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May 18, 2015 – Victoria Day

I would like to take this opportunity to wish all residents of Toronto a Happy Victoria Day.

Queen Victoria’s birthday, May 24th, has been celebrated in Canada since before Confederation. In 1845, the Parliament of the Province of Canada passed legislation to officially recognize May 24th as the Queen’s birthday.

Today, the Monday before May 25th is known as Victoria Day.

We celebrate Victoria Day in several ways – with official ceremonies, parades and fireworks.

For many of us, the Victoria Day long weekend marks the unofficial start of summer. We plant our gardens, open up the cottage, go camping and visit outdoor attractions that open for the summer season this weekend.

Have an enjoyable and safe Victoria Day.

May 10, 2015 – Mother’s Day

I want to take this opportunity to salute mothers everywhere on this Mother’s Day, May 10, 2015.

There is no job more satisfying and yet, more demanding than that of a mother. Mothers, the world over, regardless of their circumstance, share a collective goal – to provide the best possible life for their children. Throughout history, mothers have shown courage and strength in meeting the challenges facing their communities and societies. They have often led by example and effected social change.

May 6, 2015 – Recognition of the Centenary of the Armenian Genocide at City of Toronto Council

I want to thank members of the Canadian Armenian Community for their support with respect to Motion MM6.7, which was on the agenda of the May 6, 2015 meeting of Toronto City Council.

Motion MM6.7 which I moved, was seconded by Councillor De Baeremaeker and asked City Council to recognized the 100th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.

May 3, 2015 – World Press Freedom Day

May 3rd is World Press Freedom Day – a time to talk about violations of press freedom.

It is a time to remember that, in many countries around the world, the media is censored; fined; suspended and closed down; while journalists, editors and publishers are harassed; attacked; kidnapped; and, even murdered. Just as importantly, it is a time to encourage and develop initiatives in support of press freedom and to assess the state of press freedom throughout the world.


World Press Freedom Day was established in 1991 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the United Nations Department of Public Information at a conference in Windhoek, Namibia. It was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in 1993.


Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states –

‘Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.’

World Press Freedom Day is a time to reflect upon the sacrifices brave men and women have made, throughout the years, telling important stories about events that shape our world.

April 25, 2015 – Torontonians dig in to plant trees and shrubs at Trees Across Toronto planting event

TORONTO, April 25, 2015  – Councillor Glenn De Baeremaeker (Ward 38 Scarborough-Centre), Toronto’s Tree Advocate, Councillor Jim Karygiannis (Ward 39 Scarborough-Agincourt) and City staff joined members of the community at L’Amoreaux North Park and Humber Arboretum to plant over 2,500 trees and shrubs as part of the Trees Across Toronto annual spring planting event.

Aptil 24, 2015 – 100th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide

It is with a deep sense of reverence that I commemorate with you the 100th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.

Today, we pause to remember this atrocity which was perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire – the execution of 1.5 million Armenians.

Members of the Armenian community have keenly felt the horror of this black chapter in the world’s history.