Reza Moridi

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The Honourable
Reza Moridi
Reza Moridi-Persian-born-Canadian-Politician.JPG
Honourable Reza Moridi, Ontario's Minister of Research and Innovation; Ontario's Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities
Member of the Ontario Provincial Parliament
for Richmond Hill
Assumed office
October 10, 2007
Preceded by New riding
Personal details
Born 1945 (age 71–72)
Urmia, West Azarbaijan, Iran
Political party Liberal
Residence Richmond Hill, Ontario
Profession Physicist, Engineer

Reza Moridi (Persian: رضا مریدی) (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 to represent 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.


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. For his contributions to physics and engineering, Moridi was elected Fellow of the Institute of Physics and Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology of the UK. In recognition of his contributions to the understanding of nuclear materials and radiation, the Canadian Nuclear Society presented him with the Education and Communication Award. Also, in recognition of his contributions to the profession of Health Physics, the Health Physics Society of the United States presented him with the Fellow Award.

Prior to entering into politics, he was a Chartered Engineer and Chartered Physicist. He worked for 17 years at the Radiation Safety Institute of Canada where he was the Vice-President and Chief Scientist. He also worked in the electrical industry as an executive and in academia as a professor and administrator.


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 Ministers 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]

In 2008, he introduced a motion 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, Emily Stowe. He also introduced motions to modernize "Healing Arts Radiation Protection Act" and "X-Ray Safety Regulation 861 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act".

In 2011, Moridi introduced a Private Members Bill called the Radon Awareness and Prevention Act 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. Both bills died on the order paper in 2012 and were not reintroduced.

In January 2016, Moridi was criticized for allowing two Ontario colleges to open satellite campuses in Saudi Arabia that only accepted male students. He said that administration of such places are up to each college's board of governors. He said, "What has become clear is that further engagement needs to take place between the government and Ontario's college sector on this important issue. I will be reaching out to Algonquin College and Niagara College immediately to receive a full update on their international activities."[6]

On June 13, 2016, Moridi's cabinet role was reduced to a renamed portfolio of Minister of Research, Innovation and Science.[7]

Cabinet positions[edit]

Provincial Government of Kathleen Wynne
Cabinet Posts (2)
Predecessor Office Successor
Brad Duguid Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities
Deb Matthews
[note 1]
Glen Murray Minister of Research and Innovation and Science[note 2]

Human rights[edit]

Moridi has been active in support of human rights in his homeland Iran. In 2009, he presented a petition to the legislature regarding the violation of human rights in Iran in the aftermath of the 2009 presidential election.[8] He also introduced a petition that asked the federal Minister of Foreign Affairs to intervene on Saeed Malekpour's behalf and appeal to the government of Iran to free him.[9][10] He wrote to the Secretary General of the UN on behalf of the imprisoned Iranian lawyer Nasrin Sotoodeh and the residents of Camp Ashraf in Iraq.

In May 2010, he read a statement in praise of the Republic of Azerbaijan in honour of the nation's anniversary in which he called the current government of Azerbaijan "a secular democratic republic".[11]



  1. ^ As Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development.
  2. ^ From 2013 to 2016 portfolio was known as Minister of Research and Innovation.


  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. ^ "Ontario colleges open campuses in Saudi Arabia for men only". CTV News. January 21, 2016. 
  7. ^ "Kathleen Wynne's shuffled cabinet features 40% women". CBC News. June 13, 2016. 
  8. ^ Reza Moridi's petition regarding "Human Rights on Sept 14, 2009 on YouTube
  9. ^ "Iran sentences Richmond Hill resident to death". Post City Magazine. 
  10. ^ Reza Moridi reading a petition to the Legislative Assembly on YouTube
  11. ^ 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]