Canada – AFP
Canada House of Commons recognizes “genocide” in Armenia, rebuffing FM
Wed Apr 21, 8:24 PM ET
OTTAWA (AFP) – Canada’s House of Commons rejected appeals from Foreign
Minister Bill Graham by adopting a resolution to recognize that Turkey,
Canada’s ally in NATO, committed genocide in Armenia in 1915.
The 301-seat House of Commons voted 153 to 68 in favour of the
resolution, thanks to support from many members of the governing Liberal
Party. Several MPs said Graham had asked them to vote down the measure
during closed-door Liberal meetings.
The motion recognized Turkey’s alleged genocide as “a crime against
It has symbolic value and will not define policy.
In the vote, several leading members of the Liberal Party, including
parliamentary secretaries, voted in favour. However, no full cabinet
minister voted against.
Aris Babikian, of the Armenian National Committee of Canada, pointed out
that several key cabinet ministers, including Justice Minister Irwin
Cotler and even Prime Minister Paul Martin, were absent for the vote.
He suggested they were absent because they did not want to vote against
However, Babikian said it was a great “moral victory,” which would add
pressure on Turkey to at least recognize the genocide and even apologize
At a celebration party after Tuesday’s vote, Babikian said he owed this
victory to his grandfather who “lost six brothers and sisters in the
genocide” and “saw his own six-year-old sister burned to death.