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News Release Pontian Genocide

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“Prime Minister Trudeau and his representatives in the Senate had an opportunity to do the right thing. They chose otherwise.”

~The Honourable Leo Housakos, Senator

OTTAWA, CANADA (November 28, 2018) – Senator Leo Housakos is speaking out about the Trudeau government’s decision to vote against a motion in the Senate calling on Canada’s parliament to recognize the genocide of Pontian Greeks by the Ottoman Empire in the early 20th century.

Senator Housakos says that in recognizing the Pontian genocide, Canada is not sitting in judgment of others or seeking to undo the actions of the past.

“It is about acknowledging, and healing, and educating. And in so doing, preventing such atrocities from happening again,” said Senator Housakos when he spoke about the motion in the Senate Chamber.

A sentiment that was echoed by Senator Pana Merchant, who introduced the original motion before retiring from the Senate last year.

“Acknowledging wrongs is a vital step in preventing future injustices. This grievous deed should not be forgotten,” stated Senator Merchant.

While the Armenian genocide is widely known and acknowledged, the Pontian genocide, which occurred concurrently, remains obscure.

However, with many jurisdictions across Canada and around the world now recognizing the Pontian genocide, Senators Merchant and Housakos felt it was time for Canada’s parliament to do the same.

Senator Housakos was greatly disappointed that the Trudeau government felt otherwise, resulting in Liberal and Trudeau Senators voting against this motion.

“Prime Minister Trudeau seems to have made it his purpose to recognize and apologize for past atrocities. Those apologies clearly have a limit,” remarked Senator Housakos.

“And now we know where that line is,” he concluded.

CONTACT: Jacqui Delaney  I  Jacqui.delaney@sen.parl.gc.ca  I  613 947 4237