Member's Statement: The Dalai Lama | Dec. 10, 2015
Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize the 26th anniversary of the award of the Nobel Prize to His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
As the member of Parliament for Parkdale—High Park, thousands of my constituents are Tibetans who take great pride in the cultural and spiritual leadership of the Dalai Lama. The important work of spreading the Dalai Lama's teachings and wisdom are being done in my community in Toronto by the Tibetan Canadian Cultural Centre and its president, Mr. Sonam Lankar.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama is not simply a leader for Tibetans, he is a leader and example for us all. The global community recognized his tireless advocacy for the cause of peace with the award of the Nobel Prize on December 10, 1989. On that date, His Holiness accepted the award with great humility, noting that:
"...I am no one special. But I believe the prize is a recognition of the true value of altruism, love, compassion and non-violence which I try to practice..."
I ask all members of the House to join me in recognizing this significant anniversary.
Member's Statement: Safe Rail Communities | Jan. 29, 2016
Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize the important work being done in my riding by Safe Rail Communities and its founders, Patricia Lai and Helen Vassilakos.
Parkdale—High Park is bounded by no less than three rail lines. However, rail safety is not just a problem for residents in my community. It is a problem that affects all Canadians. The train that derailed in Lac-Mégantic while carrying highly combustible crude oil travelled through my riding and many other ridings in Canada.
On behalf of Safe Rail Communities and my constituents, Helen and Patricia are at the forefront of gathering information and urging government action on the issue of rail safety. They host community meetings and make deputations before standing committees.
The first petition that I will have the honour of tabling in this chamber will be from Safe Rail Communities calling for stronger regulation and more transparent information-sharing.
It is Canadians like Helen and Patricia who make our communities and country stronger and safer. I salute their efforts, and I urge all in the House to do so as well.
Canada's Response to the Syrian Refugee Crisis | Jan. 26, 2016
Liberal MP Arif Virani responds to a Conservative question in the House of Commons on the Syrian refugee crisis and Canada's positive response.
Speech in the House: Canada Labour Code | Feb. 5, 2016
Liberal MP Arif Virani speaks in support of Bill C-4, restoring fairness to unions and organized labour by repealing the two anti-union bills brought in by the Conservatives: C-377 and C-525.
Member's Statement: Boutros Boutros-Ghali | Feb. 16, 2016
Mr. Speaker, today we mourn the loss of Egypt's Boutros Boutros-Ghali, former secretary-general of the United Nations.
Mr. Boutros-Ghali's storied legacy includes a vision of lasting peace for the Middle East and his role in the negotiation of the 1979 peace treaty between Egypt and Israel. He also led the UN through some of its greatest challenges, including the crises in Rwanda, Somalia, and the former Yugoslavia.
Furthermore, he authored a unique UN report, “An Agenda for Peace”, a document on conflict prevention and the process for achieving and maintaining peace, and other subsequent documents on development and democracy.
After leaving the UN, Mr. Boutros-Ghali was the secretary general of La Francophonie. In 2004 he was named the president of the new human rights council.
A global thinker, a distinguished diplomat, and a courageous statesman, Mr. Boutros-Ghali was a true champion for world peace.
We extend our deepest condolences to Mr. Boutros-Ghali's family, friends, and former UN colleagues at this most difficult time.
Helping the World's Most Vulnerable Refugees | Mar. 8, 2016
Liberal MP Arif Virani responds to a Conservative question in the House of Commons on the Syrian refugee crisis and how Canada is welcoming all vulnerable refugees which include families with children, Yazidis, LGBTQI and other vulnerable minority groups.
Member's Statement: 1959 Tibetan Uprising | Mar. 10, 2016
Mr. Speaker, I rise today to commemorate the 57th anniversary of the Tibetan national uprising. On March 10, 1959, thousands gathered in front of the Potala Palace, in Lhasa, to rise up against injustice in Tibet. That year, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, an honorary citizen of this country, and 100,000 other Tibetans, became refugees.
His Holiness and thousands of other Tibetans are now seeking a path of return. They are pursuing an approach called “the middle way”. The middle way seeks nothing more than greater autonomy for Tibet within China. It is an approach that would peacefully resolve the issue of Tibet and bring about stability and co-existence between the Tibetan and Chinese people based on the concept of equality and mutual co-operation.
It saddens me greatly that in a desperate attempt to raise more awareness about the cause of Tibet, 151 persons have self-immolated. Those deaths should never have been necessary.
On the 57th anniversary of the 1959 uprising, it is up to all of us to focus on raising awareness about the Tibetan cause.
Family Reunification Processing Times | Mar. 21, 2016
Liberal MP Arif Virani responding to an NDP question on the long processing times –left by the former Conservative government – for family reunification applications.
Budget 2016 | Apr. 14, 2016
Liberal MP Arif Virani speaks on how Budget 2016 will have a positive impact in Parkdale–High Park.
Importance of April for Polish Canadians | Apr. 20, 2016
Response to the Care of Refugees | Apr. 22, 2016
Parliamentary Secretary Virani responses to a question in the House of Commons on the care of refugees by the Conservative opposition critic.
Speech in the House on Medical Assistance in Dying - May 2, 2016
Liberal MP Arif Virani speaks in the House of Commons on the Government of Canada's response to the Supreme Court's discussion on medical assistance in dying.
Speech in the House on Citizenship - June 3, 2016
Liberal MP Arif Virani speaks in the House of Commons in support of Bill C-6.
My Remembrance Day message.
My Statement on Dr. Lobsang Sangay's visit to Ottawa - November 22, 2016
Mr. Speaker, I rise today to speak about Tibetan Leader Dr. Lobsang Sangay. His Holiness the Dalai Lama relinquished political leadership of the Tibetan community in 2011, and Dr. Sangay was the first person ever elected to the post of Sikyong, or government leader, that same year.
Born in a Tibetan refugee settlement in India, Dr. Sangay is a Fulbright scholar and the first Tibetan to ever receive a S.J.D. degree from the Harvard Law School.
Thousands of Tibetans in my riding of Parkdale-High Park, and Tibetans around the world, see Dr. Sangay as a strong advocate for the 'Middle way' approach. The Middle Way seeks nothing more than greater autonomy for Tibet within China. It is an approach that would peacefully resolve the issue of Tibet and bring about stability and co-existence based on the concept of equality and mutual co-operation.
I Salute Dr Sangay, as well as Mr. Penpa Tsering, official representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in North America, for their important work in promoting awareness about the Middle Way both here and abroad. For their vital efforts I say Tashi Delek!
My Statement on the Tragedy in Quebec - January 30, 2017
My Statement in the House of Commons regarding the Ste-Foy, Quebec tragedy.
My Response to Question on Combating Racism and Intolerance - February 3, 2017
Speech in the House on implementing the FTA between Canada and Ukraine - December 13, 2016
Speech on Bill C-37: An Act to amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act - Feb. 14, 2017
Speech in the House on M-103 - Feb 15, 2017
Speech in the House in Support of Operation UNIFIER - March 20, 2017
Speech in the House on Budget 2017 - April 5, 2017
My Statement in the House on International Women's Day - March 8, 2017
This video is private.
My Statement in the House on Earth Day - April 12, 2017
My Statement in the House on Pride Month in Toronto - June 6, 2017
Today I rose in the House of Commons to highlight Pride Month in Toronto, and the compassionate residents of Parkdale-High Park who remain steadfast champions in the fight against homophobia and transphobia.
Speech in the House on Cannabis Legislation - June 6, 2017
On the evening of June 6, I rose in the House of Commons to speak out in support of the legalization and regulation of cannabis, to keep it out of the hands of our youth.
Speech in the House on the Sergei Magnitsky Legislation - June 13, 2017
Speech on Canada in the Arts at the Arctic Arts Summit in Norway - June 21, 2017