Justin Trudeau holding his son at the church of Evangelismos on National Greek Day.
As Sheep to Slaughter….
by Justine Frangouli=Argyris
Canada is holding national elections on May 2nd but, unfortunately, instead of promoting the interests of Hellinism, a role key to its founding charter, the Hellenic Congress of Quebec has created a storm of controversy among the Hellenic Community of Greater Montreal by urging all Greeks to vote against the Liberal Party of Canada.
The decision to issue this directive comes subsequent to the resignation of long-time Liberal Member of Parliament for Laval-des-Iles, Raymonde Folco, and the refusal of the Liberal Party to nominate a specific candidate of Greek origin in the riding that is home to 30,000 Canadians of Greek descent.
Expressing their indignation against the umbrella organization on the Greek language program of radio station CFMB this past weekend, the Greeks of Greater Montreal are incensed with these attempts to influence their inviolable voting rights and with what they see as attempts to herd them, as sheep, to slaughter.
They regard this as an unacceptable message that will, in turn, jeopardize their relationship with star candidate Justin Trudeau, a staunch supporter of the Greek community at large and Liberal candidate for Papineau, a riding with an equally important Greek contingent.
The Hellenic Congress of Quebec should be looking into the shortcomings surrounding its political lobby given that there are very few candidates of Greek background running for any slate, rather than foolishly attacking the Liberal Party, the party of the Official Opposition of Her Majesty’s government, in the name of Hellinism and on behalf of a community clearly in disagreement with this stance.
Instead Congress submitting the candidacy of, let’s say, three professional Greek-Canadian women, this total lack of political wherewithal resulted in the attempt to force a lone candidate on the Liberal party, former Member of Parliament for Ahuntsic, Eleni Bakopanos. It is not surprising that the Liberal Party rejected Ms Bakopanos as:
1) she is not a resident of Laval;
2) she was twice defeated as the Liberal candidate for Ahuntsic;
3) she has already benefitted from past Liberal Party largesse by being appointed as candidate for Papineau riding much to the chagrin of the Greek community;
4) as a staunch supporter of former leader Stephane Dion, she is surely not a darling of current leader Michael Ignatieff
As such, the Hellenic Congress of Quebec should reverse course, rescind this harmful directive and apologize to the Greeks of Montreal for abusing the power that comes with its status as a representative body of the community at large. For, this proud community with over 100 years of history, has both a political conscious and is of sound mind and judgment.
Nobody can nor should attempt to dictate its vote, an individual right defined and guaranteed by its Greek ancestors.