PM, leader pay tribute to Persaud
By Jasminee Sahoye
The Caribbean Camera: June 4, 2009
He fled Guyana 25 years ago with just $80 for a safer and better life and even though it has not been an easy path for Mark Persaud, his contributions to fostering social cohesion among communities have not gone unnoticed.
At a tribute dinner in his honour early last month, Prime Minister Stephen Harper joined in congratulating Persaud saying “he has been instrumental in erecting bridges between cultural communities and fostering goodwill and understanding.”
More than 250 people filled the halls of Le Parc Convention and Banquet Centre in Thornhill to honour Persaud, a community activist, legal luminary and social entrepreneur for his work with various ethnocultural and religious communities.
“I have no doubt that your work will continue to play an important role in advancing social cohesion while promoting our diversity as a valuable resource to be tapped and cherished,” Harper said in a congratulatory letter to Persaud.
Among those paying tribute were Israeli Consul General, Amir Gissin, The Honorary Syrian Consul for Political and Economic Affairs, Lee MacTaggart, the Chief of Staff to Minister Jason Kenney, Agop Evereklian and Arnold Chan the Chief of Staff to Minister Michael Chan of the Ontario government, The Honourable Todd Archibald of the Superior Court of Justice and James Morton, Immediate Past President of the Ontario Bar Association.
Persaud, who the CEO of the Canadian International Peace Project (CIPP) has spent most of its years helping others having faced serious challenges in his early years in Canada including being homeless.
The tribute dinner showcased a variety of multicultural entertainment such as an opera singer, Indian dancers, Afghanistan table player, and belly dancers.