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Former Ontario Minister Reza Moridi Outraged Liberals by Endorsing Federal Conservatives

Photo from the Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE), YouTube Channel.

Last week, former Ontario Liberal Minister and MPP Reza Moridi, in a surprising move, endorsed the Conservative candidate, Costas Menegakis in the riding of Richmond Hill. He published his endorsement on the cover page of a Persian weekly magazine called Shahrvand in which he said he will be voting for the Conservatives in his home riding.

Moridi’s endorsement for Menegakis has outraged many Liberal supporters who are shocked to see the three-term Liberal MPP and former Minister back the former Conservative MP who also served as the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Immigration during the Stephen Harper’s government. In a letter addressed to the leadership of the Ontario Liberal party, a group of 100 “members and supporters of the Ontario Liberal party and the Liberal Party of Canada” asked the provincial Liberals to publicly denounce this endorsement by their former colleague and distance themselves from Moridi’s actions.

Part of the letter: “Between 2007 and 2018, Mr. Moridi utilized the trust of Ontario Liberals and the resources of the Ontario Liberal Party to rise to a ministerial position within the Liberal government. Now, it is disgraceful that at this important and sensitive election for Canadians and for Liberals and in a crucial riding in the GTA, he is abusing the influence he has built with the Liberal brand in the riding to formally endorse the rival Conservative candidate, Costas Menegakis who does not believe in liberal values and has been a long-time supporter of Stephen Harper’s most extreme policies.”

Mani, a resident of Richmond Hill said: “It is a deep disappointment that Reza Moridi publicly supports a right-wing Conservative candidate who was responsible for the anti-immigration policies of Stephen Harper including Bill C-24, which aimed at dividing Canadian citizens into two separate tiers.”

While this has caused resentment among Liberal supporters, it has been greatly welcomed by high-profile Conservatives. The Conservative Senator, Linda Frum showed her support for Mr. Moridi in a tweet where she wrote: “so much respect for Reza Moridi choosing his country ahead of his party in the riding of Richmond Hill”.

It is noteworthy to mention that this is not the first time that Moridi has made an attempt to undermine the incumbent Liberal MP for Richmond Hill, Majid Jowhari. He has openly criticized and attacked Jowhari for his effort to advance the 2015 Trudeau’s promise for re-engagement with Iran, a promise that encouraged many Iranian-Canadians to vote for the Liberals in the last election. In an interview in January 2018, Moridi said: “the community at large should be concerned if he is supposed to be representing the people of Richmond Hill, to be their voice in Ottawa and instead he is lobbying with the Iranian regime”. Despite his allegations, Moridi has not yet provided any evidence that Jowhari was lobbying for a foreign government.

In his latest move, Moridi sent out mass emails to the residents of Richmond Hill, claiming that he along with 3 other "prominent Liberals" do not support the Liberal incumbent Majid Jowhari in the upcoming federal elections. In this mass email, Moridi did not mention his support for the Conservative candidate and also failed to mention that one of the four signatories of the email, Richard Rupp, is a member of the Conservative Party of Canada according to a recent interview he did with a local paper. In response to the mass email sent, Jowhari’s campaign team released a statement, calling them “a group of self-described ‘prominent Liberals’ who do not have the courage of their convictions to say what party and policies they do support but are prepared to only say what they don’t support, without providing rational or substantiation.”

Cover photo from Cib24.

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©2019 by Iranian Canadian Journal (IC Journal)