AHEPA-Canada (American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association) awarded on April 26, in an event held in the ballroom of the Chateau Laurier Hotel in Ottawa, the Prime Minister of Canada, Stephen Harper, with their highest honor, the Socrates Award.
According to the AHEPA-Canada press release, the award was “bestowed upon an individual who exemplifies the finest traditions of leadership and the promotion of democracy. He will be the fourth Canadian Prime Minister to receive the Socrates Award and will share this honor with past recipients Prime Minister John Diefenbaker, Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and Prime Minister Jean Chretien.”
Although Harper did not manage to attend the event, he said in his greeting: “It is a great honor to receive the Socrates Award and to be one of the few honored by the historic organization AHEPA for their leadership qualities and their contribution to the advancement of Democracy”.
The award, for the Prime Minister, was received by Canada’s Labor Minister Lisa Raitt, who stressed that she was impressed by AHEPA’s history and work not only in Canada, but worldwide.
During the event, George Vasilas, the AHEPA-Canada President, talked about the work of the organization during the 85 years of its function in Canada.
An increasingly number of Greeks are seeking their fortune in Canada due to the ongoing financial crisis that has put 1.3 million people out of work, and the Hellenic Community of Greater Montreal is trying to help those who come from the homeland.
The group will host an information session on April 17 at the Board Room/Stelios Kiliaris Mikri Vouli to provide information about the bureaucracy concerning immigration to Canada.
The Hellenic Social Services, working with the Citizenship & Immigration Ministry in Canada and with organizations specializing in matters of immigration is hosting the event under the title Demystifying the Immigration Process
Canada and Quebec are accessible to specialized professions according to the new legislation and as a result, this meeting will be multi-dimensional and especially important for those affected.
The Hellenic Community of Greater Montreal has been serving the Greek population of the greater Montreal area (Montreal, Laval and South Shore regions) since 1906. For more than 100 years, the HCGM has continuously been representing Quebec citizens of Greek origin, who have settled and continue to settle in the greater Montreal area.
The group said its goal is to constantly enrich and unify its members, by bringing them together, responding to their needs as well as, strengthening the bond with other cultural communities in the Greater Montreal area, as reported in the HCGM’s website.