antisemitism through the introduction of new legislation along with strengthening the Canada Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code. There is simply no place for such hatred in our country or anywhere else in the world, including online.

“Remembering the Holocaust and countering antisemitism are 2 concrete ways we can honour the millions who suffered and died during the Shoah. Let us continue to remember them and resist hate in all its forms.”

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