FORMER HEAD OF LIBERALS' MULTICULTURALISM COMMITTEE JOINS CONSERVATIVES
Source: Conservative Party of Canada website
“Conservatives exemplify the entrepreneurial and pro-community values of New Canadians.” – Mark Persaud.
MISSISSAUGA – Appearing at an event with new Conservative MP Wajid Khan today, Prime
Minister Stephen Harper announced that another prominent former Liberal, Mark Persaud, who
chaired the Liberal Party of Canada’s Standing Committee on Multiculturalism until last year, has
also decided to join the Conservative Party.
“Since the formation of the new Conservative Party of Canada, the party has been growing,” said
Prime Minister Harper. “Accomplished people like Mark Persaud are recognizing that all Canadians
have a home and a future in the Conservative Party.”
Mr. Persaud fled turmoil in his native Guyana in 1983 and settled in Canada. He obtained a law
degree from Osgoode Hall Law School and is now President and CEO of the Canadian International
Peace Project. Renowned as a civic leader for his volunteer work on a wide range of social issues,
Mark Persaud served as chair of the Liberal Party’s Standing Committee on Multiculturalism from
2002 to 2006. Last year he was nominated for the prestigious Seoul Peace Prize.
“Like many immigrants, I have come to realize that the Liberals are all talk and no action when it
comes to getting things done for Canada’s ethno-cultural communities,” said Mr. Persaud. “The new
Conservatives exemplify the entrepreneurial and pro-community values of New Canadians and quite
frankly they’ve delivered.”
Since taking office, Canada’s new Conservative Government has delivered for New Canadians,
Slashing the right of landing fee;
Increasing settlement funding;
Investing in improving foreign credentials recognition; and
Implementing a number of pro-family tax and social policies.
Jason Kenney, Secretary of State for Multiculturalism and Canadian Identity, welcomed Persaud into
the Conservative Party and encouraged Canadians from all ethno-cultural communities to join the
growing Conservative family.
“We are building a country where what matters is what you’ve done and where you’re going and not
where you’re from or who you know,” said Mr. Kenney. “Canada must work for all of us.”
BIOGRAPHY OF MARK PERSAUD
Toronto lawyer Mark Persaud was barely out of his teenage years when he fled turmoil in his native
Guyana and immigrated to Canada in 1983. Rescued from poverty and homelessness by a Christian
mission in Toronto, he entered university and began working to improve the lives of other new
After obtaining law degrees from York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School, Persaud worked
in civil litigation and criminal prosecutions with the federal Justice Department. He also served
as counsel to the RCMP’s Integrated Proceeds of Crime Unit.
Persaud has won wide recognition as a civic leader and community activist through his volunteer
work on behalf of immigrants, refugees and the poor. Fighting against discrimination, poverty and
violence, and in support of tolerance, community development and peace, have been the hallmarks
of his career.
For the last three years Persaud has led the Canadian International Peace Project, a non-partisan
organization dedicated to building more peaceful, secure and stable communities at home and
In June 2006, as Chair and CEO of CIPP, Persaud was nominated for the prestigious Seoul Peace
Prize. A legacy of the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games, the prize is designed to encourage and reward
individuals who make significant contributions to the cause of global harmony and prosperity.
Previous laureates include Vaclav Havel, Kofi Annan and George P. Schultz.
Included among Persaud’s many other awards and nominations for community service are the
Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal, the City of Toronto’s Black History Month Award, and nominations
for the Lincoln Alexander Award and Toronto Man of the Year.
What others say about Mark Persaud:
“Mark Persaud has done many years of bridge-building among communities, peoples, nations and
regions, based always on equal human dignity and opportunity for all.”
– Former federal Secretary of State and Parliamentary Secretary David Kilgour.
“The quiet, consistent work Mark Persaud does to bring people and communities together is making
an immense contribution to our ability to succeed as one of the most diverse societies on earth.”
– Ontario Progressive Conservative Party Leader John Tory
“Mark works with a low profile, toiling constantly to bring communities together without calling
attention to himself, all aimed at making this a better society for all.”
– Canadian Jewish Congress President Ed Morgan.
“It is because of people like Mark that Canada has gained a reputation of being a model of global
– Secretary of the Council of Imams of Canada Hamid Slimi.
“His perseverance in championing peace and harmony and recognizing diversity among all nations
truly make him deserving of (the Seoul Peace Prize).”
– Assembly of First Nations National Chief Phil Fontaine.