MHRMI Published in The Hill Times: Toronto Mayor Must Denounce, Reprimand Anti-Macedonian Councillor Jim Karygiannis
February 27, 2017
During the electoral campaign and first few months in office, Mayor John Tory gave Torontonians their own version of Barack Obama’s “Hope” message. But the hope of “Hope” has been waning. Putting aside (sort of) the fact that he flip-flopped on a key campaign issue – road tolls, which hit his credibility hard – it is his lack of action on so-called “moral obligation” issues that is more troubling. Although Tory’s campaign manager, Nick Kouvalis, recently apologized for using an “alt-right”/(neo-Nazi) term, looking at his other tweets and public statements on various issues speaks volumes. As does being the campaign manager, until recently, for Kellie Leitch, the anti-immigration Conservative Party candidate. Who you surround yourself with means a great deal. A hollow apology does not.
Mayor Tory, it’s time to denounce Mr. Kouvalis. It’s way past time to denounce and reprimand Jim Karygiannis. You speak of a “moral obligation” to stand up against hate, but what happens when a former MP and current city councillor makes multiple public derogatory statements against an ethnic group, defends the use of this hate speech in various Canadian media outlets, and is caught on video praising a lecture which glorified the bombing of this ethnic group’s civilians. The answer is – nothing. Not only did the Liberal Party do nothing despite repeated complaints by this ethnic group, other ethnic community groups joined the call and demanded the same, but to no avail. When Karygiannis became a city councillor, you were asked, repeatedly, to take action, but chose to ignore the issue.
Bill Nicholov, President
Macedonian Human Rights Movement International
157 Adelaide St. West, Suite 434
Toronto, ON M5H 4E7