Greek Genocide Resource Center: Blame for Canada’s non-recognition goes to Senator Housakos, but ultimate blame is to Greek government

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In November 2018, the Canadian Senate rejected an attempt by Greek-Canadian Senator Leo Housakos to have the “genocide of Pontian Greeks” recognised.

Around that time, we were alerted to Senator Leo Housakos’ attempt to recognize only the victims from Pontus by a member of the Canadian public. We contacted the Senator seeking clarification as to why he was excluding other Greeks from recognition, but did not get a response.

We also contacted the Canadian Hellenic Congress which supported the Senator’s attempt and held the same views as him, but they refused to accept that all the Greek victims deserved recognition.

We came to the conclusion that Greek leaders in Canada were not interested in the victims from regions outside of Pontus & decided to inform all the Canadian Senators of the injustice of recognising only a fraction of the victims and urged them to amend the Motion to include all Greeks.

Our campaign to correct the injustice did not stop there. We contacted historians as well as Greek survivor groups from Eastern Thrace, Asia Minor & the Levant who likewise sent their requests to have the Motion amended.

We also initiated a Change.org petition which received ~3,000 signatures urging Senator Housakos and the Canadian Hellenic Congress to be more inclusive.

Senator Housakos refused to amend the Motion. He was adamant that Pontus Greeks were the only victims and they were the only Greeks worthy of recognition.

In November 2018, the Canadian Senate rejected Senator Housakos’ motion with a vote of 16 for, 32 against and 21 abstentions.

One of the Senators who abstained from voting, the Honourable Senator Sinclair, stated that the reason he abstained was because the motion was “…not properly inclusive.”

After repeatedly being asked to be more inclusive, Senator Housakos refused to listen to historians, survivor groups and the public.

While we blame Senator Housakos for his denialist stance on the genocide, ultimately, the blame goes to the Greek Government which continues to deny the Greek Genocide and only seeks recognition for the victims from Pontus.

To this day, Senator Housakos has not changed his views on the genocide.

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Greek Genocide Resource Center

READ MORE: Magdalini Pavlidou: 107-year-old Pontian survivor of the Greek Genocide recounts her horrors.

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