ACCA Report, Toronto, 6 August 2015
Hon. Jason Kenney joined, on August 4, over 50 members and supporters of the Armenian Canadian Conservative Association of Toronto (ACCA) for a successful fundraiser at the residence of Van and Silva Lapoyan.
The reception raised $25,000 in support of the Conservative Party of Canada’s re-election efforts. It featured a keynote speech by Mr. Kenney, a friend of the Armenian community who has been voted the “best overall” and “hardest working” MP by Maclean’s magazine annual survey of parliamentarians. He spoke about the important choice facing Canadians in the October federal election, highlighted the leadership of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, and recognized the important contributions made by Canada’s Armenian community.
Federal Conservative candidates John Carmichael (Don Valley West), Joe Daniel (Don Valley North), Costas Menegakis (Aurora – Oak Ridges – Richmond Hill), Brad Butt (Mississauga – Streetsville), Peter Kent (Thornhill), Corneliu Chisu (Pickering – Uxbridge) were present to meet prominent Armenian community members and respond to their questions.
Aris Babikian introduced Mr. Kenney and thanked the Conservative Party of Canada for its strong, principled and consistent support of the people of Armenia and of the Armenian community in Canada. He expressed particular gratitude for Canada’s Conservative government’s recognition of the Armenian Genocide, and for reaffirming that recognition this year through Motion M-587, which was introduced by Conservative MP Brad Butt and supported by the Government. He informed the attendees that the evening raised $25,000.
Mr. Kenney thanked the Lapoyans for hosting the event and welcomed the support of the attendees. In thanking the members of Armenian community for their support, he said: “Our Conservative Party will continue to stand, firmly, on the right side of the history concerning the historical reality of the Armenian Genocide despite all political pressures.”
He also reinforced the importance of values: “We want a country where freedom of conscience is deeply respected, but where we also share basic values, such as a belief in human dignity, equality of opportunity, and the rule of law. We want a Canada where we can celebrate our different cultural traditions, but not at the expense of sharing common Canadian traditions. We want a Canada where we are loyal to Canada’s historically grounded values. Integration that ensures that new Canadians know, own, and identify with our country’s history, symbols, and institutions.”
Mr. Kenney emphasized Canada’s record of solidarity with, and support for persecuted ethnic and religious minorities of the Middle East, noting that the
Conservative Party is the only party willing to stand up to the genocidal Daesh (ISIL).
Saro Khatchadourian relayed a message from the Hon. Gary Goodyear, who passed on his greetings and well wishes for a successful reception. Roubik Galstanian, representative of the Defence Minister of the Republic of Armenia in Europe, expressed his gratitude to Canada’s Conservative government for its steadfast support of Armenia and Armenian issues.
Vatche Demirdjian, president of the ACCA, expressed his appreciation to Mr. Kenney and his many colleagues for their presence. He emphasized that their participation was a testament to the Conservative Party of Canada’s special relationship with the Armenian community, and called on all Canadian Armenians to help re-elect a Conservative government on October 19.