Statement by Prime Minister Stephen Harper on Black Ribbon Day

Prime Minister Stephen Harper issued this statement to mark Black Ribbon Day, the National Day of Remembrance for the Victims of Communism and Nazism in Europe:

“On this day in 1939, Nazi Germany and the Communist Soviet Union signed the notorious non-aggression Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, which ultimately led to the Second World War. These tyrannical regimes occupied most of Central and Eastern Europe, ultimately causing incalculable destruction and senseless suffering, and brutally murdering millions of innocent men, women and children.

“Today, all Canadians join me in paying tribute to the memory of the tens of millions of European victims of Communist and Nazi tyranny, and honouring the brave men and women who stood up to these evil regimes to defend their values, beliefs and faiths.

“Regrettably, too many men, women and children continue to face brutality and repression around the world today. Canadians have seen savagery persist in the world today, as we witness the unspeakable barbarism of ISIS onto innocent religious and ethnic minorities. In the face of a threat to our own security and human dignity around the world, we will not sit on the sidelines. We will decisively confront ISIS, a genocidal terrorist cult, that is summarily executing innocent women, children and minorities. I am proud of the men and women of the Canadian Armed Forces who are acting to protect the millions of innocent people who face ISIS brutality. Moreover, since the start of the Putin regime’s aggression in Eastern Europe our Conservative government has stood firmly with Ukraine, Poland and our Baltic friends against Putin’s militarism, and remain committed, together with our NATO allies, to building regional stability and security in the region.

“I am proud to say that our Conservative government also remains committed to the construction of a National Memorial to Victims of Communism and a National Holocaust Monument, memorials dedicated to honouring and preserving the legacy of the millions of men, women and children who struggled against these sinister regimes.

“In 2009, Parliament declared Black Ribbon Day a national day of remembrance and so I encourage all Canadians to take part in one of the many Black Ribbon Day commemorative ceremonies taking place across the country. I also encourage Canadians to continue to protect and promote Canadian values of freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law to prevent such historical evils from ever taking hold again.”