Sup­port in On­tario to mark Nan­jing Mas­sacre

China Daily (Canada) - - ACROSS AMERICA - By NA LI in Toronto re­nali@chi­nadai­lyusa.com

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.

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