Statement on International Holocaust Remembrance Day


January 26, 2024 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada

The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the Honourable Kamal Khera, Minister of Diversity, Inclusion and Persons with Disabilities, issued the following statement ahead of tomorrow’s International Holocaust Remembrance Day:

“Fuelled by fear and hatred, the Holocaust was one of the darkest times in human history. Those feelings found expression in antisemitism, racism and many other forms of intolerance and bigotry, and they led directly to the systematic genocide of 6 million Jewish people, as well as of 500,000 Roma and Sinti people. Many LGBTQI+ persons, persons with disabilities and political dissidents were also persecuted and killed by the Nazis and their collaborators in horrific crimes against humanity.

“We have a duty to remember the millions of innocents who were exterminated or had their lives shattered leading up to and during the Second World War and to act upon the lessons of history. Canada will continue to combat the denial and distortion of the Holocaust, and we condemn the alarming rise in antisemitic violence and hate speech at home and abroad in recent months.

“Canada is pushing back, including through last fall’s appointment of Deborah Lyons as the Special Envoy on Preserving Holocaust Remembrance and Combatting Antisemitism. Special Envoy Lyons visited Israel in December 2023 to offer support, reinforce Canada’s commitment to Holocaust remembrance and advance the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s working definition of antisemitism, which is an important tool in countering antisemitism and Holocaust denial.

“Holocaust awareness helps us understand the horrors that result when people are dehumanized and persecuted, and it can also help us recognize and resist other forms of hatred and discrimination we are seeing in our communities and online. Since 2019, Canada has stepped up and made historic investments of nearly $200 million to combat antisemitism and other forms of racism and hate. This includes working with communities to develop a new national anti-racism strategy and Canada’s first-ever Action Plan on Combatting Hate, so we can respond effectively to the evolving needs and realities of these communities.

“There is no place for hatred and intolerance in Canada or in the world we want. We owe it to the millions of Holocaust victims and survivors to never forget: everyone deserves to feel safe, no matter who they are, where they live or how they pray.”


Isabella Orozco-Madison
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Laurent de Casanove
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Diversity, Inclusion and Persons with Disabilities

Media Relations Office
Global Affairs Canada
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