Alberta university students want lecturer who denies Ukrainian famine fired

The famine was recognized in 2008 by Canada and nine other countries as an act of genocide

Some University of Alberta students want the school to fire an assistant lecturer who denies the Holodomor, the mass genocide of Ukrainian people carried out by the former Soviet Union in the early 1930s.

In a Nov. 19 Facebook post, Dougal MacDonald, a sessional instructor in the Department of Elementary Education, called the Holodomor a lie perpetuated with fake photographs and news stories spread by former Nazi collaborators.

The university’s Ukrainian Student Society calls the post hate speech and says it demonstrates that MacDonald is not fit to teach.

In an email to CTV News, MacDonald says he has researched the Holodomor for a number of years and has a right to free speech.

The famine was recognized in 2008 by Canada and nine other countries as an act of genocide perpetuated by the Soviets under Joseph Stalin.

It’s estimated that up to 10 million people died.

“(Prime Minister) Trudeau’s support for the anti-communist, pro-Nazi Holodomor myth is no accident,” MacDonald’s Facebook post read.

“The Trudeau government’s promotion of the Holodomor myth is more of its self-serving agenda to attempt to rewrite history, while falsely claiming to support freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law.”

Ivanka Soletsky, a university student and Ukrainian Student Society member, said someone with those views in a time of political instability should no longer be able to teach at the university.

“Students have a lot of respect for their professors … and typically take what they say as truth because we assume that they know what they’re talking about,” she said.

“In this case, Mr. MacDonald is making claims against historical facts recognized by the government of Canada for over a decade.”

Other organizations, such as the Ukrainian Canadian Congress, are also calling for MacDonald’s “immediate censure and termination.”

In his email to CTV, MacDonald said what society members find offensive is that he does not agree with them.

“They arrogantly claim that my disagreement means I am not allowed to speak … I do not debate with those kind of people.”

The University of Alberta said in a statement that MacDonald’s views do not represent those of the institution, but he has a right to share them.

Deputy provost Wendy Rodgers said the university is “carefully monitoring” but no action would be taken.

MacDonald has previously run for the Marxist-Leninist Party in Edmonton-Strathcona in the last two federal elections.

Correction: In a previous version of this story, the Canadian Press erroneously reported that the Jewish Federation of Edmonton had called for the lecturer’s termination. In fact, the federation had called the lecturer’s stance “dangerous” revisionist history, but did not call for his firing.

The Canadian Press

Just Posted

The Our Lady of the Rosary Women’s Auxilliary held their annual cookie walk Dec. 8th

In addition to the cookies, there was a craft area for the kids, face painting and Santa Claus visited as well

The local Bantam Girls 3C team recently attended a tournament in Okotoks

There were all ages attending to support female hockey

The final Castor Farmers Market of 2019 took place on Dec. 5th

The Castor Farmers Market will be taking a couple months off before returning in March

Alberta RCMP prepares for National Impaired Driving Enforcement Day and shares safety tips

National Impaired Driving Enforcement Day is a nationwide RCMP initiative taking place Dec.7th

Lacombe’s AFSC ready to help Alberta producers facing difficult times

2019 season not easy for Alberta producers due toweather and other challenges

VIDEO: Kenney lays out key demands for meeting with Trudeau

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney aims for clear signs of federal action on two-day Ottawa trip

Teen seriously injured: Police in Lethbridge, Alta., charge 5 people in swarming

Police say a 16-year-old boy made arrangements to meet with a young woman before he was attacked

PODCAST: The Expert welcomes AA Lacombe General Jared Williams

Lacombe resident joined Red Deer Advocate Sports Reporter Byron Hackett and Host Todd Vaughan

No reports yet of Canadians affected by New Zealand volcano eruption, feds say

Missing and injured included tourists from the U.S., China, Australia, Britain and Malaysia

Online ‘direct threats’ lead to cancellation of school dance in Blackfalds

Threats resulted from Grade 4 social studies class discussing energy sector

Blackfalds RCMP warn of poor driving conditions on QEII

Vehicles have been involved in collisions and are in the ditch

Would you leave your baby alone to go to the gym? This Canadian dad did

The man identifies just as a divorced dad with a nine-month-old baby

Lawyer competence includes knowledge of Indigenous-Crown history: B.C. law society

All practising lawyers in B.C. will be required to take a six-hour online course covering these areas

Wealth of Canadians divided along racial lines, says report on income inequality

One interesting finding was that racialized men have a higher employment rate than non-racialized men

Most Read