Letter to the Prime Minister - Memorial to the Victims of Communism

December 18, 2015

Dear Prime Minister Trudeau,

On behalf of the Latvian National Federation in Canada, I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate you on forming a new government. Representing the interests of generations of Latvian-Canadians and their extended communities, we look forward to working productively with the Government of Canada, and its institutions, in proudly contributing to the development of this nation. Our non-partisan central organization looks forward to providing you with positive consultation, advice and guidance on political, economic, trade and cultural affairs, both domestically and internationally.

As we know, the tragic history of the Baltic States of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania had its beginnings in the Hitler-Stalin Pact. During the post-war years of Soviet Occupation, Canada refused to recognize the illegal annexation of the Baltic States. Nevertheless, their peoples suffered greatly under the Soviet dictatorship. Though the local populations resisted, harsh measures of colonization, murder and mass ethnic cleansing took their toll. Those who managed to escape the ravages of war included many refugees who were fortunate to find safe haven in Canada. Despite living through traumatic times, they have made a great contribution to Canada’s nation building.

To deny the suffering and sacrifice of so many, is a crime in itself. We are pleased that the planned Memorial to the Victims of Communism, in its approved place of honour in Ottawa, will be a symbol of the global struggle for human rights which Canada and Canadians cherish.

We have full confidence that the Government will expedite the construction of this symbol, without further ado.

To lose initiative would be to revictimize the victims.


Yours respectfully, 

Andris Ķesteris
President, Latvian National Federation in Canada
President, Baltic Federation in Canada
Member of the Board, Central and Eastern European Council of Canada