Statement by Senator Thanh Hai Ngo

“Today we pay tribute to the people who have suffered and died because of the actions of Communist and totalitarian regimes.”

“August 23 was declared Black Ribbon Day in memory of the victims of these regimes, and the date coincides with the signing of the infamous Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact between Nazi Germany and the Communist Soviet Union in 1939.”

“Black Ribbon Day reminds us of the struggle to fight oppression and to promote democracy around the world. It is also a reminder to current and future generations of the crimes against humanity that were committed during one the darkest periods in our history.”

“Today, as we commemorate the victims of Communist and Nazi tyranny, we must also remember that Canada has welcomed thousands of refugees and victims of Communism from Ukraine, Poland, Hungary, Korea and Vietnam. Canada is now home to about 8 million Canadians who trace their roots to countries ruled under communism.”

“In recognition, the Tribute to Liberty organization plans to erect a memorial in the fall of 2015 to honour the victims of Communism and remind all Canadians of our core values of freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law.”

“In Vietnam, the single-party ruling Communist Party imposes state control despite public discontent over the lack of rights and fundamental freedoms. This year, human rights continue to deteriorate in that country as more repressive measures and policies are introduced to deal with dissidents and religious groups.”