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Commenting on Heritage Day

For immediate release (Ottawa) February 21, 2011

Commenting on Heritage Day, UCCLA's chairman, RW Zakaluzny, said:

"Today is an appropriate day for recalling the many millions of people who came to Canada fleeing oppression in their homelands, who then made this country their own, and whose descendants have contributed so much to the creation of an inclusive, welcoming and democratic society here.

"Whether they were east Europeans fleeing Communist tyranny, or Vietnamese, Chinese, Cambodians, Tibetans and others escaping similarly oppressive regimes in East Asia, Canada has been enriched by those who came here seeking, and finding, freedom. We hope that the new national museums, namely the Canadian Museum of Immigration (Pier 21) in Halifax, and the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR) (Winnipeg) will pay particular tribute to these heroic people, victims of Communism, who never gave up the hope that someday their homelands would be free, continue to struggle to secure that end, but who, in the meantime, have given so much of themselves to building up a prosperous Canada.

"Their suffering, their endurance, their dreams and their triumphs must be the central stories told in our national museums."