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May 6, 2015 – Recognition of the Centenary of the Armenian Genocide at City of Toronto Council

I want to thank members of the Canadian Armenian Community for their support with respect to Motion MM6.7, which was on the agenda of the May 6, 2015 meeting of Toronto City Council.

Motion MM6.7 which I moved, was seconded by Councillor De Baeremaeker and asked City Council to recognized the 100th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.

I am pleased to advise you that today, Councillors voted to adopt my Motion. Motion MM6.7 reads as follows:

“2015 marks the centenary of the Armenian Genocide.

The Armenian Genocide, the 1st genocide of the 20th century, took place between 1915 and 1917.

On April 24, 1915, the Ottoman Government arrested over 200 Armenian community leaders in Constantinople. They were sent to prison in Anatolia, where most were summarily executed.

Thereafter, thousands upon thousands were subjected to forced labour, massacred or deported.

The Armenian Genocide was the systematic extermination by the Ottoman Empire of its minority Armenian subjects. This atrocity took place during and after World War I in which 1.5 million Armenians were executed.

Recognizing this tragic chapter in history, in 2004, then Mayor David Miller proclaimed April 25, 2004, as Armenian Genocide Day in Toronto.

Recommendation:

Councillor Jim Karygiannis, seconded by Councillor Glenn De Baeremaeker, recommends that:

  1. City Council recognize the 100th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide to honour the memory of the men, women and children who died.”

I believe it is important for us to remember the lessons of history and uphold the values Canadians hold dear – peace, freedom, democracy and respect.  In so doing, we will develop a deeper understanding of our duty and responsibility to our fellow man to ensure that we live in peace and harmony as we work toward a more just and tolerant future for all mankind.