Azerbaijani-Canadians Get Involved in Canada's Federal Election
Azerbaijani Canadians across the political spectrum are getting involved and making democracy work. Pictured here: members of the Network of Azerbaijani Canadians (NAC) executive team between meetings with various MP candidates. Image: NAC
With the Canadian Federal elections less than a week away, MP candidates and their supporters have been doubling and tripling their campaigning efforts in the 338 federal electoral districts across the country.
More than any time in the past, the Azerbaijani Canadian community has been actively engaging in the campaigning effort of local MP candidates. The politically active and fast-growing community has been sharing their volunteering photos from various campaign offices, from Toronto to Edmonton to Ottawa, in local community groups.
Some Azerbaijanis actively support Liberal candidates. Image: NAC
“We are very proud of the relationships we’ve been building with our local policymakers and the support we have seen from them toward issues that concern our community,” said Nika Jabiyeva, the Executive Director of the Network of Azerbaijani Canadians (NAC), a grassroots Canadian Azerbaijani advocacy organization. “This is an important time for Canada, where we can collectively make a difference, so it’s important to make our voices heard and be involved.”
NAC members have been sharing educational materials about the election process with the community, urging Azerbaijani Canadians to vote, engage with local MPs, and use the Elections Canada resource to learn more about their candidates and voting options.
Others are convinced Conservatives. Image: NAC
Over the past few weeks, young Azerbaijani Canadian volunteers have been busy making phone calls, knocking on doors, putting up posters and raising awareness on social media about the campaigns they’ve been assisting. Some are adamantly Liberal, and others confirmed Conservatives. The goal isn’t to promote any particular party but to engage in the important democratic process and support their local candidates.
An Edmonton-based Azerbaijani activist, board member of the Azerbaijani Cultural Society of Edmonton (AzCSE) and NAC member, Fatima Mammadova, says: “It’s important to advocate for issues that concern Azerbaijani Canadians and for matters that have a significant impact locally.” While Azerbaijani Canadians have a broad spectrum of views economically, many in the diaspora agree on the issue of Canada’s support for Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity. They also tend to support candidates who combat all forms of hatred against minority communities, like rising Turkophobia and antisemitism - issues that affect Azerbaijanis of all faiths.
“I’m proud of our community here in Edmonton and across Canada and all of their efforts being put toward ensuring that our voices are being heard.”
The Canadian Federal elections will take place on September 20.