Here is a joint statement from ASL19 and the Iranian Canadian Congress:
ASL19 is launching a first-of-its-kind application on the Iranian Canadian Congress (ICC) website that enables citizens to see what Canadian Members of Parliament (MPs) are saying about Iranian affairs. The application will meet the needs of the Iranian-Canadian community to stay in touch with issues discussed by their elected representatives in the House of Commons. In particular, the application allows visitors to explore discussions on issues uniquely affecting Iranian Canadians, such as Iran-Canada relations, discussions related to re-opening the embassies and Canada’s sanctions on Iran.
Interested citizens can begin browsing through the content at: http://www.iccongress.ca/iraninparliament. The application supports searches by subject tags, including both Iran-related issue tags (e.g. Iran embassy) as well as the names of particular MPs. The MP tags are further indexed by Members who are themselves Iranian-Canadian, or those who represent ridings with significant Iranian-Canadian constituencies based on latest numbers from Statistics Canada. The application makes it easier to locate Parliamentary and committee proceedings of Iranian interest, including both past and ongoing documentation. It does this by filtering transcripts from the website www.openparliament.ca through specific tags. Additionally, users will effortlessly be able to find the contact information of their MPs in order to contact them directly around issues.
“Apps like these help facilitate political participation from Iranian-Canadians. It’s an easy way for them to learn what is being discussed at Canada’s Parliament on issues that are important to them such as the re-opening of the embassies in both countries. This platform could also be used by other communities who want to monitor different issues.” - Ali Bangi, Co-Director (ASL19) and ICC board member.
The application is the first effort to take customized steps that improve access to information for a particular cultural and national group in Canada. For the Iranian-Canadian community, it is critical that they be able to monitor government discussions on issues. Citizens will be able to determine for themselves whether their MPs have followed through with what they have
proposed and the positions that they have taken over time. In this way, the website feature supports citizen engagement and improves the accountability of government representatives.
ASL19, Farsi for Article 19, is a technology group working towards practical responses for online access to information challenges. Our work helps citizens assert their fundamental rights to freedom of expression and access to information. Read more at www.asl19.org.
Iranian Canadian Congress (ICC) is a non-profit, non-partisan and non-religious organization, established in 2007, to represent the interests of Iranian-Canadians and encourage their participation in the Canadian society. More info at www.iccongress.ca