Andrew Scheer, Leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, issues statement on Black Ribbon Day August 23, 2017 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE OTTAWA, ON – Andrew Scheer, Leader of the Conservative Party of Canada and Leader of the Official Opposition, issued the following statement on Black Ribbon Day, the National Day of Remembrance for the Victims of Communism and Nazism in Europe: “Today, in communities across the country, Canadians will take part in ceremonies to mark Black Ribbon Day, a day of tribute to the millions of innocent victims of the totalitarian Nazi and Soviet regimes of the 20th century. “Black Ribbon Day was established in Canada by a unanimous decision of the House of Commons in 2009. It commemorates the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, a secret agreement to divide Europe signed between the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany on August 23, 1939. With the Soviet Union enlisted as an ally, Nazi Germany attacked Poland on September 1, 1939, starting the Second World War, and initiating acts of mass murder on a scale never before seen in history. “Stalin’s secret agreement with Hitler allowed the Nazis to carry out the Holocaust, destroyed the independence of sovereign nations, and brought terror, deportations and gulags to regions that fell under Soviet rule. It inflicted unimaginable suffering on the tens of millions of innocent people caught between the delusions of these two evil dictators. With the end of the war, the Nazi regime was destroyed, but Soviet terror expanded across half of Europe, receding only with the collapse of the puppet communist regimes in 1989, and the end of the Soviet Union itself in 1991. “Yet the totalitarian impulses of that era echo in today’s events. Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea and ongoing military aggression against Ukraine has brought war back to these regions of Europe. The Putin regime continues to engage in the rehabilitation of Stalin and the whitewashing of atrocities committed by the Soviet secret police forces against innocent people in Russia, the former Soviet Union, and the rest of Europe. The Russian authorities manipulate history, spreading propaganda and disinformation to smear those who resisted Soviet oppression while their countries were under Stalin’s brutal occupation. Canada has stood with Ukraine and our NATO allies in the region to oppose the Putin regime’s appalling actions, something of which Canadians are justly proud. “Canada has given a home to many people fleeing the bloodlands of Europe throughout the 20th century. Their stories and their legacies will ensure that Canadians never forget the horrors of these tyrannical regimes in Europe. Conservatives have supported the construction of the National Holocaust Monument and the Memorial to the Victims of Communism not only to memorialize those who perished under the brutal Nazi and Soviet regimes, but also to help Canadians understand more about these terrible crimes. “On behalf of the Conservative Party of Canada and the Official Opposition, I commend those organizing and participating in Black Ribbon Day observances today. I join with you in remembering the victims of Soviet and Nazi terror in Europe, and together we commit to ensuring murderous regimes such as these will never arise again.” -30- For more information: Daniel Schow (613) 286-1050 [email protected] Anthony Farrow (613) 995-9054 [email protected]