Viken L. Attarian Seeks Liberal Nomination

July 4, 2014

KEGHART:  What are the top-of-mind needs of your riding?

VIKEN ATTARIAN:  Ahunstic-Cartierville is culturally diverse. It is socio-economically stratified, but mostly comprised of middle class families.  It also has a relatively larger retiree population. These demographics define the specific needs. Income erosion is problematic for the elderly who can no longer afford the homes they live in, because of the increasing property tax burden.  The new immigrant communities have a higher rate of unemployment than average; therefore integration and employment are an issue for them. The economic problems of middle class Canadians are also the same across this riding as elsewhere in Canada.

July 4, 2014

KEGHART:  What are the top-of-mind needs of your riding?

VIKEN ATTARIAN:  Ahunstic-Cartierville is culturally diverse. It is socio-economically stratified, but mostly comprised of middle class families.  It also has a relatively larger retiree population. These demographics define the specific needs. Income erosion is problematic for the elderly who can no longer afford the homes they live in, because of the increasing property tax burden.  The new immigrant communities have a higher rate of unemployment than average; therefore integration and employment are an issue for them. The economic problems of middle class Canadians are also the same across this riding as elsewhere in Canada.

KEGHART:  How familiar are you with the riding?

VA:  I lived in this riding for over 13 years, at two different and geographically fairly apart addresses. My neighbours were different when I lived closer to the Armenian community, than when I lived at my second address that was more culturally diverse.

I also know the riding because of other activities. I used to do door-to-door campaigns at election times, and it is the place I first joined the Liberal Party and participated in all the related community events. As a community leader, I interacted with a lot of the Armenian population from the riding. I know the families, their concerns and their daily preoccupations.

KEGHART: Why do you think you are best qualified to meet the needs of the riding?

VA: Some key answers to the riding issues lie in a variety of spheres. For example, part of the answer lies in opportunities for small businesses and what they can contribute to the local economy. Another set of answers lie in the assistance to new immigrants and the integration framework made available to them. Other answers are related to policies surrounding the demographic challenges of an aging population. As a seasoned policy expert within the Liberal Party, I can say that I am intimately familiar with the right approaches to address them. Finally, as a professional, a business owner myself, and someone who has faced and continues to face these same challenges I have a direct understanding of the citizen’s perspective.

Of course, my main experience is my work as a community leader. I know what it takes, what motivates and drives people, and have dedicated myself to their service. It is just taking the next logical step. I know who to listen to, I know the issues and where the answers can be, I know where to go for help, and more importantly I have earned the respect of my colleagues in the Liberal Party to get things done together.

KEGHART:  What are the major challenges Canada will be facing in the next four to five years?

VA: The main one is economic, where the majority of the population, mainly the middle class, is seriously indebted. The same is true at government levels. Unfortunately, at the provincial level, there are very few HAVE provinces left to sustain the federal transfers. This has serious long-term implications on all sorts of things, including social programs and even the unity of the country.

On the business front, we have a lot of catch up to do.  While we are a country of a lot of innovative and creative ideas, it’s difficult to turn that into an economic benefit. For example, through patenting: it’s an extremely costly and lengthy process for a small business. This results in missed opportunities and reduced prosperity.

The larger challenges are related to demographics, sustainability of our health-care system, related immigration policies, related taxation and fiscal issues and so on.

Finally, there is the role of Canada in the world. We have a serious image problem. We are no longer the peacekeeper, but the warrior. We are not neutral and a creator of opportunities for dialog, but we pick sides based on ideology. We are no longer supporters of multilateralism and international institutions, but a state that would like to not have them around. We no longer help other nations; we just invest in them or simply exploit their natural resources.

KEGHART:  Why should the Liberal Party be the party of choice for Canadians in the upcoming election?

VA: We are the only party that stands and acts for Canadian unity. We stand for the Clarity Act. We stand for policies that focus on what unites us, such as social justice, the aspirations of the middle class and a better future based on a different approach to politics. We were the only party whose leader was elected by all Canadians, not just party members.

Secondly, we have evidence-based policy proposals in each of the necessary spheres. We are not ideologically driven, but have pragmatic approaches to problems.

Thirdly, over the past eight years, Harper’s Conservatives have fundamentally changed Canada, mostly through actions driven through an ideological referential frame. In Harper’s ideal world, a government should only spend on an army to defend borders and project power, and on a police force to enforce contracts. Everything else is the domain of private enterprise. If you see his actions you will conclude that that’s the Canada he is building or paring down to. We think that most Canadians disagree with him and Liberals have the breadth and depth of experience and policies to propose a real alternative to the Harper Conservatives.

KEGHART:  Do you think Justin Trudeau, the head of the Liberal Party of Canada and a fellow Quebecois, is sympathetic to the priorities of Canadian-Armenians or at least knows about them?

VA: Justin Trudeau is aware of them. After all, he has been an MP since 2008 and has been exposed to many files. As a leader of a national party, he has been participating in many discussions on various issues, including many related to human rights. I remember receiving a phone call during his leadership campaign, asking for my support because of my expertise and work in the human rights’ field which his team lacked (those were his exact words). There are certainly many within the party, both high-ranking influential opinion makers as well as regular members who are very sympathetic to the priorities of Canadian-Armenians. The challenge for us is to continue to bring them to Justin Trudeau’s attention and to let him understand that in fact, they are the right issues of concern for all Canadians.

KEGHART: The national elections will coincide with the centennial of the Genocide of Armenians. When you're elected how will you present the Armenian Cause within and outside the Liberal Party?

VA:  The 100th anniversary will certainly be a watershed moment for all Armenians. From the perspective of the Liberal Party, I intend to engage all my elected colleagues and my political resources. That engagement will not be different whether internal to the party or outside. The internal contacts will be of a different nature, but the content and level of intensity will not differ. The fundamental notion that I intend to build around, with the help of all concerned Canadians, is the following: taking a stance on the Armenian Cause is an issue of human rights. Therefore, taking the right position on the issue is not a favour that Canada does its citizens of Armenian origin. It is an act of leadership at the global level. Taking the right position is an act that ennobles Canada itself.

Chers résidents d’Ahuntsic-Cartierville,

C’est avec fierté que je sollicite votre appui pour la nomination du Parti Libéral du Canada dans Ahuntsic-Cartierville, en vue des prochaines élections fédérales.  

Ayant vécu dans Ahuntsic-Cartiervielle pour près de quinze ans, je connais bien la circonscription.   Le patrimoine culturel riche et varié qu’ont créé ses différentes communautés est une réflexion parfaite de l’identité canadienne.  En tant que fier libéral et activiste communautaire, je serai honoré de porter la voix de cette circonscription au Parlement.

J’ai hâte de discuter avec vous au cours des prochaines semaines et de mériter votre confiance.  Je vous invite à visiter mon site web pour de l’information additionnelle.  Ou, mieux encore, contactez-moi et parlons de notre vision pour Ahuntsic-Cartierville et le Canada.

Viken Attarian


Dear residents of Ahuntsic-Cartierville,

I am proud to solicit your support for the Liberal Party nomination in Ahuntsic-Cartierville, for the next federal elections.  

I have lived in Ahuntsic-Cartierville for almost fifteen years, and know the riding well.  Its diverse cultural background of many communities is a true reflection of the Canadian identity.  As a proud Liberal and community activist, I would be honoured to carry its voice on Parliament Hill.

I look forward to speaking to all of you over the coming weeks and months, and gaining your trust.    Feel free to visit my website for additional information or, better yet, contact me and let’s talk about our vision for Ahuntsic-Cartierville and for Canada.


Viken Attarian


Սիրելի Ահունցիք-Քարթիէվիլի բնակիչներ,

Պատիւը ունիմ հայցելու ձեր նեցուկը ի նպաստ թեկնածութեանս, դառնալու համար Ահունցիք-Քարթիէվիլի Լիպերալ կուսակցութեան պաշտօնական ընտրապայքարի թեկնածուն, Գանատայի յաջորդ դաշնակցային ընտրութիւններուն:

Բնակած եմ այս ընտրաշրջանին մէջ գրեթէ մէկ ու կէս տասնամեակ եւ մօտէն ծանօթ եմ անոր: Անոր գունեղ բազմամշակութային բնոյթը իսկապէս կը ցոլացնէ գանատական ինքնութիւնը: Որպէս յանձնառու անդամ Լիպերալ կուսակցութեան եւ ծանօթ ընկերային եւ գաղութային գործիչ՝ պատւուած պիտի զգայի այս ընտրաշրջանը ներկայացնելու Գանատայի Խորհրդարանէն ներս:

Անհամբերօրէն ձեզի հետ խօսակցելու այլազան առիթներու կը սպասեմ յաջորդող շաբաթներուն եւ ամիսներուն ընթացքին, կարենալ շահելու համար ձեր վստահութիւնը: Յաւելեալ տեղեկութիւններու համար, կը հրաւիրեմ ձեզ այցելելու կայքէջս, եւ նոյնիսկ աւելիին: Կապ հաստատեցէ'ք հետս եւ խօսինք միասնական տեսիլքի մը մասին, թէ' Ահունցիք-Քարթիէվիլի եւ թէ' ամբողջ Գանատայի համար:

Վիգէն Լ. Ադդարեան

  1. Second Potential Candidate

    I understand from a Montreal friend that after Mr. Attarian threw his hat in the nomination as the Liberal Party candidate another Armenian joined the race to be the party's nominee. From what I read above, Mr. Attarian sounds eminently qualified to represent his riding and our national interests. I hope the second candidate doesn't ruin Mr. Attarian's chances. We have had cases of vote splitting in Montreal, in Glendale and elsewhere. Let's give consideration to the common good.

  2. Deep Understanding

    Mr. Attarian brings with him a deep understanding of Canadian fundamental values as well as an appreciation of everyday pragmatic issues. Likewise, he brings to the table an intense understanding of Armenian issues with all their their nuances and complexities. His lifelong record is proof of his vastly encompassing knowledge and his active engagement at all levels.

    Running for office has life-changing implications, including a vast amount of sacrifice for him and his family. Our community leaders and leading bodies should spare no effort and take all practical measures to actively support and rally around his candidacy.

    Mr. Attarian's decision to run for office is welcome news for all Canadians and Canadian-Armenians in particular.

    Thank you.

    Zareh Ouzounian

    1. Thank you

      Dear Zareh,

      I thank you for your sincere comments.

      It is indeed a very difficult decision that I had to make.  I am meeting with all Armenian organizations without distinction explaining to them the vision and the issues.

      I am also meeting with other community organizations.

      There are many many things at stake for Canadians and Canadian-Armenians in this election.  I am explaining the issues to all who care to listen.

      It is of course not enough to win the nomination which is a difficult task in itself; the selected candidate has to work tirelessly to build capacity in the riding to win the next election against formidable adversaries who have represented the riding since 2006 (which would make it almost a decade in 2015).

      Visions may belong to one person, but success is always the result of teamwork.  Anyone who truly cares about the real issues, can join my team and support me.


      Viken L. Attarian

  3. Second Person Welcome

    It is a positive and welcome decision that another Armenian is running for political office in the Liberal Party. For over thirty years the Liberal Party refused to recognize the Genocide despite all our efforts. Prime Minister Paul Martin allowed a free vote to his Liberals but ordered his ministers to vote against the Genocide motion.

    I hope that Mr. Attarian can influence the federal Liberal Party to join the Conservative Party in this recognition.

  4. Forthcoming Success

    Sireli Viken,

    "Vorbes endanegan modig" (as a family intimate), I would like to send my early congratulations for your forthcoming success….You deserve it, my dear Viken.

    Please extend my best regards to your family.

    Salutations and the best future to you.

    Hovig Nersessian

    Saudi Arabia

    1. Thank you Hovig

      Sireli Hovig,

      Thank you for the wishes, but success is not guaranteed unless the whole of the Armenian community rallies around my candidacy, believes in the ideas I am putting forth, and supports me.

      I will work hard to earn the trust of everyone.



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