Support in Ontario to mark Nanjing Massacre
A regional council in Ontario has voted unanimously to support a bill commemorating the Nanjing Massacre.
The Ontario Peel Regional Council voted on April 28 to support Member of Provincial Parliament Soo Wong’s bill to create Nanjing Massacre Commemorative Day.
The vote followed the passage of a motion by Councillor Jim Karygiannis of the Toronto City Council on Dec 15 recognizing the Nanjing Massacre in which 300,000 Chinese people were killed in a six-week period starting in December 1937, at the hands of the Japanese Imperial Army.
“Ontario already recognizes a number of genocides and human rights atrocities, including Holocaust Memorial Day, Holodomor Memorial Day and the Armenian Genocide Memorial Day,” said Joseph Y. Wong, chairman of Toronto ALPHA (Association for Learning and Preserving the History of WWII in Asia). “The Armenian genocide has also been recognized by the government of Canada.
“The pressure to bury the history and to deny us all the critical lessons of the Nanjing Massacre has been intense for decades, and we can see it manifesting now,” Wong said. “We cannot and must not allow ignorance and historical revisionism to block the path of truth and justice.”
A delegation of Chinese community leaders also attended the presentation.
Councillor Ron Starr, who is of Ukrainian origin, cited the Holodomor, a genocide by manufactured famine in 1932-1933 in Ukraine in which an estimated 7 million to 10 million people systematically died of starvation. Starr supported the bill.
Councillor Nando Iannicca spoke of the long history of atrocity denial – from those who would deny the Nanjing Massacre to those who have denied the Armenian genocide, the Holodomor and the Holocaust – indicating the importance of teaching such events and atrocities in our schools.
All attending councillors of three cities voted in favour of the motion.
Regional Chairman Frank Dale stated that Bill 79 is fully supported by the entire council of Peel Region. A letter will be sent to the premier of Ontario, Kathleen Wynne, to express the unanimous support.
Toronto ALPHA appealed to all individuals and groups in Ontario who support Bill 79 to contact both their provincial representatives and the premier to express their support as well.