Meet Ziad

The needs of constituents are a top priority for Ziad Aboultaif, Member of Parliament for Edmonton Manning. First elected in 2015, he has met with thousands of area residents to find out how best he can bring Edmonton Manning’s concerns to Ottawa – and helped many in their dealings with the federal bureaurcacy.

He feels an MP should be first and foremost a servant of the people, that his role is to be Edmonton’s voice in Ottawa, not Ottawa’s voice in Edmonton.

“I am incredibly proud of my constituency, its diversity and the peaceful co-existence of mutual respect and co-operation. Together we lift each other up to heights that we otherwise would not be able to achieve. This is a beautiful thing.”

A Passionate Canadian

As a young man, Ziad left his native Lebanon to move to Canada, arriving amidst the cold and snow of an Edmonton winter. It didn’t take long for him to realize his values aligned with Canadian values, observing the freedoms and opportunities that exist within this great nation. Wanting to fully immerse himself, he became a Canadian citizen knowing he wanted to give back to the country he has grown to love.

“I became Canadian because I knew the ideals Canadians held and I wanted to share in those values.”

As a father, Ziad knows we have a responsibility to treat our planet wisely and responsibly. We are stewards, not owners, entrusted with the responsible care for our environment to pass on to the next generation. Albertans can be proud of our ethical oil and clean technologies – though we can always work together to do better.

“There may be no more important issue for politicians to grapple with in the 21st century – and we need to listen to, not lecture each other.”

Ziad has long been an advocate for organ and tissue donation, and in 2003 made a partial-liver donation. He believes organ donation is the ultimate gift and commitment to life. In Parliament, Ziad works to increase awareness of the importance of organ and tissue donation. His ultimately unsuccessful Private Members Bill, C-223, would have established a Canadian Organ Donor Registry to coordinate and promote organ donation throughout Canada. He continues as an advocate on the issue, raising awareness of the cause.

“There is nothing that can make one appreciate the selflessness of Canadians more than such a gift of life. 

This is not a partisan issue. This is not an area in which we should be playing politics. This is not something that should be subject to bureaucrats protecting their turf and saying that this bill should be rejected because it does not conform to their vision of the way things should work. The system needs to be improved, and this bill would do that.”

Ziad started working as a labourer on arrival in Canada. He learned the business from the ground up, moving from warehouse to office – eventually opening a business of his own. He knows the challenges of meeting a payroll, of dealing with customers and suppliers and working hard to achieve success. He feels government should create a climate where business can succeed, as business is the economic driver of a healthy economy.

“Before the people of Edmonton Manning asked me to represent them in this House, I was a business owner, and entrepreneur. I can read a balance sheet. I understand about profit and loss. I know about the need for a return on investment if a business is to be successful. In the early years of a business, as a company is getting established, it is not surprising if operating costs are high and the business does not turn a profit. There are capital expenditures up front, perhaps, or extra personnel costs in launching a new venture, but after a few years, if the business is well run, it starts to turn a profit, and that profit makes up for losses in the early years.

Government is not the same thing as a business. There is no profit and loss in serving the public, but some of the principles are the same and are supposed to be the same. A business that is always in the red does not stay in business very long.”

As a member of a minority group, Ziad knows first-hand that society has inequalities, both in Canada and around the world. He sees respect for all, with justice and equality as key to a healthy society. Furthermore, he believes Canada has a role to play on the international stage, ensuring that all nations live up to their international human rights commitments.