Conservative Party Leader Pierre Poilievre Meets with Representatives of Canadian Armenian Community in Montreal
By Noushig Ghazarian Nalpatian
Special for Horizon Weekly
Federal Conservative party leader the Honourable Pierre Poilievre made a stop in Montreal at the Armenian Général Bénevolent Union of Montréal (AGBU). He was welcomed to the center by Chahe Tanachian who introduced the leader his audience of Armenian community figureheads of greater Montreal’s various organizations, church denominations, cultural and educational centers, political parties as well as professionals in the community that live in Quebec and contribute greatly to the economy of Canada.. Mr. Tananchian then welcomed Levon Afeyan, Honorary Consul of Armenia in Quebec to say a few words. His main thought was family values. The core value to most Armenians is family and how that ties in with the Conservative values. The final introduction went to Mr. Agop Evereklian who was chief of staff of Montreal Mayor Gerald Tremblay. He was also chief of staff of Minister of Immigration and Multiculturalism Jason Kenney and in 2008 and 2011 he ran for the federal elections. Mr Evereklian also thanked the panel as well as the delighted audience to the meet and greet. He informed his audience that Senator Leo Housakos was not able to make it today due to personal reasons to introduce the leader of the conservative party. Mr. Evereklian ties to the conservative party have been strong and he has played a major role with the conservative party. Mr. Evereklians introduction to the conservative party leader was best summed up by introducing him through a personal angle. As his connection to the party goes way back to to the days when he served with Jason Kenney and then prime minister Stephen Harper. He sees the same values in Pierre Poilievre as he did in the names mentioned above. He doesn’t doubt that he will be the next Prime Minister of Canada.
A delegation of the Armenian National Committee of Canada (ANCC) was also present at the gathering. On behalf of ANCC Hrag Darkdjian also thanked Mr. Poilievre for his and the conservative party’s principled stance on Armenian issues, such as the right of self determination of the people of Artsakh, return of POWS and an Armenian free of Azerbaijani aggresion. “Everyone here highly appreciates all of your past principal statements regarding self-determination of the people of Artsakh , the return of POWs, the fight against the aggression of Azerbaijani and Turkish governments” Mr. Darakjian continues his statement to Mr. Poilievre by letting him know his work has not gone unnoticed and how much he is under high outside pressure and interference but all of this is appreciated and the community wants him to continue this work to be steadfast and courageous because Armenia continues to be in danger.
Pierre Poilievre’s opening statement to the members gathered was the shared value that both Armenians and Conservatives hold value too. “Conservative share the Armenian values of faith, family and freedom.” “Those values are the pillars of everything we stand for as a party on domestic and foreign policy,” were his opening words to the supportive community leaders and professionals.
His ties to the Armenian community of Canada dates back to 2003 when he was an assistant to then shadow foreign affairs minister Stockwell Day who fought for the recognition of the Armenian Genocide on the floor of the House of Commons against great backlash from the opposition and the Turkish diplomatic core.
As a member of parliament his ties seem to remain just as strong with the community today as it did back then. He also made mention of Senator Leo Housakos who was not present but recognized his on-going work for Armenians in Canada and abroad and the on-going conflict with Azerbaijan. Senator Housakos called out the Canadian government to impose sanctions against Azerbaijani government officials. Also the complicity of the Canadian govenment in allowing arms to go to Azerbaijan forces and carrying out the cruelty to the indigenous people of Artsakh.
Poliviere confirms his platform to the supportive and staunch members the connection with the Conservative and the Armenian community is based on his opening statement of faith, family and freedom.
“Those values also apply here in Canada but it feels out of reach for now under the Liberal government.” He reminds his protective audience that the “Canada we live in now is not the Canada we know.” The Canada they came to as immigrants or the Canada they grew up in. “After eight years of Trudeau, everything costs more; work doesn’t pay, housing costs have doubled, crime, chaos, disorder and drugs are common in our streets.” “Tent cities are now popping up.” “We see that malnutrition is returning, food bank uses are up 32%, 2 million people have visited food banks in a single month,” he stated. “Canada was not like this before Justine Trudeau and won’t be like this after he’s gone.”
The conservatives are going to bring back the country of the “common sense of the common people”. He will make this all viable by capping spending, cutting waste. “We know this inflation has been unleashed by 600 billion dollars of money printing deficits, more money bidding on fewer goods always equals higher prices, we need to get the spending under control and balance our budget to bring down that inflation.”
He states, “You make it, Trudeau takes it.” To cut income tax so people could bring home more money and work the overtime or get the bonus without the fear that there will be nothing left for them when they bring that paycheck home.
He makes mention to the professionals in the room and how so many immigrant professionals are banned from working in their field from the present government. He comes across such professionals everyday and their stories are all the same. He tells his audience of how he met a particular person in Ottawa that is a eye doctor at home and is now working as an eye technician and commutes to Dubia to do eye surgery but in Canada he works as a technician earning 60,000 annually. His common sense plan is to create a “Blue Seal” for professional standards for every licensed profession so immigrant doctors, nurses can take tests to prove that they are qualified to get a “Blue Seal” stamp and work anywhere in Canada to serve all patients and help build the economy.
He finally concluded by saying he’s going to stand up for parental rights. And bring back the rights of parents to teach their own children about gender and sexuality and not the government.
Poilievre through his speech concentrated and reminded the audience the importance of the values and how he will lead the conservative party on this platform and lead the party to a win for the next government of Canada.
The floor was then given to those who were able to ask questions as the majority of the audience thanked him for his presence and his on-going support to Armenians here at home and in Armenia. All were strong supporters of his policies and applauded at times for changes he would bring to the country as leader of Canada if elected.
Horizon Weekly asked him about his priorities for Armenia and what his priorities are for the indigenous Arsagh people for self determination. “We support all self determination for all peoples of the world,” he answered.
His speech was more concentrated on Canada and domestic policies and answered questions with more depth and susbstance when questions were related to domestic issues or even individual concerns about getting permits for construction or housing for the elderly.
Pierre Poilievre left a great impact and impression. His policies domestically were very much in line with the representatives and the professionals at the meet and greet. He had his common sense ideas make common sense and his approach to governing the country profitable to the ideas of which makes sense to the community at large and to the individuals themselves.