Media Release

Greg Clark's Statement on the 80th Anniversary of the Ukranian Holodomor

November 23, 2013

The forced starvation of the Ukrainian people by Josef Stalin is one of the greatest tragedies in human history, but despite the fact that at least three million people perished as a result of Stalin's actions it remains a relatively unknown event outside Ukraine. Let us take this opportunity to reflect on the resilience of the Ukrainian people, and I encourage all Albertans to take time to learn more about this tragic time. As Albertans and Canadians we stand with our Ukrainian community and remember the Holodomor.

As we commemorate the 80th anniversary of the Holodomor I think of my maternal grandparents who left Ukraine in 1928 to seek a better life for their two young children. They rode in a wagon from their village, took trains and ferries and eventually boarded a ship in Southampton, England bound for Quebec City. When they arrived in Canada my grandparents had $10 in their pocket. My eldest uncle was four years old, and was counted on to find food on his own on the train ride to south east Saskatchewan. As they established their farm they moved 18 times in 24 years, had six more children (including my mother) and survived the great depression before eventually settling near Montmartre where my family continues to farm to this day.  

This story is not unique to Ukrainians, it is part of the shared history of many Albertans and Canadians who left their homes for the promise of a better life in Canada, often fleeing repression in their homelands. This continues today and as we commemorate Holodomor let us reflect on the conflict that still troubles our world, and ask ourselves what we can do to make our province, our country and our world a better place.

We will never forget.


For further information please contact:

Robbie Kreger-Smith, Communications Chair

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