Reza Moridi

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The Honourable
Reza Moridi
Reza Moridi-Persian-born-Canadian-Politician.JPG
Reza Moridi, 2014
Ontario MPP
Incumbent
Assumed office
2007
Preceded by New riding
Constituency Richmond Hill
Personal details
Born 1945 (age 68–69)
Urmia, West Azarbaijan, Iran
Political party Liberal
Residence Richmond Hill, Ontario
Profession Physicist, Engineer

Reza Moridi (Persian: رضا مریدی), (Azeri: Rza Moridi), (born c. 1945) is a politician in Ontario, Canada. He is a Liberal member of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario who was elected in 2007. He represents the riding of Richmond Hill. He serves as a cabinet minister in the government of Kathleen Wynne. He is the first Iranian-Canadian elected to a provincial legislature in Canada.

Background[edit]

Moridi was born in Urmia, capital of West-Azerbaijan Province in northwest Iran. He grew up in Urmia, attended Alborz High School in Tehran and graduated from Tehran University with BSc and MSc degrees in Physics. He continued his education in the U.K. and obtained MTech and PhD degrees from Brunel University in London.

He is a Chartered Engineer and Chartered Physicist. In 1986, for his original contribution to physics, he was elected Fellow of the Institute of Physics (FInstP) of the UK. In 1992, for his original contribution to engineering, he was elected as Fellow of the Institution of Electrical Engineers (FIEE) of the UK. In recognition of his contributions to the understanding of nuclear materials and radiation, the Canadian Nuclear Society presented Moridi with the Education and Communication Award in 2001. Also, in recognition of his contributions to the profession of Health Physics, the Health Physics Society of the USA presented Moridi with the Fellow Award in 2002.

Moridi is an Editor of Health Physics, The Radiation Safety Journal, published by Health Physics Society, USA. He has authored or co-authored numerous research papers, conference abstracts, technical reports, training manuals and articles. He has made presentations at over forty scientific conferences held in North America, Europe, Asia, New Zealand and Australia.

Moridi worked for 17 years at the Radiation Safety Institute of Canada where he was the Vice-President and Chief Scientist. Prior to that, Moridi taught at the University of the South Pacific in Fiji as Senior Lecturer in Physics before moving to Canada. He was also an executive in the electrical industry in Iran and he was a professor and a dean at the Alzahra University, Tehran.

Politics[edit]

Moridi's riding office

Moridi ran as the Liberal candidate in the 2007 provincial election in the riding of Richmond Hill. He defeated Progressive Conservative Alex Yuan by 5,329 votes.[1] He was re-elected in 2011,[2] and 2014.[3]

During the Dalton McGuinty government he served as Parliamentary Assistant to the Minsters of Training, Colleges and Universities, Research and Innovation and Energy. When Kathleen Wynne took over as Premier in 2013, she appointed Moridi to her cabinet as Ministry of Research and Innovation.[4] After the 2014 election she assigned him the additional role of Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities.[5]

Moridi has taken action in the Legislature to recognize days of cultural and professional significance in Ontario. In 2008, he introduced a Motion in the Legislature proclaiming the first day of spring as Nowruz. He also introduced Motions to recognize February 21 as International Mother Language Day in Ontario and to name May 1 as Doctors’ Day in Ontario on the birthday of the first female physician in Canada, Dr. Emily Stowe. These Motions were passed unanimously at the Legislature. His Motions to modernize “Healing Arts Radiation Protection Act (1990)” and “X-Ray Safety Regulation 861 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act” passed the First Reading.

In recognition of the importance of public health, Moridi introduced a Private Members Bill -the Radon Awareness and Prevention Act, 2011 – to raise awareness about this naturally occurring cancer causing substance through the establishment of the Ontario Radon Registry, which would test homes and workplaces for radon. He also introduced a Private Members Bill to amend the Municipal Act 2001 to provide that the head of council of the Regional Municipality of York must be elected. This would make the Chair and CEO of York Region be elected by popular vote rather than be appointed by the Regional Councillors.

Moridi led the following government Bills through the House and Committees:

  • Bill 183 (2009): An Act to revise and modernize the law related to apprenticeship training and trades qualifications and to establish the Ontario College of Trades (Passed);
  • Bill 80 (2008): An Act to establish Algoma University and to dissolve Algoma University College (Passed);
  • Bill 68 (2008): An Act to amend the Colleges Collective Bargaining Act with respect to part-time staff (Passed).

Cabinet positions[edit]

Provincial Government of Kathleen Wynne
Cabinet Posts (2)
Predecessor Office Successor
Brad Duguid Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities
2014-Present
Incumbent
Glen Murray Ministry of Research and Innovation
2013-Present
Incumbent

Human rights activism[edit]

Moridi has been active in support of human rights in his homeland Iran. For example, in 2009, Moridi presented a petition to the Ontario Parliament regarding the violation of human rights in Iran in the aftermath of the fraudulent 2009 presidential election in that country.[6] He also introduced a petition that asked the Minister of Foreign Affairs to intervene on Saeed Malekpour's behalf and appeal to the government of Iran to free him.[7][8] He wrote to the Secretary General of the UN on behalf of the imprisoned Iranian lawyer Ms. Nasrin Sotoodeh and the residents of Camp Ashraf in Iraq. Moridi has participated in numerous events and demonstrations held in Toronto in support of political prisoners in Iran and in condemnation of the Iranian regime on violation of human rights, the rights of religious minorities such as Bahai’s and ethnic peoples of Iran.

Moridi read a statement in praise of the Republic of Azerbaijan before the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, in honor of the nation's anniversary in May 2010, in which he called the current government of Azerbaijan "a secular democratic and republic".[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Summary of Valid Ballots Cast for Each Candidate" (PDF). Elections Ontario. October 10, 2007. p. 13 (xxii). 
  2. ^ "Summary of Valid Ballots Cast for Each Candidate" (PDF). Elections Ontario. October 6, 2011. p. 15. 
  3. ^ "General Election by District: Richmond Hill". Elections Ontario. June 12, 2014. 
  4. ^ "Ontario's new cabinet". Waterloo Region Record (Kitchener, Ont). February 12, 2013. p. A3. 
  5. ^ Richard Brennan; Robert Benzie; Rob Ferguson (June 24, 2014). "Kathleen Wynne warns financial cupboard is bare". Toronto Star. 
  6. ^ Reza Moridi's petition regarding "Human Rights on Sept 14, 2009 on YouTube
  7. ^ Iran sentences Richmond Hill resident to death, Post City Magazine
  8. ^ Reza Moridi reading a petition to the Legislative Assembly on YouTube
  9. ^ Reza Moridi, Liberal MPP (Richmond Hill, Ontario) comments about Azerbaijan at the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, Canada, May 30, 2010 on YouTube.

External links[edit]