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MP Karygiannis accused of berating civil servants August 28, 2011

Posted by Yilan in Canada, Macedonia.
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Toronto Liberal MP Jim Karygiannis, shown outside the House of Commons in Ottawa in February 2006, is the focus of complaints from Canadian government officials. Toronto Liberal MP Jim Karygiannis, shown outside the House of Commons in Ottawa in February 2006, is the focus of complaints from Canadian government officials. (Fred Chartrand/Canadian Press)

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Controversial Liberal MP Jim Karygiannis is the focus of complaints from Canadian government officials over allegedly verbally abusive behaviour, CBC News has learned.

Immigration officials have complained that Karygiannis, the MP for Ontario’s Scarborough-Agincourt riding, has used what they call unparliamentary language on multiple occasions in dealing with staff and takes an aggressive tone with civil servants.

Reached by CBC News, Karygiannis said he suspects there is an orchestrated campaign to smear him.

“I’ve had a good working relationship with the civil servants going back to 1988. I can probably get things done that a lot of other members [of Parliament] cannot get done because I contact them and say I need your help, and the help is always there,” he said.

“You don’t get re-elected time and time again because of the work that you do if you don’t look after your constituents. And people will not look after you and not be helping you if you’re not nice to them.”

A spokeswoman for Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney wouldn’t confirm the complaints. She pointed to an incident at a House of Commons committee meeting in 2009 when Karygiannis accused a departmental official of not wanting to admit black immigrants into Canada.

“We cannot release details of Mr. Karygiannis’s interactions with departmental officials without his consent,” Candice Malcolm wrote in an email.

“It is already public that Minister Kenney wrote a letter to the chair of the Citizenship and Immigration committee after Mr. Karygiannis was verbally abusive toward CIC officials when they appeared to answer questions.

“We expect anyone dealing with civil servants, especially members of Parliament, to show the same level of respect and decorum with which they would want to be treated. Yelling and/or use of profane language toward civil servants by members of Parliament is not acceptable.

History of controversial remarks

Karygiannis, the Liberal party’s multiculturalism critic, is hosting 19 cultural groups this weekend for meetings in Ottawa with Liberal MPs to talk about issues they face.

But some major cultural groups in Canada are boycotting the meetings and demanding Karygiannis be forced out of his portfolio, alleging he holds controversial views that make him unsuitable for the job.

The groups point to statements made by Karygiannis that they say make him an offensive pick.

CBC News has obtained a letter from B’Nai Brith Canada, a leading Jewish group, as well as press releases from Macedonian, Turkish and Chinese groups, demanding Liberal Interim Leader Bob Rae replace Karygiannis in his role.

Rae wasn’t available Friday for interviews.

The letter and statements are, in part, in support of complaints by the Macedonian Human Rights Movement International, who noted a 2011 event in Toronto where Karygiannis used a derogatory word to describe Macedonians.

Karygiannis says he was referring to a term that’s used in Greece to describe Macedonians from the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

“The Macedonians of FYROM in Greece are referred to as Skopjans. That’s a statement which is true. That’s how they’re referred to,” Karygiannis said.

He’s also championed causes that have split cultural communities, including successfully pushing Parliament to pass a motion that “acknowledges the Armenian genocide of 1915 and condemns this act as a crime against humanity.” Karygiannis says he’s willing to sit down with anyone and talk.

“If they don’t like it, then they will say OK, let’s do a number on Jim. Well, that’s fine. But my motto is respect, accept, celebrate and embrace.”

Anita Bromberg, general counsel for B’nai Brith Canada, says the organization is concerned about some of the positions Karygiannis has taken.

“Our point today is that multiculturalism is a call for a united front, for bringing communities together … where he’s been so divisive in the positions he’s taken, then we are suggesting to the Liberal Party that they reconsider whether he’s the best representative of putting forth that aim.”

Macedonians Demand Resignation of Liberal MP Jim Karygiannis May 14, 2011

Posted by Yilan in Canada, Macedonia.
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As expected, the Liberal Party of Canada has, once again, completely ignored racism within their own party. As reported by Macedonian Human Rights Movement International (MHRMI) on March 8, 2011, Liberal MP Jim Karygiannis spewed out more anti-Macedonian hate, caught on video, at a lecture titled “Insight to Hellenism” at the University of Toronto on March 5, 2011.

While praising the lecture, which glorified Greece’s persecution of Macedonians and which defended the bombing of Macedonian civilians during Greece’s Civil War, Karygiannis once again referred to Macedonians as “Skopjans”. This is a term used by Greece to negate the ethnic identity of Macedonians and evokes Greece’s horrific campaigns, past and present, at ethnically cleansing or forcibly assimilating its large Macedonian minority.

On March 8, MHRMI called on “…Canadian politicians, regardless of party affiliation, to demand Jim Karygiannis’ immediate resignation.” To our knowledge, this was to no avail. Ironically, during the election campaign, every other controversial issue related to the “ethnic vote” seemed to be embraced by every political party and reported on in the media.

While addressing one of the guest speakers, Christos Karatzios, Karygiannis said “This (lecture) has to be brought into the House of Commons”, and “…come and enlighten the rest of my colleagues on what is Greece…” He added, “Sir, I would welcome you to send a letter to all the members of parliament…I’d be delighted to help”.

Karygiannis said “…The Skopjans as I have to politically call them…”. What motivates him “politically” to use such a derogatory term? Is he in Canadian parliament to carry out the work of the Greek government?

Karygiannis also referred to Macedonians as “Skopjans” in an interview for the Globe and Mail on September 21, 2007, following Canada’s recognition of the Republic of Macedonia. Canadian-Macedonians were outraged and flooded the Liberal Party with demands that Karygiannis be reprimanded. The Liberal Party ignored the issue and instead chose to attack Canada’s recognition of Macedonia, pandering to the Greek-Canadian community.

MHRMI reiterates its call on Canadian politicians, regardless of party affiliation, to demand Jim Karygiannis’ immediate resignation. We ask that concerned Canadians do the same via the contact information on our website. Jim Karygiannis’ continued presence in Parliament is an affront to traditional Canadian values.

Macedonian Human Rights Movement International (MHRMI) has been active on human and national rights issues for Macedonians and other oppressed peoples since 1986.

Macedonian Group Demands Resignation Of Liberal MP Jim Karygiannis April 21, 2011

Posted by Yilan in Canada, Macedonia.
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Liberal MP Jim Karygiannis spewed out more anti-Macedonian hate speech, caught on video, at a lecture titled “Insight to Hellenism” at the University of Toronto on March 5, 2011. While praising the lecture, which glorified Greece’s policy of denying the existence and persecution of its large Macedonian minority and which defended Greece’s bombing of Macedonian civilians during Greece’s Civil War, Karygiannis once again referred to Macedonians as “Skopjans”. This is a term used by Greece to negate the ethnic identity of Macedonians and evokes Greece’s horrific campaigns, past and present, at ethnically cleansing or forcibly assimilating its large Macedonian minority.

Karygiannis encouraged one of the guest speakers, Christos Karatzios, to send a letter to Canadian MPs and to “… come and enlighten the rest of my colleagues on what is Greece…” . He accused Prime Minister Harper of “selling out” Greek-Canadians because of the Conservative Party’s recognition of Macedonia.

But will the Liberal Party reprimand him?

Karygiannis referred to Macedonians as “Skopjans” in an interview for the Globe and Mail on September 21, 2007, following Canada’s recognition of the Republic of Macedonia. Canadian-Macedonians were outraged and flooded the Liberal Party with demands that Karygiannis be reprimanded. The Liberal Party ignored the issue and instead chose to attack the Conservative Party’s recognition of Macedonia, pandering to the Greek-Canadian community.

Ironically, the Liberal Party and their apologists consistently accuse the Conservative Party of the underhanded tactics that Liberals employ. The federal and provincial Conservatives have come under recent attack for targeting ethnic voters and for ties to banned separatist groups. However, pandering to ethnic communities is a Liberal specialty and it is Jim Karygiannis who has notorious ties to the Tamil Tigers, classified by the Canadian government as a terrorist organization. Paradoxically, Karygiannis is an Associate Member of the House of Commons’ Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights.

Macedonian Human Rights Movement International (MHRMI) calls on Canadian politicians, regardless of party affiliation, to demand Jim Karygiannis’ immediate resignation. We ask that concerned Canadians do the same via the contact information below. Jim Karygiannis’ continued presence in Parliament is an affront to traditional Canadian values.

UMD Meets Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper; Presents Goce Delchev Award November 3, 2010

Posted by Yilan in Canada, Macedonia.
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Today, the United Macedonian Diaspora (UMD) met with The Right Honourable Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada, on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. The meeting was to discuss Canada-Macedonia bilateral relations and Macedonia’s aspirations to join NATO. UMD bestowed upon Prime Minister Harper its highest honour, the Goce Delchev Award, for his bold and honourable leadership in international affairs, and his recognition of Macedonia by her constitutional name, solidifying the excellent relationship between Canada and Macedonia. Prime Minister Harper is the first recipient of the Goce Delchev Award.

“The Macedonian community worldwide could not have asked for a better friend and advocate than Prime Minister Harper. We were extremely honoured to have the opportunity to meet with him and discuss Canadian-Macedonian relations,” stated UMD President Metodija A. Koloski, who led the delegation of Canadian-Macedonian business and community leaders. “Goce Delchev and our forefathers, who were true visionaries of their time, fought for an independent and free Macedonia. They would be pleased to see such distinguished leaders in the international community, friends of Macedonia and the Macedonian people.”

Canada is home to close to a quarter of a million Canadians of Macedonian descent, with early immigration to Canada starting well over a century ago. Having enriched Canada’s mosaic with their hard work and cultural legacy, Canadian-Macedonians today are leaders in the fields of arts, business, community affairs, entertainment, television, fashion, film, political life, and sports. Today’s Canadian-Macedonians are ambassadors for their community and continue to build the bridge between their new and old homelands.

“I am privileged to have been invited by UMD to participate in this historic milestone for the Canadian-Macedonian community,” stated Canadian Macedonian Place President Marilyn Trentos. “Prime Minister Harper has been a great friend to our community, to Macedonia and it is an honour to have met him and share this experience with my colleagues.”

The Goce Delchev Award is UMD’s highest honour and the recipient of this award is selected based on the impact that they have had on Macedonians around the world, their record of public service, and their advancement of justice, peace, democracy, personal freedom and economic opportunity. The Goce Delchev Award is named after the famous 19th century Macedonian leader Goce Delchev, who fought for Macedonian independence from the Ottoman Empire. Delchev held views that are epitomized by his well-known quote, “I understand the world solely as a field for cultural competition among the peoples”. The UMD Board of Directors unanimously selected Prime Minister Harper as the first recipient of this award, for his impact on Macedonia and Macedonians globally.

Members of the delegation included: Vonna Bitove, Executive Director/Owner, Wayne Gretzky’s Restaurant & Executive Director, The Bitove Foundation; Mark Branov, Editor, UMD Voice Magazine; Jim Daikos, UMD Board Member/Director of United Macedonian Diaspora (Canada) & General Manager, Wimpy’s Diners; Metodija A. Koloski, President of United Macedonian Diaspora; George Koroloff, Partner, Koroloff & Huckins; George Markou, UMD Advisory Council; Founder & Honorary Chair, Unigistix Inc; Elizabeth Naumovski, Member, UMD Advisory Council, Vice President of Marketing at Caldwell Securities Ltd., Board Member, Macedonian Film Festival; Goran Saveski, UMD Board Member & Liaison Officer for United Macedonian Diaspora (Canada), Director of Operations, Delo Logic; Chris Stanwyck, Co-Owner, Triple “A” Cheese Co. Ltd.; and Marilyn Trentos, President, Canadian Macedonian Place; Vice President & Investment Advisor, RBC Dominion Securities.

Founded in 2004, United Macedonian Diaspora is a leading international non-governmental organization addressing the interests and needs of Macedonians and Macedonian communities throughout the world.