Josh Matlow: To my friends in Toronto’s Armenian community

Below is an open letter penned by Toronto mayoral candidate Josh Matlowm dated April 27, 2023, and addressed to members of the Armenian community of Toronto. It was published in Torontohye’s May 2023 issue. His letter was accompanied by this video message.

The Armenian National Committee of Toronto) ANCT recently announced that it is endorsing Matlow’s bid to become the next Mayor of Toronto.

To my friends in Toronto’s Armenian community,

Last month, I was honoured to stand in solidarity with you on the occasion of the 108th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, as we marked a dark page in the history of humanity. As recent events in Artsakh reopen old wounds, it is vital for us all to commit to the principle of “Never Again”.

As a school board trustee, I considered it a personal duty to advocate for public education about the history of genocide. In 2008, those efforts culminated in the Toronto District School Board’s Grade 11 course on Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity, which today is also taught at the ARS Armenian School. Since moving from the school board to Toronto City Council, I’ve continued to stand shoulder to shoulder with the community, especially as we commemorated the centennial together in 2015.

This year, we mark another centennial – 100 years since the first group of orphans from the Armenian Genocide were brought to Georgetown, Ontario. Their arrival set an important precedent for opening up Canada’s restrictive immigration policies of the time.

Toronto today is a vibrant city made up of people from all around the world who have been able to find safe haven from prejudice and conflict back home. The city’s Armenian community is a deeply important part of that mosaic. 

Thank you for your tireless work towards a more inclusive future for us all. You can count on me to always be there with you every step of the way.

Josh Matlow

You can hear Josh Matlow’s commitment to Toronto’s Armenian community from him directly in this year’s April 24 video message: