POLITICS

Maryam Monsef Invites Toddler From Viral Video To Parliament

12/06/2015 01:39 EST | Updated 09/22/2016 12:19 EDT

A New Brunswick toddler's incredible parliamentary knowledge — and cute YouTube video — has brought an invitation for her and her family to meet MP Maryam Monsef in Ottawa.

Two-year-old Sophia Popalyar named the democratic institutions minister as her favourite member of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's cabinet in a YouTube video last week.

Charmed by Sophia's enthusiasm and ability to identify several cabinet ministers by their positions, Monsef told the Peterborough Examiner on Wednesday that she is serious about giving the Moncton girl and her family a tour of Parliament Hill.

"We're going to be voting for [Sophia] someday, I should probably get to know her," Monsef said to the Examiner.

Fawad Popalyar, Sophia's father, replied to Monsef's invitation on Twitter, writing:

According to CTV News, Sophia's interest in politics runs in the family. Her parents Fawad and Adina are both civil servants, who work for Citizenship and Immigration Canada and Health Canada, respectively.

In an interview with the broadcaster, the toddler's mother said Monsef was a natural choice as her daughter's preferred politician, as they share Afghani heritage. Adina Popalyar moved to Canada from Afghanistan when she was four, while her husband arrived in 2001, reported CTV.

Monsef came to Canada as a refugee from Afghanistan and became the first Canadian MP to be born in that country.

Adina told CTV, "That’s a huge inspiration for us… and we've talked a lot about her."

Sophia's father Fawad expects the meeting to take place when the family returns in the next few weeks.

CLARIFICATION - Sept. 22, 2016: MP Maryam Monsef issued a statement saying that she recently learned from her mother that she was in fact born in Iran, and not Afghanistan.

Monsef's mother said she felt it didn't matter to tell her daughters because under Iranian law, they were born to Afghan parents and not considered Iranian citizens.

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