My Story (video)

This video tells the story of my journey from refugee to Member of Parliament for Parkdale-High Park. I’d be honoured if you could help me continue that journey to help Canada and our community move forward. Thank you for your support!

My Story

This video tells the story of my journey from refugee to Member of Parliament for Parkdale-High Park. I’d be honoured if you could help me continue that journey to help Canada and our community move forward. Thank you for your support!

Posted by Arif Virani on Wednesday, August 28, 2019

[Transcript]

Hi, I’m Arif Virani. I’m the Member of Parliament for Parkdale-High Park. This Fall, I’m seeking re-election.

I came to this country as a refugee from Uganda. By taking advantage of the opportunities that this amazing country offers, I eventually became a human rights and constitutional lawyer.

Along the way, I’ve built a family with my amazing wife Suchi right here in Roncesvalles Village. We have two boys, Nitin and Zakir, who go to school right here in our community. It’s for them that I actually decided to run in 2014 because I longer recognized Canada as it evolved under ten years of Stephen Harper and I was determined to do something about it.

I was very humbled to be elected to serve you and this community in 2015 and as a member of the government, I’ve been able to deliver results for our community – including, ensuring as Parliamentary Secretary for Immigration, that we quadrupled the number of privately sponsored refugees that are accepted into this country each year.

Reversing the CRTC decision that jeopardized the ability of film, video, and TV creators right here in Parkdale-High Park to launch their careers through the BravoFACT and MuchFACT funding programs.

Working with our government to launch a three year, $45-million-dollar national Anti-Racism Strategy to combat the rise of hatred and intolerance.

Over the past four years, our Liberal government has worked consistently to reverse the legacy of Stephen Harper. Under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, we’ve invested in Canada and in government services, rather than pursuing the path of cuts that Conservatives are known for.

Our investments have produced the second-best GDP growth in the entire G7, one-million new jobs, and the lowest unemployment rate Canada has seen in 41 years. We’ve lowered taxes on middle-income Canadians and raised them on the top 1%. We’ve also lowered the age of retirement and increased the GIS supplement for low-income seniors.

But most importantly, we stopped sending child benefit cheques to millionaires. We now send more money through the Canada Child Benefit to those that need it the most, tax-free. That one initiative has resulted in 825,000 Canadians being lifted out of poverty.

Our government has invested $21 billion in Indigenous communities around the country and we’ve successfully lifted 86 long-term, boil water advisories, thus far.

We’ve also enacted Canada’s first-ever National Housing Strategy.

However, there is absolutely nothing that is more critical than the step we have taken to put a price on pollution. Climate Change is an existential threat, not just to our country, but to our entire planet. That is why polluting can no longer be free.

But I firmly believe that my work is not done for our community and our work as a progressive Liberal government is not done for Canada. What we don’t need is the austerity of Doug Ford repeated at the national level with more cuts to services by someone like Andrew Scheer.

We still have work to do to address housing affordability. Indigenous reconciliation is not yet complete. Climate Change is an existential threat that no elected official should dare to ignore. And I personally will not stand idly by and watch the politics of anti-immigrant sentiment and division take root here in Canada. The stakes are simply too high.

I’m Arif Virani, the Member of Parliament for Parkdale-High Park and in 2019, I’m once again asking for your support.