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Toni Varone appointed to the Senate of Canada

TORONTO – Today, December 20, 2023, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the appointment of Toni Varone to the Senate of Canada.

From a community perspective, the appointment is long-overdue. There has not been a Senator from the Italian Canadian community since the retirement of former Senator Consiglio Di Nino from that post in 2012.

A special Committee tasked with the specific purpose of receiving nominations, vetting the “qualifications” of candidates, receiving supporting letters from the larger community, and making recommendations to the government of the day, put his name forward. It was a crowded field.

Toni Varone, no stranger to the business community and to the social-cultural communities in Toronto, is now Senator Varone. He is one of only 24 members of the Senate Chamber representing the Province of Ontario. There are 105 across the entire country. And he will be there until age 75 to serve the interests of the community and the Province in Canada’s legislative process, irrespective of electoral winds and successes.

Senator Toni Varone

“I am almost overwhelmed with the emotions that flow from the realization that I have been entrusted with this privilege to serve”, he said humbly. “Obviously, I am exuberant and thankful for the support of my family and commitment of the many friends who thought me worthy enough to promote. But I see my father smiling from above and thinking that his decision to leave war-torn Italy so many years ago to start a new life in this country was a good one. I continue to be inspired by his drive, his sacrifices to construct a future for his family and to shape a new country, our country”.

“In so many ways, the story of my dad, Carlo Varone, is characteristic of so many others of his generation, some more successfully so than others, but aspirational always”, he added, reflecting on the many “Italian Canadian personalities who emerged by sheer determination to overcome obstacles and place their imprint on this country, our country. I am a product of that ethic and that culture.”

Senator Varone’s curriculum vitae would impress anyone. He is one who has made much of the gifts he has been given. He may need them all in this phase of his personal career. The Senate is euphemistically referred to as the House of Sober Second Thought. While it cannot “initiate” money bills, it must review all Bills passed by the House of Commons. Senate approval can be delayed but is required before these Bills can be proclaimed into law.

The appointment is a great [Christmas] gift, but it is as well an equally challenging obligation to serve.

“Congratulations to Tony Varone for his nomination as Senator – declared the Italian Ambassador to Canada, H.E. Andrea Ferrari – we are very happy to learn that, from today, our community can count two Senators of Italian origin”.

“Knowing Toni Varone, commented the Consul General of Italy in Toronto, Luca Zelioli, his success as an entrepreneur and above all his great commitment to social issues, I believe that his appointment as Senator is good news for Canada and a new element of pride for the Italian-Canadian community in this country. My heartfelt congratulations go to Toni Varone for his high position and his willingness to work together in those sectors where the Consulate can also be useful in developing relations between Ontario and Italy”.

The Corriere Canadese congratulates Senator Varone and all who identify with him in his new role. Auguri e Buon Natale. May this New Year augur the best for him and all those of us who have now become part of his mandate of service.

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