Political Profile: Joel Etienne, Jewish, Conservative in York Centre

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Joel Etienne, Jewish-Conservative politician and lawyer

The countdown has begun – about eight months until the Canadian federal election is in full swing, and some key swing ridings are about to choose their representatives.

One of those ridings is York Centre, in Toronto, where lawyer Joel Etienne is seeking the nomination to be the candidate of the Conservative Party. The nomination vote is March 3.

Etienne’s experience in politics dates back to being a federal Alliance candidate for Eglinton/Lawrence in 2000, and post-merger, serving on the Conservative electoral district association there for three years.

He has volunteered for, and played important roles in, the political campaigns of Doug Ford, Rob Ford, Bernie Tanz, Maureen Harquail, Joe Oliver, Michael Mostyn and many others.

His community work includes being board members of two synagogues.

Joel Etienne has two law degrees – a Civil Law Degree from the Université de Montreal and Common Law Degree from Université de Moncton. From 2008 to 2011 he was a partner at Gertler, Etienne LLP.

In 2011 he became a founding partner of EME Professional Corporation, with a focus on immigration law, commercial law, litigation, and commercial real estate. He is a frequent host on French CBC, speaking about legal issues.

In 2017, he was honoured to take on the role of executive producer of Rising Suns Productions, a multi-million dollar Canadian television production company. It boasts being North America’s first English-scripted television drama series with a majority Asian-American cast.

Federal candidate for York Centre: Joel Etienne and family

King David’s Journal caught up with Etienne to find out a little more:

What was behind the decision to be a candidate?

I believe that I have the right skills and unique experience to be a very effective representative.

I have practiced immigration and business law in the York Centre riding for the past 12 years. I know this riding quite well.

I can relate to the multicultural and diverse make-up of the riding, as the son of an immigrant Jewish Ashkenazi mother and an immigrant Haitian-Jewish father.

Also important is that Justin Trudeau is taking us in the wrong direction, in terms of the economy, domestic and foreign policy. I stepped up because I want to be a part of a changed government that steers the country back where it needs to go.

What did you learn in your first campaign, in 2000, with the Alliance party?

I learned how grueling the campaign is, and that we conservatives need unity amongst conservatives – or we won’t win.  

What do you think are the riding constituents’ priorities?

  • Economic development with Downsview Park
  • to eliminate the carbon tax
  • community safety
  • immigration reform (ie: ending the backlog of legal migration and cracking down on illegals)
  • affordable education
  • a moral foreign policy (ie: not abstaining in anti-Israel UN resolutions)

Who are your favourite conservative writers?

Rex Murphy. Very few write with more eloquence precision and humor.
And Robert Fulford.

What would you say to Andrew Scheer (the leader of the Conservative Party), if you had his ear?

I’d let him know that I believe he’s a great man and a great leader, and I’d ask him to continue being bold in pursuing the needed reforms and changes that Canada needs.  

What are Justin Trudeau’s top three failings?

  • Arrogance towards those whom he disagrees with
  • Lack of experience
  • A weak and passive attitude towards global threats

** The nomination vote is March 3. Be sure to be a member in good standing of the Conservative Party of Canada, and show up to the nomination vote.

If you’d like to reach out to Joel, email: JoelForYorkCentre@Gmail.com