TORONTO, ON – In commemoration of the 95th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, over one thousand members of the Canadian-Armenian community of Toronto, joined by a number of prominent political and community guests gathered at the Armenian Youth Centre on Sunday, April 25th.
Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism The Hon. Jason Kenney conveyed the message of Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Michael Ignatieff, Leader of the Official Opposition delivered his message to the community. Jack Layton, Leader of the New Democratic Party of Canada was unable to attend but sent a message.
The evening’s keynote speaker was Middle Eastern Correspondent for The Independent, Robert Fisk, who discussed Turkey’s denial campaign and stressed the importance of worldwide recognition of the Armenian Holocaust, as it is referred to in The Independent.
Fisk holds more British and International journalism awards than any other foreign correspondent. In 2001, he was awarded the David Watt Prize for “outstanding contributions towards the clarification of political issues and the promotion of their greater understanding” for his investigation into the Armenian Genocide. To watch Robert Fisk’s televised interview on CTV on April 24th please visit http://watch.ctv.ca/news/latest/armenias-past/#clip293663.
Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) Chairman Ken Hachikian was also a guest speaker at the event and discussed the current state of House Resolution 252, the status of the Protocols as well as President Obama’s statement regarding the Armenian Genocide and Turkey’s continuous denial of this crime against humanity.
“For let there be no mistake, denial of the Armenian Genocide is the denial of security to the Armenian nation. Armenia cannot, today, be safe while the Turkish Republic remains on her border as an unrepentant, antagonistic, and over-armed denier state.” stated Hachikian.
Jivan Gasparyan Jr., famed Duduk player and grandson of the legendary musician Jivan Gasparyan, performed a set of songs dedicated to the one and a half million Armenians who were annihilated in 1915.
Additional dignitaries in attendance included David Caplan, Member of Provincial Parliament for Don Valley East delivered a message from Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty. Frank Klees, Member of Provincial Parliament for Newmarket-Aurora brought greetings from Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario leader Tim Hudak. Michael Prue, Member of Provincial Parliament for Beaches East York delivered the message of the Ontario New Democratic Party and its leader Andrea Horwath. Toronto Councilor Shelley Carroll, Ward 33 delivered Toronto Mayor David Miller’s message. Jack Heath, Deputy Mayor of Markham brought a message from Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti. Toronto District School Board Chairman Bruce Davis delivered a message on the importance of genocide education.