Supporting Our Friends at Election Time

18 September 2011
Denial, Deceit, and Anti-Armenian Campaign

Brought to You by Team McGuinty

Dear Friends,

It is election time in Ontario. On Oct. 6, the residents of Ontario will face a choice. They will elect a government which will run their affairs for the next four years. The choice is between a Liberal government, headed by Dalton McGuinty, a Conservative government headed by Tim Hudak, or an NDP government headed by Andrea Horwath.


18 September 2011
Denial, Deceit, and Anti-Armenian Campaign

Brought to You by Team McGuinty

Dear Friends,

It is election time in Ontario. On Oct. 6, the residents of Ontario will face a choice. They will elect a government which will run their affairs for the next four years. The choice is between a Liberal government, headed by Dalton McGuinty, a Conservative government headed by Tim Hudak, or an NDP government headed by Andrea Horwath.


As an integral part of the province’s civil society, Armenian-Ontarians have to make an important decision as to who to vote for.

To make an informed decision, Armenian-Ontarians need to be aware of certain facts about the three leaders and their party’s stand on issues of particular concern to our community as Armenian-Ontarians. The Progressive Conservative and the NDP had principled stand on issues of concern to the Armenian community. They always stood by their moral convictions and did not waver when they were faced with the Turkish Government's big lie machine.

What about Dalton McGuinty and the Liberals.

In regard to mainstream issues of the province, Mr. McGuinty’s policies and the way he has run the province for the past eight years is on public record. His record is synonymous with tax increases and the waste of your hard-earned money. Among the scandals the McGuinty government has been responsible for the one-billion dollar e-Health waste to rewarding a deputy-minister of health over $750,000 to buy his silence for messing up ministry affairs to the HST debacle, payroll tax, eco tax, and Hydro tax. The result of his policies is a $14-billion to $16- billion deficit.

Few days ago Mr. McGuinty came up with a new gimmick to buy your votes. He offered businesses a $10,000 tax break to hire new immigrants. This is the most insulting, patronizing and opportunistic election policy ploy not only to the immigrant and multicultural communities but also to the intellect of the average Ontarian voter.

In regard to the Armenian community in Ontario, Mr. McGuinty’s record is not much better. We would dare say Mr. McGuinty is blatantly and consistently hostile to the Armenian community of Ontario. No other Ontario premier has demonstrated the anti-Armenian attitude Mr. McGuinty has in the past eight years.

Mr. McGuinty singlehandedly vetoed legislation commemorating the Armenian Genocide. When the Conservatives and the NDP, on three occasions, tried to bring a legislation to declare April 24 a memorial day in Ontario (in unison with what Queen’s Park has done re the Holocaust, the Rwandan Genocide, and the Ukrainian Famine–Holodomor), Mr. McGuinty rejected the commemoration of April 24 motion and threatened to block it from being granted royal assent if it is passed at the House. It’s relevant to mention that in 1986 Liberal Premier of Ontario, Hon. David Peterson, proclaimed “I am pleased to recognize April 24, 1986 as ARMENIAN MEMORIAL DAY and to commend its observance.”

Furthermore, two of Mr.McGuinty’s caucus members openly organized hate dissemination activities against the Armenian community at Queen’s Park. One of these members was known at Queen’s Park as "the Ambassador from Istanbul.” In a single year this particular MPP organized three receptions for the Turkish Consul General of Toronto in Queen’s Park so that the Turkish diplomat could spread anti-Armenian falsehoods and lies to the MPPs. Furthermore, the same member and his colleague, organized all-expense paid trips for MPPs to visit Azerbaijan and Turkey, arranged individual meeting for the Armenian Genocide-denial machine members with MPPs, and used their Queen’s Park mail to distribute hate books, pamphlets and other materials to the MPPs., on several occasions, wrote editorials about the mischief-making, anti-Armenian MPPs.

In addition to the above, a most dangerous activity against our democracy was launched by this same “Ambassador from Istanbul.” He attempted to subvert free speech and opinion when he tried to intimidate an opposition NDP MPP to withdraw his co-sponsorship signature from a motion to declare April 24 Memorial Day in Ontario. Fortunately, the MPP in question stood by his principles and did not succumb to the pressure from “the Ambassador from Istanbul” and his masters. Unfortunately, “the Ambassador from Istanbul” did not stop there. He also tried to coerce a Conservative MPP, who was the sponsor of the motion, to meet with Turkish Council General hoping that the Conservative MPP would be persuaded by the Turkish diplomat’s lies and abandon the motion. Once again his attempt failed.

Another member of Mr. McGuinty's caucus attended a Turkish conference and lectures which were organized to lobby against the Armenian community, malign its leaders and to spread hatred and revisionist history. All this was happening while Mr. McGuinty was the premier of this province. Many members of our community brought these anti-Armenian activities to the attention of the premier’s close associates, ministers and Mr. McGuinty’s caucus members. By not curtailing the unprincipled and undemocratic activities of his caucus members, team McGuinty and the rest of the caucus became accomplices in the anti-Armenian propaganda.

The above examples are a fraction of what we know about Mr. McGuinty’s and some of his caucus members policies and attitude toward our community. There is much more of the behind-the- scenes and under-the-table activities coordinated with the participation of a foreign power against peaceful and law-abiding Ontario citizens. All this is happening with a government which swore to protect the interest of its residents. By not stopping these destructive activities, team McGuinty sowed discord between Ontarians.

Dear Members of the Armenian Community,

Very soon you have to make a critical decision affecting the next four years of Ontario and our community. When you head to the ballot box think twice before you drop that important folded paper… and ask yourself, “does team McGuinty deserve a third chance” as some members of our community might try to convince us or is it time to turf the anti-Armenian Liberal governance from Queen’s Park?

Mr. McGuinty was given eight years to do the right thing. Unfortunately, he and his caucus abused the trust and patience of our community. He took advantage of our goodwill.

If you want to go through another four years of denial, lies, anti-Armenian propaganda, deceit, and humiliation, go ahead and vote Liberal, as certain blind and pro-McGuinty Armenian hired guns would like you to do.

It is up to you to make a difference.

If we don’t help ourselves, who will?

Armenians for a Just Ontario


  1. Ontario Elections

    I would like to know what the Liberals have done for Armenians. I remember they played with the Canadian-Armenian community for years, refusing to acknowledge the Genocide of Armenians while all the time they knew the truth.

    I will never forget PM Stephen Harper and his Conservatives who recognized the Genocide, despite heavy pressure from Turkey, some members of the Canadian business community and some obvious allies of Turkey. But Turkey hasn’t given up the fight: its representatives are continuing to put pressure on the Harper Government. I wonder what Armenian lobbyists are doing to counteract the Turkish-led anti-Armenian campaign in Ottawa.

    McGuinty Liberals, as the above article narrates, are no friend of Armenians. I don’t understand why some Toronto Armenian lobbyists are tilting toward the Liberals and backing six out of 12 Liberal candidates. In the recent Toronto mayoralty elections the Armenian lobbyists’ nominee was another Liberal–a politicians who had no history of relationship with the Armenian community. Is there something these Armenian lobbyists know that we don’t know?

    Why should Harper or the Conservatives listen to us when we turn around and back his opponents? What would his opponents think when they see that we are prepared to abandon the man and the party responsible for Canada’s recognition of the Genocide of Armenians?

    I would like to know the process that Armenian lobbyists observe in deciding whom to back in elections.

    1. More on Ontario Elections

      A few things that bother me the most on the above remarks are as follows:

      1. Who are "Armenians for a Just Ontario" other than being anti-Liberal?

      You mention : "To make an informed decision, Armenian-Ontarians need to be aware of certain facts about the three leaders and their party’s stand on issues of particular concern to our community as Armenian-Ontarians. The Progressive Conservative and the NDP had principled stand on issues of concern to the Armenian community. They always stood by their moral convictions and did not wavered (sic) when they were faced with the Turkish Government’s big lie machine."  

      To make an informed decision we need to know the facts for all candidates, not only the Liberals. Plus, I doubt that any politician, even the ones with high moral values, can always vote with their principles. It is unrealistic. They are elected by the people and are supposed to represent the peoples’ wishes, and not their own agendas.

      2. Who is Queen’s Park’s "the Ambassador from Istanbul"?

      If you are going to write about an MPP at Queen’s Park and state some very strong accusations, we deserve to know this person’s name so we can verify this information through the public records or archives or articles written about these meetings or visits, etc.  We need.some proof. Otherwise, all you are doing is conjecture or even worse, knowingly making up stories to manipulate hapless Armenians like the one who forwarded your "article" to me. Words like "falsehood,"  "slander" and "big lie machine" come to mind.

      3. " McGuinty Liberals, as the above article narrates, are no friend of Armenians

      Are we that naive to think any government cares what a tiny little community thinks? Do we think that we are friends with any of the three candidates? 

      4. Recognition of the Armenian Genocide by the Canadian Government.

      Hayorti asks : "Why should Harper or the Conservatives listen to us when we turn around and back his opponents? What would his opponents think when they see that we are prepared to abandon the man and the party responsible for Canada’s recognition of the Genocide of Armenians?"

      I am very proud of the Canadian Government for standing by the principles on which this country was built on. I am grateful that our Prime Minister did not cave in to outside nor inside pressure and did the right thing. The Government of Canada deserves our respect and our commitment that we, ourselves, shall do the right thing as well. Doing the right thing entails researching and checking all that we hear and all that we read and making our decisions based on facts and not conjecture. Just because they did the right thing in this regard does not mean we have to follow them blindly.

      I am not pro or con anyone or any party. I choose the representative that has my and my family’s interests at heart, not someone’s political agenda.

      So, please, in the future if you are going to print an article as one-sided as the one written by "Armenians for a Just Ontario," please give us the facts and not some story. 

      P.S. You state that you check material for libelous and offensive comments. Did it not sound like one to you? Or just because it was some nameless or fictional MPP, it was OK to slander?

      1. Four Points

        I would like to reply to the four points raised by Hayouhi.

        1. It’s irrelevant to me who "Armenians for a Just Ontario" are. What matters is the message and not the messenger. What AJO is saying makes sense.

        2. Anyone who follows Armenian affairs in Ontario with an eye for politics could identify the "Ambassador from Istanbul." Perhaps AJO doesn’t want to get involved in an expensive, time-consuming legal hassle. Considering the activities of the "Ambassador from Istanbul," I would suspect AJO believes such a legal suit would be financed by his friends in Ankara.

        3. Hayouhi is cynical about the intentions of politicians. Welcome to the club. Liberals have ignored us despite our support. Perhaps we should knock another (Conservatives or the NDP) door. Perhaps if we support them, they would support us.

        4. Hayouhi says that her electoral choice is based on her and her family’s interests. It seems AJO naively assumed that an Ontario Armenian family’s interests include a fair response to the Armenian Cause (Tad).


      2. Oh my god!

        The fact that people like Hayouhi exist we will never accomplish anything in politics. Instead of coming-up with solutions, she is just asking questions and being a roadblock!!

        Be proactive!  Understand the issues and accept them, then if you can, come-up with solutions.  Most of all, vote accordingly as long as you don’t hurt the community with your twisted questions.

  2. Two sides of a story

    There are two sides of a story and I would like to hear the other side as well. If anyone knows anything to defend the Liberals, please state them here and don’t be silent. Silence (not commenting) is like people who don’t vote.

    Also I would very much like to know who the Armenian political parties are siding with.

  3. Ontario Election?

    You have done your job teaching us about the Liberal foes but you forgot to mention the Grade 11 teaching of the Genocide of Armenians.

    Ontario Liberals inherited $5.1-billion from the Conservatives. If it weren’t for the recession, Ontario would have been in the black, thanks to Paul Martin’s banking system which no one talks about in Ottawa. It got Canada out of hot water. We have to give credit where it is due.

    The Harper government recognized the Genocide. I am thankful for that.  But we also have to remember the closing of hospitals, schools, amalgamating cities, the downloading of provincial responsibilities to the cities, the selling of Hwy 407. But at last we have a stable government.

    Re taxes: Can anyone tell me how are we supposed to pay for all the fixings? Well, ask Rob Ford. Sell the zoo, maybe the old City Hall, the TTC? tax all the roads going to the city, hire more parking ticket officers…

    Shayen T.

    1. Off the track

      Shahen’s remarks are to the point, however it’s somewhat off the track. He talks of Paul Martin and the federal deficit, whereas the issue at hand is not the federal politics but the provincial elections. What concerns Armenians, I humbly believe, is McGuinty’s government’s record with respect to the Genocide of the Armenians.

      Of course economic and financial matters, health and social services are important to consider, and I personally think the conservatives are not a match. Both the Liberals and the NDP would do a better job, and creating a fair society has always been part of their programs. Yet these matters are chronic issues. As we are getting closer to the 100th Anniversary of the Genocide we need a provincial government that will stand by the Armenian community and acknowledge clearly and loudly the veracity of the Genocide of the Armenians. Wishy-washy statements are not acceptable to the community.

      With respect to including the subject of the Genocide of Armenians in the school curriculum let’s set the record straight. It was the initiative of the Toronto school board and not the government.

  4. Ontario Vote

    Rightly or wrongly, international recognition of the Genocide of Armenians has been the number-one national aim of Diaspora Armenians (including Canadian-Armenians) in the past three or four decades.

    Of the 193 countries in the world, fewer than 30 recognize the Genocide. Canada, as every Armenian knows, is one of those countries.

    For the cause of justice. morality and truth, Canada’s Harper Government recognized the Genocide. There was no financial gain for the Conservative Party or for Canada. Tiny Armenia is not a great trading nation. Canadian-Armenians are not significant donors to party coffers. Any person who says Mr. Harper did it for the Armenian vote is talking through his hat. There are only 50,000 Armenian in Canada (pop. 34 million).

    Of course Harper’s principled act should not be the sole determinant in supporting the Conservatives (be they in Ottawa or in the provinces). However, it should weigh heavily among the factors which help Armenians decide whom to support. 

    1. I follow the logic and agree

      I follow the logic and agree that there is neither international political nor any local financial gain for the conservative party to recognizing the Genocide of the Armenians. By contrast, the Liberals that were supported by the Armenians for almost two generations, and had an Armenian MP too, in the end failed to deliver what the Armenian voters all along were expecting. Jean Chretien was enjoying back to back majorities, yet every time that the matter came to his attention he found a way to avoid it despite a majority of Liberal Senators and House of Commons MPs supporting the motions. His successor Paul Martin did not even show up in the parliament in 2005 and let the then Minister of Defence Bill Graham present the government’s position which was a  regurgitation of the well known Turkish fed arguments. To his credit the Ontario Premier David Peterson was the only Liberal Premier who acknowledged the Genocide of the Armenians.

      Having said so at this present election there are other issues at stake, and that’s where we may differ. I look at it as defeating the Ontario Liberal leadership and not allowing it to form the next provincial majority government. That in itself will send a strong message. Can the Armenian Ontarians alone make it happen? No,  just based on their numbers and the divisions that exist within the community. In the city of Toronto the conservatives hardly can make a strong showing. The field is left to the Liberals and NDP. It will be waste of the votes to support the Conservatives in Toronto.

      To chip away the Liberal seats it makes sense to support the New Democrats in Toronto, not only for strategic purposes but also for their progressive principles, not to mention their long tradition of supporting justice and the acknowledgment of the Genocide of Armenians based on their philosophy of life and belief in Justice. It is not for no reason that the NDP has traditionally been called the conscious of Canada

      Hence, unlike what you propose I would suggest that in ridings where NDP has a chance to support them.

  5. Facts are well documented, discussed, attested by MPPs

    Hayouhi’s four points are so contradictory and amateurish that readers would conclude that either Hayouhi is far removed from the daily activities of the Armenian community or she is pretending ignorance. Anyone who follows local Armenian news would have not raised the above four sloppy points. 

    Had Hayouhi read “Armenians for Just Ontario” communiqué with an analytical mind and without emotionalism, she would have found that the answers of her questions 1 and 2 are either in the communiqué or are in the “Reflections on a Genocide Commemoration” link which Keghart posted on the upper right side of the communiqué under “Similar entries.”

    Hayouhi asks Keghart to “give us the facts and not some story.” It is obvious that Hayouhi cannot distinguish the obvious facts from the spin she is engaged in. The facts are well documented, discussed, attested to by many members of the Ontario legislative assembly and even some members of Dalton McGuinty’s Liberal party staff.  It is disingenuous for Hayouhi to claim “I am not pro or con anyone or any party.” Hayouhi is engaged in nothing less than whitewashing Mr. McGuinty’s dismal record vis-a-vis the Armenian community.

    I am amazed Hayouhi considers defending Armenian community’s interest and upholding the memory of our martyrs as “someone’s political agenda.” It looks like it is Hayouhi who is pursuing a political agenda and not “Armenians for Just Ontario.”

    Hayouhi’s comments are perplexing. On the one hand she states “are we that naive to think any government cares what a tiny little community thinks?" and on the other hand (in the next question) she states “I am very proud of the Canadian Government for standing by the principles on which this country was built on. I am grateful that our Prime Minister did not cave in to outside nor inside pressure and did the right thing.”

    So which is it? Do we have friends or not? You make up your mind. 

    Regardless of her comments, this “tiny little community” still has friends. Not every politician or government is opportunist and hypocrite like Mr. McGuinty.

  6. Voting time is approaching

    Voting time is approaching and I am confused as to whom to vote.  The 'agoump' tells us to vote for Liberals without a clear explanation why, yet this article logically explains why we should not vote for Liberals, I agree with most of the points.

    I just hope the people at the Armenian community will read and reply to this article (before it's too late) so we can get their view-point as well.

  7. McGuinty Liberals Responsible for Sham Health Care

    Dear Compatriots,

    In the last few months you probably have been following Sevan Hjinian’s nightmare with our dysfunctional health care system in Ontario. You might also have read the "Globe and Mail" story about her agony. You might have also telephoned her to demonstrate your solidarity and support. More than 700 of you signed the electronic petition to the Minister of Health and the Premier of Ontario.

    As many of you know, she had her hearing at the Ministry of Health “Health Services Appeal and Review Board” on May 17, 2011. Unfortunately, the three-member board–all with a financial background and none with a medical background–rendered a negative decision. The Board’s decision is a travesty of justice. Sevan was denied natural justice and procedural fairness.

    The Board ignored critical testimony and facts which are crucial to rendering a fair and just decision.

    The Board was highly selective in choosing its evidence. The Board’s decision contains errors of law, factual errors, and contradictions. Thus, the decision is tainted and raises ethical and moral questions.

    For a detailed analysis of the board’s decision, please look at the attached “Patient Denied natural Justice and Procedural Fairness” and her lawyer’s Application to the Board to review and reconsider their flawed decision.

    Unbelievably, the request to review went from the Board to OHIP to get their consent for the review. As it was expected, the OHIP lawyer argued against the review. Accordingly, the review of the appeal board’s faulty decision came to a halt. It appears that it is too much to expect from the body which refused to approve the funding in the first place, to reverse itself and admit its mistake.

    The Appeal Board process is tantamount to asking the tobacco industry to certify a study verifying that smoking causes cancer and other illnesses.

    Her lawyer advised her to appeal the decision to the Divisional Court of Ontario. This is quite an undertaking. It will take about two years, if not more, for the court to render a decision. Two years is “forever” for Sevan. By then, it will very likely be too late. She doesn’t have the luxury of waiting. We are afraid that by then she will be “paraplegic,” as a spine specialist testified could happen, and be bed-ridden. In addition, she will be suffering a kidney and liver failure, due to the eight Percocet pills she currently takes to control her back pain.

    Furthermore, the financial cost of litigation at the Divisional Court is prohibitive. We are sure it will cost much more than the Appeal Board costs, and thus is beyond her means.

    Coming back to the Appeal Board decision, it is shameful that an arm’s-length entity from the Ministry of Health and OHIP would render such a one-sided decision in favor of the Ministry.

    Where is the fairness of the system? Where are the checks and balances? To whom is the appointed Board accountable? Are they accountable to the government or the fundamental principles of jurisprudence and fairness? What are the patient’s and the citizen’s rights to remedy against such a flawed and unjust decision? Where are the mechanisms of impartial review process to which citizens can turn for redress, without having to go to the Divisional Court?

    Unfortunately, the current system is skewed and the deck is stacked against the citizens and patients, in favor of the OHIP bureaucrats and the establishment. It seems, that based on her experience, unless you have deep pockets, you do not have civil and human rights in Ontario. Our health system is not catered to look after the needs of our patient; its priority is to look after the interests of the “health care” providers.

    The Board’s decision is scandalous and goes against the grain of what Canada and the Canadian people stand for. The decision is a stain on Canada’s reputation as a country which rightly takes pride in the equal treatment of its citizens and in helping the underprivileged, the weak, and the needy.

    To remedy this unfair situation, bring to their attention the errors of law the panel committed, and to help her get the lifesaving treatment she needs, her family members and concerned friends talked about her case to the Premier of Ontario Dalton McGuinty, the Minister of Health Deb Matthews, Ministers Gerry Phillips, Eric Hoskins, Brad Duguid, MPPs Greg Sorbara, Khalil Ramal, David Caplan, Helena Jaczek, Bas Balkissoon, Monte Kwinter, David Zimmer, as well as upcoming provincial election candidates Bernie Farber, Michael Coteau, and the Premier’s Deputy Chief of Staff, Dave Gene and Debra Roberts. Once again our efforts were unsuccessful. After the initial meeting or discussions, these politicians did not even bother to return our calls or meet with us again.

    It is ironic that the current government can waste over a billion dollar on the e-health scandal and pay a deputy minister over three-quarter of a million dollars in an annual salary for not performing a single day of work; yet, that same government cannot help a desperate patient to get a life-saving treatment.

    When will these people in authority understand that their decisions are having a catastrophic impact on Ontarians and are causing irreparable damage to our citizens? What is the life of an Ontarian worth? What do we have to do to touch the conscience of these people? What do we have to do so that we can get the appropriate health care in a civilized and progressive country like Canada?

    In light of her prolonged crisis, is this the “best health care system” that the Premier of Ontario and the Ontario Ministry of Health boast about and made a focus of their campaign Platform? We venture to say that even in some developing countries citizens do not experience the horror Sevan continues to experience due to the irresponsibility of our health care providers and politicians.

    Dear Friends, the time has come for you to have the final say in this saga. Very soon every one of us will head to the polls to pass a judgment on the current government. We should think twice before we drop our ballot in the box. Do we want to reward a government which has ignored your petition, letters, and calls? Do we want to reward a government which even ignored the plea of the President of the Armenian Community Centre? Do we want to reward a government which did not hesitate to waste your hard-earned money on cronies but does not care about us, a government that denies a young family from the quality of life which every human being deserves?

    Any Ontarian could be in Sevan’s shoes and face the same heart-wrenching situation. Unless we send a clear and an unequivocal message, tomorrow might be too late. Tomorrow, you or any of your family members can face the same torment which she is facing.

    The choice is yours.

    We believe residents of Ontario deserve better.

    Once again, on behalf of Sevan and her family, we would like to express our sincere appreciation. We are grateful for your heartfelt support and solidarity.

    Friends of Sevan Hajinian

  8. A Log Jam

    Last night’s debate made me more aware that this election will be a referendum on McGuinty’s record rather than anything else.

    Nothing said during the debate was unexpected. Mr. McGuinty flashed numbers and statistical data which I believe made no impression on viewers. Mr. Hudak kept cool, unlike his tantrums displayed earlier in the campaign, talking about tax…tax…tax… brought in by the Liberals and nothing else substantial. Ms. Horwath was very likeable, but I believe what she said convinced only her followers who already have made up their mind to cast their votes for the NDP.

    No real punches, no turning points. It’s a log jam.

    Where were the Greens?

    Prediction? Minority McGuinty government backed by NDP.

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