Reza Moridi

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The Honourable
Reza Moridi
MPP
Reza Moridi-Persian-born-Canadian-Politician.JPG
Reza Moridi, Persian-Canadian politician, 2014
Member of Provincial Parliament
for Richmond Hill
Incumbent
Assumed office
October 30, 2007
Preceded by new district
Personal details
Born 1945
Urmia, West Azarbaijan, Iran
Political party Liberal
Residence Richmond Hill, Ontario
Profession Physicist, Engineer

Reza Moridi (Persian: رضا مریدی), PhD, MPP is a Canadian politician, and the first Iranian-Canadian elected to a provincial or federal legislature in Canada.[1][2][3][4][5] He was elected to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario in the 2007 provincial election and re-elected in 2011 and 2014, representing the riding of Richmond Hill, where he has lived with his family since 1991. He is a member of the Ontario Liberal Party and Liberal Party of Canada.

In June 2014, Moridi was appointed as Ontario Minister of Research and Innovation and Ontario Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities. He served as Ontario Minister of Research and Innovation during February 2013–June 2014. [6]

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, Moridi was elected Fellow of the Institute of Physics (FInstP) of the UK. In 1992, for his original contribution to engineering, Moridi 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 Reza Moridi with the Education and Communication Award in 2001. Also, in recognition of Moridi’s outstanding contributions to the profession of Health Physics, the Health Physics Society of the USA presented Reza Moridi with the Fellow Award in 2002.

Reza Moridi is an Editor of Health Physics, The Radiation Safety Journal, published by Health Physics Society, USA. Moridi 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.

Professional career[edit]

Moridi's riding office

Prior to entering to politics, Reza Moridi held a 17-year career 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. Other notable positions include working as an executive in the electrical industry in Iran; a professor and Dean of the School of Sciences, Chair of the Physics Department and University Chief Librarian at Alzahra University, Tehran. He also served on the University Senate.

Politics[edit]

After his election to the Ontario Parliament in 2007 and 2011, Moridi served as Parliamentary Assistant to the Minsters of Training, Colleges and Universities, Research and Innovation and Energy , respectively. Moridi currently sits on the Cabinet Committees on Planning and Priorities, Legislation and Regulations, Northern Ontario and Jobs and the Economy. He has previously served on the Parliamentary Standing Committees on Public Accounts, General Government and Justice Policy.

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).

Reza Moridi continues to advocate on behalf of his constituents in Richmond Hill.

Human rights activism[edit]

Reza 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.[7] 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.[8][9] 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".[10]

Community work[edit]

Moridi sat on the Council of Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario and on the advisory boards of not-for-profit organizations such as the Richmond Hill Philharmonic Orchestra, Justice Net, Education International for the Poor, Spirit of Life and Save Lake Urmia. He served as the Honorary Chair of Tirgan Festival 2011 and the Honorary Patron of Tirgan Festival 2013, the Honorary Chair, Parya Foundation Fundraiser Gala 2010 and 2014. He has also raised funds for the survivors of Bam, Iran (2003), Sichuan, China (2008) and Haiti (2010) earthquakes.

On April 10, 2008, Moridi introduced a motion in the Legislature at Queen's Park proclaiming the first day of spring as Nowruz Day in Ontario. This was passed unanimously by the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, recognizing the first day of Spring as Nowruz.[11]

Recognitions[edit]

Reza Moridi was a recipient of HM Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012 for his contributions to Canada. He is also the recipient of numerous awards including the Toastmasters International Communications and Leadership Award-2012 for outstanding service to his community, province and industry through communication and leadership; the 2013 Iranian Canadian Congress President's Award for Exceptional Service to the Iranian-Canadian Community; and the 2013 President’s Recognition Award of the Ontario Association of Medical Radiation Sciences.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Richmond Hill: Liberal is first Iranian-Canadian MPP The Toronto Star
  2. ^ Reza Moridi's Official Page
  3. ^ TVO: The Agenda
  4. ^ Payvand News
  5. ^ Salam Toronto Weekly Publications
  6. ^ "Reza Moridi". Government of Ontario. 
  7. ^ Reza Moridi's petition regarding "Human Rights on Sept 14, 2009
  8. ^ Iran sentences Richmond Hill resident to death, Post City Magazine
  9. ^ Reza Moridi reading a petition to the Legislative Assembly
  10. ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UNVXp9kadyw Reza Moridi, Liberal MPP (Richmond Hill, Ontario) comments about Azerbaijan at the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, Canada, May 30, 2010.
  11. ^ Ontario Government Recognizes Nowruz

External links[edit]


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