The Canadian Institute in Greece
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Lecture by Vasilis (Bill) Molos

January 11 @ 19:00 21:00

Vasilis (Bill) Molos (Director and Research Lead, HHF Greek Canadian Archives at York University), “‘Μην ψηφίσεις τον Έλληνα’: Diaspora Politics in Greek Toronto.”

By 2019, the enthusiasm that carried Justin Trudeau into power had waned. The Liberal Party of Canada won that year’s federal election but lost the popular vote by a wide margin. Bruised but resilient, they retained 157 seats in the House of Commons. Among these was Scarborough Centre, where Salma Zahid’s convincing re-election left scars.

This presentation revisits the race in this riding, considering what it reveals about diaspora politics in Greek Toronto. It departs from two interviews conducted with former Minister of Parliament John Cannis as part of the “Greeks in Canada: A Digital Public History” project. In Cannis’ narration, personal betrayals and inadequate community support turned the race in his opponent’s favour. I suggest that the local Greek community’s unwillingness to support the Greek candidate was a rebuke of Cannis’ broker model of diaspora politics. In doing so, I contextualize the community’s ambivalent stance, portraying it as an outcome of three factors: (i) growing awareness of the broker model’s limitations, (ii) conservative Canada’s retreat from multiculturalism, and (iii) a Greek community organization in transition. The presentation concludes by gesturing toward what a viable and effective model could look like.

This lecture will also be streamed via the Institute’s YouTube channel:

The Canadian Institute in Greece

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