My Name is Mark Paralovos and I am the People’s Party Candidate for the Guelph riding.
I want to give you some insight into who I am, where I come from, and why I am running in the October federal election.
I am 38 years old. I was born in Toronto to immigrant parents. I am a first generation Canadian and I celebrate both my British and Greek heritage, carrying on many of the traditions that have been passed down through my family’s generations. My family moved to Guelph when I was 5 years old. I attended Ottawa Crescent Public School and John F Ross High School. I completed a diploma program at Niagara College in 2002, after which I returned to Guelph and purchased my first home.
I have always felt a connection with Guelph. In my younger years, the connection was with the vibrant downtown. Friends would get together at The Cornerstone for its famous bean pot, or the Jimmy Jazz for beers and local music. I got older and priorities started to change, as they often do. I married the love of my life and had two incredible children. Lucky for me, Guelph still has much to offer my young family. The conveniences of big city amenities, without sacrificing the small town feel I have come to know and love. I can spend my free time with the kids at our neighborhood park, or teach them to ride their bikes without training wheels on local trail networks. Seeing my kids’ faces light up riding the train or carousel at Riverside Park – there’s nothing like it in the world.
Growing up, my family was actively involved with Family & Children’s Services of Guelph and Wellington County. Our house was a haven for many foster children over the years. I am fortunate to have had this experience as it resulted in expansion of my family as my foster siblings became my adopted siblings and it charted my early education and career choices.
The experience also sparked my interest in working with under-serviced youth. I am a children’s mental health professional by trade and worked in that field for 15 years. Between 2002 and 2011, I worked at KidsLINK, a non-profit organization in St. Agatha that offered a number of educational services and treatment programs to children and young people who have social, emotional or behavioural issues. I worked in both the residential and day treatment programs. During my time at KidsLINK I was Union Steward and negotiated multiple contract updates.
In 2011, I took the opportunity to work with the Waterloo Catholic District School Board at the high school level. Over the course of my five years with the Board I worked one-on-one with the highest need students, requiring patience, ingenuity and quick thinking during potentially volatile situations.
I am a self-taught web developer and have been designing, building and maintaining websites as a hobby for years. My interest in web design, and e-commerce in particular, led me to the decision to switch gears with my career. In 2016, I left the Board for an opportunity to become the web developer and administrator for a small e-commerce business in Kitchener.
My family is actively involved with our community School Council and I sit on the French as a Second Language Advisory Committee (FSLAC) with the Upper Grand School Board.
I produce a daily podcast focused on Canadian Federal politics. You can find it here.I had not planned to enter federal politics when I started my podcast. I started it because I find politics interesting to discuss with people. But the more I learned and the more I discussed what is going on in Canada, and the world, the more concerned I became. The more I felt that I had to step up and do everything necessary to help Maxime Bernier get his message out.
Maxime Bernier and the People’s Party of Canada are the only leaders on the federal stage offering solutions that will actually move the needle on the most important issues in the 2019 election. Some of these include the high cost of living, immigration, keeping Canadian tax dollars IN CANADA and freedom of speech.
We need to stop worrying about being politically correct and start having meaningful conversations about tough issues. In my view, we live in the best country in the world; a free country with boundless opportunity for those willing to work hard and take responsibility for their own lives. I strongly believe in the foundation and values of the People’s Party; respect, personal responsibility, fairness and freedom.
My Name is Mark Paralovos. That rhymes with “for all of us”. I am the candidate for the People’s Party of Canada in Guelph and I am excited to represent you and your interests in Ottawa.