Canadian Hellenic Congress
We exist and are here to stay for Hellenes and Hellenism
On February 21, 2016 a new chapter was turned in the life of the Canadian Hellenic Congress. The democratic national organization of Hellenes and their organizations in Canada that was created in 1982 exists and continues to serve our community across Canada.
Despite setbacks, the Congress is still the premier pan Canadian Hellenic institution that speaks on matters of public policy and national Hellenic issues.
The February meeting saw the adoption of a new modern constitution that reinforces the internal democratic practices, transparency and the highest standards of conduct.
The National Council was reconstituted bringing together both past and new community activists committed to advancing the interests of the Congress and that of Hellenism. The new officers and directors are:
Administration and Secretary
Dr. John Vlachopoulos
Administration, Secretary and Membership Development
Finance and Treasurer
Cultural and Social Development
Dr. Theodore Halatsis
Governmental and Public Affairs
Quebec and Atlantic Canada
Immediate Past President
Dr. Pandelis Halamandaris
Eleni Fakotakis Kolaitis
Reverend Steven Smith
Since its creation, the aims of the Congress is to advance and promote Hellenism, Democracy, Human Rights, Equality and engagement in public affairs. The goal is to change society through the revitalization and advancement Hellenism both in Canada and in the world. And to vigorously defend Hellenes and Hellenism here and abroad. Our goal is to change society through the revitalization and advancement Hellenism both in Canada and in the world.
“Deeds Speak” to borrow the phrase.
For over 30 years, the Congress has been in the forefront of advancing and protecting the national Hellenic interests through presentation to federal, provincial and municipal governmental authorities, other government entities, national conferences, and national community mobilizations.
The Congress has held national conferences on Greek language instruction, education, youth issues, socio-economic issues and building trade relations between Canada and Greece.
The Congress has made representation to municipal governments about the FYROM and flag raising recognitions.
The Congress with our partners (Canadian Jewish Congress, National Congress of Italian Canadians) contributed to our country’s constitutional challenges by organizing and holding cross country consultations on the constitutional arrangements, i.e. Charlottetown Accord.
The Congress with our partners (Armenian National Federation of Canada, Cypriot Federation of Canada, and Serbian National Shield of Canada) organized and held conferences on Balkan and Mediterranean security issues.
- Community mobilization and demonstration at Parliament Hill against the recognition of FYROM by the Canadian government.
- Advocated and made presentations to the Mulroney and Chretien governments on FYROM, held several meetings with Federal ministers and members of the opposition.
- Worked with the Federal government and extended the period on Greek Veterans pensions.
- Representation to the Canadian Olympic Committee about the use of the name “Olympic” by Canadian Hellenic business.
- Pier 21 – Special plaque commemorating and honoring the Greek immigrants who enter Canada through this Halifax port pier.
- Advocated against the sale of Canadian nuclear reactors (CANDU) to Turkey.
- Presentation and submission on Canadian security legislation
- Advocated ethnic broadcasting in Canada
- Her Majesty’s The Greek Immigrant Exhibit, commemorating the contributions of Greeks immigrants.
- Supporting our partner, the Armenian Community, in its efforts to get Turkey to recognize the Armenian Genocide.
- Ongoing events and communication strategy to raise awareness about historic events such as the Battle of Crete, Greek Pontian Genocide, etc
- Working with governments to acknowledge and recognize the tragic and destructive events of August 1919 against Greek Canadian business. Toronto City Council passed a resolution to that effect at its July, 2015 meeting.
- Establishment of the Greek Pontian Genocide Memorial Park
- Establishment of Centers for Hellenic Civilization: History, Language, Culture, Heritage, Democracy and Tradition
- Advocacy for the integrity and security of the Hellenic sovereignty: several communications with Prime Minister Harper and Leaders of the Opposition
- Represent the community on the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) Working Group on the Greek Gods Garden project
- Represent the Hellenic community on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Ethnocultural Council
- Working with the Coptic Community on the Syrian and Iraqi Refugees
- Toronto City Council voted to recognize the Pontian Genocide and to honour the memory of the men, women and children who died in the 20th Century’s first genocide.