Holocaust Remembrance Day

Yom Hashoah in Canada

In 2003, Canada recognized Holocaust Memorial Day on a national level. The ten Canadian provinces have also passed legislation making Holocaust Remembrance (Yom Hashoah) Day an official day on their provincial calendars.

In advocating for the various provincial statutes, the case was made that official recognition of Yom Hashoah Day is an excellent way not only to memorialize the Holocaust but also to promote awareness of the evils of racism, antisemitism and all forms of discrimination, to enhance our appreciation for diversity in Canada's multicultural society and to pay respect to Canada's veterans who fought against Nazi tyranny and, in all too many cases, paid the ultimate price for our freedom.


Bill C-459 - An Act to establish Holocaust Memorial Day

Oct 21, 2003
2nd Session, 37th Parliament
51-52 Elizabeth II, 2002-2003
House of Commons of Canada


WHEREAS the Holocaust refers to a specific event in history, namely, the deliberate and planned state-sponsored persecution and annihilation of European Jewry by the Nazis and their collaborators between 1933 and 1945;

WHEREAS six million Jewish men, women and children perished under this policy of hatred and genocide;

WHEREAS millions of others were victims of that policy because of their physical or mental disabilities, race, religion or sexual orientation;

WHEREAS the terrible destruction and pain of the Holocaust must never be forgotten;

WHEREAS systematic violence, genocide, persecution, racism and hatred continue to occur throughout the world;

WHEREAS the House of Commons is committed to using legislation, education and example to protect Canadians from violence, racism and hatred and to stopping those who foster or commit crimes of violence, racism and hatred;

AND WHEREAS Yom ha-Shoah or the Day of the Holocaust, as determined in each year by the Jewish lunar calendar, is an opportune day to reflect on and educate about the enduring lessons of the Holocaust and to reaffirm a commitment to uphold human rights;

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


1. This Act may be cited as the Holocaust Memorial Day Act.


2. Yom ha-Shoah or the Day of the Holocaust, as determined in each year by the Jewish lunar calendar, is proclaimed as "Holocaust Memorial Day - Yom ha-Shoah."