Kateryna Bandura, New Pathway – Ukrainian News.
The construction site of the Memorial to the Victims of Communism in Ottawa was vandalized over the weekend, with spray painting “Communism will win” on the surrounding fence. There were also three hammer and sickle symbols drawn along the writing.
“Horrible to see this attack on the memory of the millions of victims of communism and the thousands who fled to make Canada their homes, and a reminder of the need to continue educating Canadians on the evils of communism,” said Ariella Kimmel, director of community relations for the premier of Alberta, on Twitter.
The incident stirred outrage on social media, with politicians and citizens condemning the act.
“Hundreds of thousands of refugees from Communism fled to freedom in Canada. It’s appalling to see their experience mocked at this site of collective memory,” said Premier of Alberta Jason Kenney.
Tribute to Liberty responded to the incident, saying that Communism always fails.
“Communism kills but also gives birth to plentiful number of the useful idiots in Canada and beyond,” said @tributetolibert on their Twitter page. “The Memorial isn’t completed yet but that didn’t stop some moron from insulting the memory of our heroes on Canada Day.”
The memorial is being build in recognition of Canada’s role as a place of refuge for people fleeing injustice and persecution, and to honour the millions oppressed by communist regimes. It is designed to serve as a public reminder of the millions of victims of Communism and is expected to bring the suffering of these victims into the public’s consciousness.
“I wish the fools writing this would be forced to spend just one day in 1933 or 1937 Ukraine. Or the 1960-70s Soviet gulag. Or other communist paradises,” said Kateryna Yushchenko on Twitter.
About eight million Canadians trace their roots to countries that were or still are ruled by communist dictatorships. Since the beginning of the first Communist regime in 1917, immigrants from Communist countries have flocked to Canada in search of freedom and safety. After the Second World War, 34,000 Ukrainians came to Canada as DPs or “displaced persons,” not wanting to face the repression in the Soviet Union.
For these victims and many others, Canada represented – and continues to represent – peace, order, democracy, and above all liberty. Extraordinary evidence of this is the May 29, 2008 Royal Assent granted to Bill C-459, An Act to establish a Ukrainian Famine and Genocide (“Holodomor”) Memorial Day and to recognize the Ukrainian Famine of 1932-33 as an act of genocide, which made Canada the first foreign country to recognize the Holodomor as a genocide.
The memorial was initiated by the former Conservative government, with plans to have the monument built the monument next to the Supreme Court of Canada building on Wellington Street. After criticism, the National Capital Commission rescinded its decision to use the land in front of the Supreme Court building, and approved construction of the memorial in the Garden of the Provinces and Territories. Construction on the site started in November 2019, on the west side of the capital’s Garden of the Provinces and Territories at Bay and Wellington streets.