Posted on Jun 6, 2016

Carbon Levy Public Debate: Speaking Out Against the Comparison of Holodomor to the Carbon Levy

Ms Babcock: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. As Members of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta we have the right to engage in a vigorous and passionate debate on issues of public policy, but last week nine members of the Official Opposition took that debate to a place that was disappointing, at the very least, and hurtful to 300,000 Albertans. In a blog post they compared the Holodomor to the carbon levy.

I have been honoured to stand witness to the survivors and the victims of this atrocity, and it defies simple logic or basic human decency to compare a crime against humanity to a public policy measure that has already been successfully adopted in many jurisdictions. They have since apologized for the offensive statement and have deleted the post. Regardless, I believe this sad episode is a reminder to all of us of the impact of what we say or write.

The Holodomor was an act of genocide that took the lives of millions of Ukrainian women, men, and children, and 300,000 Albertans are survivors or descendants of those who survived this crime against humanity. When we speak of or write about this atrocity, it should be in one context and only one context. We need to remember the suffering of our fellow human beings, with a unified resolve to prevent it from happening again.

I believe that everyone in this House has come here for the same reason, to serve Albertans to the best of their ability. But when people hear such hurtful and obviously wrong statements by elected officials, they question the motives of us all. That is why I want to be on record today to say that I deplore what happened last week. When members of this House apologize, we accept those apologies at face value, but their sincerity will be judged on their future actions and whether they have learned anything from putting such bizarre, hurtful, and simply wrong comments on the public record.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker

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