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Andrew Swan, MLA Minto
April 24, 2017

Yom Hashoah

I thank the minister for her statement today and I acknowledge colleagues from all parties who gathered for the memorial on the lawn today or the event downstairs earlier today. People all around the world joined together to observe Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Memorial Day, and honour the memory of the 6 million Jewish people persecuted and murdered by the Nazi regime during the Second World War. Millions more, including members of the LGBTTQ community, the Roma people, Jehovah's Witnesses, persons with physical and intellectual disabilities, political dissidents and others were also murdered under the Nazi regime.

The Holocaust continues to have a profound impact on Manitobans. Home to one of the largest Jewish communities in Canada, thousands of Manitobans are family members of Holocaust survivors and those who perished in the Holocaust. Some survivors are still with us today and serve as a powerful link to the not-so-distant past. Their stories are reminders of what can occur when our most basic rights are denied and ignored. This day is a memorial but it is also a call to action to say never again.

While progress has been made over the years, the day serves to remind us that we must remain vigilant against acts of hatred, discrimination and intolerance in our society. Like some other members of this Legislature, I have had the chance to visit Yad Vashem, which commemorates the Holocaust, in Israel. The despair from experiencing the exhibits inside is balanced by a majestic view of Jerusalem at the end of the visit.

Most members, I hope, have had the opportunity to visit our own Canadian museum of human rights right here in Winnipeg, which includes information about the Holocaust as part of its journey of human rights. Madam Speaker, I ask all Manitobans to take a moment to remember the millions of people who lost their lives during the Holocaust. We honour those victims' memories by continuing to fight for those who suffer persecution in our world today.