Arif Virani was first elected as the Member of Parliament for Parkdale—High Park in 2015. He previously served as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada and to the Minister of Democratic Institutions, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage (Multiculturalism), and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship.
Mr. Virani came to Canada as a Ugandan Asian refugee. Before entering politics, he worked as a constitutional litigator, advocating for human rights and access to justice.
Mr. Virani was an analyst with the Canadian Human Rights Commission in Ottawa, an investigator at the Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse in Montréal, and an assistant trial attorney prosecuting those accused of genocide at the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.
Mr. Virani was also one of the founders of the South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario in Toronto. He received the 2001 Harold G. Fox litigation scholarship at the Middle Temple in London, United Kingdom, and the 2008 Wilson-Prichard Award in recognition of his contributions to the legal profession and his community.
Mr. Virani lives and volunteers in his community. He is a member of The Redwood, a shelter for abused women and their children, and regularly helps at the Parkdale Community Food Bank. He is also an active volunteer with RoncyWorks, and has led community efforts to address mental health stigma.
Mr. Virani has an Honours Bachelor of Arts in History and Political Science from McGill University, and completed his Bachelor of Laws at the University of Toronto, where he graduated as valedictorian.
He speaks English, French, and Hindi. He is happily married and the devoted father of two young boys.