FLEMINGDON and Thorncliffe Park Muslim Association (FATMA) announced to endorse John Carmichael as the conservative candidate from Don Valley West. The decision was made after a long meeting with John Carmichael. In this meeting, FATMA executive members and community activists discussed openly all the related international, national, and local issues that concerned to the community. John Carmichael advised the community to participate in the political process and, instead of supporting exclusively liberal, support other parties and the conservative is the best option for them. “I will listen to you, and will continue dialogue in every issue our constituents show concern,” he said. “We share several moral values like family values, and we have a lot of commonality,” he said. On the immigration issue, Mr. Carmichael said that liberals just talk, and we deliver. In 2010, the conservative government welcomed the highest level of legal immigrants in more than 50 years --280,636 permanent residents. This is significantly more than Canada accepted under the previous liberal governments of Trudeau, Chretien, and Martin.
After the long discussion on many issues, FATMA members finally endorsed the conservative candidacy from Don Valley West. Yunus Pandor, president of FATMA, contested last city council election from this ward 26 and has a large support base in the Muslim community, said that it is Muslims’ consensus that we should support the best candidate irrespective of party affiliation. Mr. Pandor said there is least difference on foreign policies between conservatives and liberals; you find liberals in conservatives and conservatives in liberals and even conservatives in NDP, and, therefore, it is important to vote for the best individual. He said that Muslim community would like to see the Canadian society become a hotbed of family values. Our education system should promote family culture and build the character. He said that unfortunately our riding is witnessing liberals’ aggressive imposition of a particular life style, particular type of people, particular culture, and particular education system from our representatives that are widely disliked and controversial. Mr. Pandor said that Mr. Carmichael respects family values, and we have more common points than differences.
Muhammad Amin Jangda, vice president of FATMA and Memon Association, said that the local MP office is fooling us by sending news releases to the community through e-mails. The best criteria to judge an MP is his performance at the floor of Parliament, and, in this respect, our MP’s performance in the community’s serious issues is negligible.
Raees Ahmed, general secretary of FATMA, said that John Carmichael is actively involved in our community, and we get support from him on every occasion. Thorncliffe Neighborhood Office (TNO) got funding of six million dollars for immigrant programs with the help of John Carmichael. He donated $15,000 to a boys’ cricket club, and that was a great help to the youth cricket players. We need a representative who can lead us and be our voice in Ottawa government. He said that we should strive hard to make him successful in the coming election.
Syed Sajjad Hyder, editor of Aafaq, an Urdu language monthly magazine said that the imbalanced foreign policy that is hurting the community is not made by conservatives; it is made by the continuity of previous liberal government. It was liberal Paul Martin who sent the army into Afghanistan and resulted in the death of 145 Canadian soldiers and thousands of Afghans. Choose any issue like Syrian Muslim Canadian Maher Arrar’s detention and torture in Syria or Canadian Child detainee Omar Khadr in Guantanamo Bay; it was all done in the era of liberal government. The Conservative Harper is following the foreign policy of Liberal Prime Minister of Martin made after 9/11. He said that we should now vote a person, not the party, and our criterion to judge a candidate should be local and based on the local experience.
Community activist, realtor, and vice president of FATMA, Aftab Malik, said that the liberal party is a party of hypocrites and that they are taking our votes for granted without delivering anything. He said that the Muslim community put a lot of resources toward the liberals, and they did nothing for us but also betrayed us. Now things are changing. We supported Rob Ford for Mayor in October city election, and now we are prepared to support conservative candidate John Carmichael. It is time now that we should open a dialogue with conservatives. He said that John Carmichael is a well respected and trustworthy person. “He is a man of words, and I believe he will listen to our concerns,” he said. “We now need a voice in the government.”
Khalid Baloch, a community activist, chair of Thorncliffe Park Public School, said that liberals always thought that immigrant voters are in their pockets, and that they can manipulate the community voters as they want. They never took our issues seriously. They tried to stop several Muslim potential candidates from liberal. Now, it is time to change. We should enter in all the major Canadian parties to highlight our issues and open the dialogues.
Deputy Secretary FATMA Khalid Syed, community activists Muhammad Sharif, Ayub Sipra, Wajid Iqbal, and a senior member of the community Ahmad Abdullah also attended the meeting and pledged to offer full volunteer support for John Carmichael.
The Conservative Party’s Response on Immigration:
Since forcing an unnecessary and opportunistic election last week, the Ignatieff liberals have been spreading myths about the issue of family class immigration. Despite these cynical attempts to play loosely with the truth, here are a few key facts about the conservative record on immigration:
- The conservative party believes in the importance of family reunification under Canada's immigration policy. That's why the government is increasing planning for family class immigrants in 2011 to allow up to 65,000 immigrants into Canada. In addition, the average number of immigrants admitted under the family class over the last five years of conservative leadership is significantly higher than the six years prior when the liberals were in office.
- In 2010, the conservative government welcomed the highest level of legal immigrants in more than 50 years --280,636 permanent residents. This is significantly more than Canada accepted under the previous liberal governments of Trudeau, Chretien, and Martin.
- This year, the conservative government passed legislation through Parliament to crack down on crooked immigration consultants who exploit prospective immigrants and undermine the integrity of Canada's immigration system. We made major investments of $50 million over two years towards improving Foreign Qualification Recognition in Canada and launched a Foreign Credentials Referral Office to provide key information, advice, and referral services to newcomers and employers. The conservatives cut in half the crippling $975 head tax imposed by the liberals on new immigrants in the 1990s.
Unlike the Ignatieff liberals who will twist the facts to win a vote, conservatives have been taking real action to welcome more immigrants and help them build a brighter future in Canada. As part of a strong, national conservative government, John Carmichael will be an effective representative for your interests and values in Parliament.