VANCOUVER, British Columbia – While meeting with Jewish community leaders at Vancouver’s Holocaust Education Centre, Conservative candidate Jason Kenney today announced that a re-elected Stephen Harper government would establish a National Holocaust Memorial, to be located in the National Capital Region, to ensure the victims and lessons of the Holocaust are never forgotten in Canada.
“The Holocaust was one of the darkest chapters in human history. A re-elected Stephen Harper government will uphold its commitment to establish a National Holocaust Memorial, to ensure that the Holocaust is never forgotten in Canada,” Kenney said.
This commitment follows on a private member’s bill put forward by Conservative Member of Parliament Tim Uppal, which received Royal Assent on March 31, 2011.
“We must continue to honour the memory of those murdered in the Holocaust and learn from those who survived it,” Kenney said. “We should also celebrate the sacrifice of Canadian soldiers who fought hard and in many cases laid down their lives to end the human suffering in Europe.”
Kenney added the National Holocaust Memorial would “remind Canadians that anti-Semitism was not confined to Germany under National Socialism and that, even today, the enduring evil of anti-Semitism continues to threaten Jews around the world.”
Kenney underscored that the commitment follows on top of the Harper government’s program to acknowledge Canada’s rejection of European Jewish refugees before and during the Second World War. Through the Community Historical Recognition Program, the Harper government has funded important projects to educate Canadians about the period, including a major research initiative led by B’nai Brith Canada, and the Wheel of Conscience monument to the passengers of the SS St. Louis, a project of the Canadian Jewish Congress.
At the same event, Kenney announced that a re-elected Conservative government would extend the Security Infrastructure Program (SIP).
In 2007, the Harper Government established the SIP to assist communities that were vulnerable to hate-motivated crime in acquiring surveillance cameras, alarm systems, fencing and other equipment to protect their places of worship, schools and community centres. “Given the worrying rise in hate-motivated crime, it is essential that the government take action to ensure that schools, community centres and places of worship have the funding they need to ensure the safety and security of those vulnerable to these violent and hateful acts.”