The Armenian National Committee of Canada together with the Armenian Embassy in Canada–organized a reception on October 2 honoring Canadian Senators Maheu and Setlakwe.
The gathering praised and thanked Senators for their staunch support–Senator Shirley Maheu introduced the Armenian Genocide resolution in the Canadian Senate–and Senator Raymond Setlakwe seconded her motion. s a result of their persistence–the Armenian Genocide resolution passed.
Approximately 100 representatives from various Canadian political parties–senators–and diplomats from neighboring countries were present at this event confirming history.
Armenia’s Ambassador to Canada–Ara Babian–gave his welcoming speech and acknowledged Senators Maheu and Setlakwe for their gallant decision–and efforts to propose and vote for the recognition of the Armenian Genocide. He expressed appreciation–on behalf of the Armenian Parliament and the Armenian people–for this historical development.
Senator Raymond Setlakwe thanked the opposing political party’s vice chair John L. Stanton–who cooperated with Setlakwe and Maheu to make this resolution pass during the voting process.
Canada’s ANC Chairman–Dr. Jirair Basmajian–spoke about the Armenian Genocide and ANC’s historical efforts to gain recognition of the Genocide. He thanked both Senators Maheu and Setlakwe–and expressed concern for the Canadian Parliament to accept and recognize the Armenian Genocide as well.
Senator Shirley Maheu of Canada thanked the Senators and attendees for acknowledging her–but stressed that she personally believes in the importance of the Armenian Genocide. She then emphasized the significance of ANC’s endless efforts in pursuing this cause–adding "the work is still not finished–therefore–everyone must enthusiastically come forward so that the Canadian Parliament will once again recognize the Armenian Genocide."
The previous Canadian ambassador to Lebanon–Mr. Haig Sarafian–stated that he was proud to be a Canadian-Armenian and Canadian diplomat. He pointed out that while he was an Ambassador to Lebanon–Lebanon’s president–ambassadors–and Lebanon’s Armenian community–had expressed their deepest gratitude–through him–to Senators Maheu and Setlakwe for their historical accomplishment in the recognition of the Armenian Genocide issue.
A long-time supporter of Armenia’s and a strong advocate for the recognition of the Armenian Genocide for many years–Senator Marcel Prud’homme stated that Senators Maheu and Setlakwe have established a major stepping stone for Canada’s Parliament and government’s future in recognizing and accepting the Armenian Genocide.
Numerous people spoke at the event–but one of the remarkable figures to address the crowd was National Liberal Party leader and candidate and former minister of finance–Paul Martin. He said–"I know very well why Armenian community representatives have gathered here today–and what significance the Armenian Genocide has."
Canada’s Assistant Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole of House of Commons–Eleni Bakopanos pointed out the importance–with its future decision–the Canadian Parliament holds to partake in recognizing the Armenian Genocide and the importance of political groups involved. She looked forward to soon seeing Canadian Parliament’s recognition of the Armenian Genocide.
Also speaking during the event were New Democratic Party representatives–Bill Blake and Svend Robinson–and Canada’s Alliance Party’s–Jason Kenney and Bob Mills. In addition to the many representatives and political leaders who spoke at the event–Block Quebec Party’s–Gilles Duceppe and the Progressive Conservative Party’s Rex Barnes expressed their thoughts about this historical progression.
Canada’s Armenian community were also present to acknowledge and appreciate Senator Shirley Maheu’s assertive and successful attempts in the Canadian Senate–and Senator Raymond Setlakwe’s aggressive support for Senator Maheu’s proposal. With his power and ability to second the motion and vote in favor of the resolution–he urged the Canadian Senate to recognize the Armenian Genocide.