Member of Parliament for Parkdale—High Park
Arif Virani was first elected as the Member of Parliament for Parkdale—High Park in 2015 and was re-elected in the 2019 election. Arif has also served, most recently, as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, and to the Minister of Democratic Institutions.
Previously, he served as the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship (2015-2017) helping welcome the first wave of over 25,000 Syrian refugees in 2015. From 2017 to 2018, he served as the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Heritage overseeing the Multiculturalism portfolio and helping co-develop Canada’s first-ever Indigenous languages legislation.
Arif came to Canada as a Ugandan Asian refugee and has spent his career as a constitutional litigator, advocating for human rights and access to justice. Arif has worked as an analyst with the Canadian Human Rights Commission in Ottawa, an investigator at la Commission des droits de la personne et droits de la jeunesse in Montréal, and as an assistant trial attorney prosecuting genocide at the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.
Arif was one of the founders of Toronto’s legal aid clinic SALCO, the recipient of the 2001 Harold G. Fox litigation scholarship at the Middle Temple, London, United Kingdom, and the 2008 Wilson-Prichard Award recipient in recognition of his contributions to the legal profession and his community.
Arif lives in Parkdale-High Park and has been an active volunteer in the community. He is a member of the Redwood Shelter for abused women, has regularly helped at the Parkdale Food Bank, actively volunteered with Roncyworks, and has led community efforts to address mental health stigma.
Arif has an Honours Bachelor of Arts in History and Political Science from McGill University and completed his Bachelor of Laws at the University of Toronto, where he graduated as valedictorian.
Arif speaks English, French, and Hindi. He is happily married and the devoted father of two young boys.
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