Walter Absil, a Holocaust survivor poses with Jason Kenney Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism at the announcement ceremony.
Photo Credit: Canadian Press/Justin Tang

National Holocaust Memorial for Canada

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On Tuesday of this week, National Holocaust Memorial Day, the Canadian government announced the site of the National Holocaust monument.

The site in Ottawa will be located near the National War Museum.

 Making the announcement at a formal ceremony was Tim Uppal, minister of state for democratic reform who said “It “will be a testament to the importance of ensuring that the memory of the Holocaust is never lost,”

He added, “The monument will encourage people to reflect upon the events of the Holocaust, remember the victims, and pay tribute to the survivors,” said Uppal. “It will also encourage people to reflect on the responsibilities each of us has to protect human rights and dignity.”

In 2011 a five-member development council was created to advance the project and raise funds.  The council says it is halfway to its funding goal of $4.5 million, with the government to add another $4million.

In a comment on the announcement of the location, Daniel Friedman, council chairman and rabbi at Beth Israel Synagogue in Edmonton said,“We are very pleased and honoured to have such a prominent site.”

Historians, Holocaust survivors and others have already held preliminary visioning sessions for the memorial. The National Capital Commission will oversee the planning, construction and maintenance.

An invitation for design proposals is to be tendered next month and will be limited to Canadian firms and individuals. Construction is expected to start early next year and finish by the end of 2014.

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