I am so pleased with this announcement that I am jumping for joy. The Ukrainian community in Canada gives heartfelt thanks to Inky Mark, Conservative MP from Dauphin MB. Inky is of Chinese heritage and his own ancestors suffered from the infamous Head Tax. He has been a long time champion of recognizing the injustice of Canada’s first national internment program. Here is the press release:
Date: Thu, 24 Nov 2005 10:17:03 -0500
From: “Mark, Inky – M.P.”
History-making, unanimous consent on the eve of a federal election speeds Inky Mark’s Bill C-331 to the Senate
(Ottawa) After 8 years of intense work, Inky Mark, Conservative Member of Parliament for Dauphin-Swan River-Marquette realized his wish for Canada’s Ukrainian community through the passage of his private member’s Bill C-331 last night in the House of Commons by unanimous consent.
Bill C-331 calls upon the federal government to acknowledge that thousands of Ukrainian Canadians were unjustly interned and disenfranchised in Canada during the First World War; to provide funding to commemorate the sacrifices made by these Canadians and; to develop
educational materials detailing this dark period of Canada’s history.
At the close of 3rd reading debate, Mark asked his parliamentary colleagues from all parties for their consent to pass the Bill. It received their unanimous consent and was passed by the House of Commons.
During the debate Mark said, “We know that after two decades it is time for the government to resolve this outstanding issue in the history of this country. This bleak event in Canadian history must be recognized and we, as a society, must learn from it. This is an issue of justice
“I am honoured to have tabled Bill C-331 and honoured to have had the opportunity to represent the wishes of Canada’s Ukrainian community.”
Speakers in favour of the Bill at third reading were: Sarmite Bulte, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage, Meili Faille of the Bloc Quebecois, Judy Wasylycia-Leis, NDP MP, Joy Smith Conservative MP from Kildonan-St. Paul, Marlene Catterall, Chair of the
Standing Committee of Canadian Heritage and Larry Bagnell, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources.
“Passing C-331 demonstrates the mature Canada that people in this country expect. It makes a loud statement that Canada has grown up, that Canada can accept its past, learn from it and ensure that it is never repeated,” Mark concluded.
Bill C-331 has now been received by the Senate. Having received unanimous consent in the House of Commons, it may be given the same consideration and passed before the impending federal election.