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Parliament of Canada’s Bill C–533 in honor of Srebrenica Genocide Remembrance

June 17, 2010

Honourable Rob Oliphant, Member of the Canadian Parliament and Member of the Liberal Party of Canada on June 10th introduced Bill C – 533, an Act respecting a Srebrenica Remembrance Day

The 3rd Session, 40th Parliament
59 Elizabeth II, 2010
HOUSE OF COMMONS OF CANADA

Bill C-533

An Act respecting a Srebrenica Remembrance Day:

Whereas the Srebrenica Massacre, also known as the Srebrenica Genocide, was the killing in July of 1995 of an estimated 8,000 Bosniak men and boys in the region of Srebrenica in Bosnia and Herzegovina by Bosnian Serb forces;

Whereas the Srebrenica Massacre is the largest mass murder in Europe since World War II and the largest massacre carried out by Serb forces during the Bosnian war;

Whereas the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, located in The Hague, unanimously decided in the case of Prosecutor v. Krstić that the Srebrenica Massacre was genocide;

Whereas the International Court of Justice ruled in February of 2007 that the Srebrenica Massacre was genocide with the specific intent to destroy Bosnian Muslims who were living in the area;

Whereas resolutions condemning the Srebrenica Massacre were adopted by the European Parliament on January 15, 2009, and by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in 2005;

Whereas on March 31, 2010, the Government of Serbia, led by President BorisTadic, issued a full state apology for the Srebrenica Massacre, providing tacit recognition of the genocidal nature of the crime and endorsing the February 2007 ruling of the International Court of Justice;

And whereas the list of people missing or killed in Srebrenica, as compiled by the Federal Commission of Missing Persons of the Government of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, includes 8,373 names to date;

Now, therefore, Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:

SHORT TITLE

1.This Act may be cited as the Srebrenica Remembrance Day Act. SREBRENICA REMEMBRANCE DAY

2.Throughout Canada, in each and every year, the eleventh day of July shall be known as “Srebrenica Remembrance Day”.

3.For greater certainty, Srebrenica Remembrance Day is not a legal holiday or a nonjuridical day.

Mr. Robert Oliphant’s comments in the House of Commons:

Moved for leave to introduce Bill C-533, An Act respecting a Srebrenica Remembrance Day.

He said: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased this morning to introduce a bill that seeks to establish a national Srebrenica remembrance day to be held every July 11. I thank my colleague the hon. member for Vancouver East for seconding the bill.

In July 1995, an estimated 8,000 Bosniak men and boys were massacred in the Srebrenica region of Bosnia and Herzegovina, a UN declared safe area by Bosnian Serb forces. This was the largest mass murder in Europe since World War II.

Both the appeals chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and the International Court of Justice ruled that the Srebrenica massacre was genocide.
In addition, resolutions condemning the massacre have been passed by the European Parliament and the American House of Representatives and Senate.

This past March, the president of Serbia issued a full state apology and endorsed the ruling of the International Court of Justice.

Recognizing the devastating effects of the July 1995 Srebrenica genocide, this bill would provide the opportunity for all Canadians to stand with those in the Bosnian Canadian community to share in their pain and honour the memory of those men and boys massacred.

As we approach the 15th anniversary of this massacre, I hope this bill will serve as a step in the right direction which will ultimately provide some semblance of comfort to the survivors of this genocide and to the Bosnian community here in Canada.

May the memory of those lost never be forgotten.

In parliamentary procedure is still Motion M – 416 introduced on August 29, 2009, by Honourable Brian Masse, Member of the Canadian Parliament and Member of the NDP, jointly seconded by: Mr. Siksay Douglas and Ms. Charlton Chris, on October 6, 2009.

Motion M – 416

That, in the opinion of the House, the day of July 11 should be recognized as Srebrenica Remembrance Day in memorial of the Srebrenica Massacre of July of 1995, in which more than 8,000 Bosniak civilians were executed under the policy of ethnic cleansing, declared an act of genocide by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, and 30,000 others were expelled from their homes by Serbian forces.

Difference between Motion and Bill

A motion is a proposal moved by a Member for the House to do something, to order something to be done or to express an opinion with regard to some matter. A motion might be passed in the House of Commons but that doesn`t always mean any type of action has to follow. A bill is stronger. It is a proposed law submitted to Parliament for consideration and approval. It may originate either with the government, with a private Member, or from a committee, and may relate either to public or private interests.

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