The federal riding of Richmond Hill, Ont., is surely a riding to watch come September 20. After all, in the 2019 campaign, on election night, Conservative candidate Costas Menegakis went to bed as the victor for this riding. Alas, he woke up the next day to discover that after the mail-in ballots had been counted, MP Majid Jowhari had been re-elected by a scant margin (Jowhari had secured the riding with 43.4% of the vote versus 43.2% for Menegakis — a virtual photo finish).
Yet, it is somewhat staggering Jowhari pulled off this victory, given that he has more baggage than the arrivals terminal at Pearson International Airport. Not only does he support the mullahs in Iran, but last November, it was reported by Global News that Jowhari had met with an Iranian businessman, Alireza Onghaei, who is accused of helping Tehran circumvent international sanctions.
CSIS called the financial transfers a threat to national security and cited “foreign influenced activities” detrimental to Canada. Of note, Onghaei has financially contributed to Jowhari’s re-election campaign.
Jowhari has also lied about the status of his engineering credentials, earning him the dubious nickname of “the Persian Pinocchio.”
Recently, I dropped by the Menegakis campaign office to conduct an interview with the candidate. We touched on many things including: how week one of the 2021 election campaign was a pretty good week for Conservative leader Erin O’Toole and a very bad week for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau; the surprise victory of the Progressive Conservative party in Nova Scotia; the reaction of people in the Richmond Hill riding to what is widely regarded as a completely unnecessary federal election; and whether the Conservative Party can expect a fair shake when it comes to news coverage by the mainstream media.
I also asked Menegakis to weigh in on the fact that Mr. O’Toole might be at odds with many of his party members regarding certain issues (i.e., his support of a carbon tax and choosing not to condemn sex-selective abortions). I also asked why Rebel News is suddenly media non grata when it comes to Mr. O’Toole, given that this was most certainly not the case when he was running for the leadership position last year.
In any event, a tip of the hat to Costas Menegakis for being so generous with his time. Which was quite a contrast to Majid Jowhari’s reaction to us a few days earlier when we visited a campaign event to ask Jowhari some questions. Jowhari’s response? His team called the police. (Methinks one candidate in the riding of Richmond Hill might be mistaking the Greater Toronto Area for Tehran…)