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Ahmed Hussen Appointed Canada’s New Immigration Minister

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ahmed-hussenAhmed Hussen, a Somali-born Member of Parliament who came to Canada as a refugee at the age of 16, has been appointed as the country’s new Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship. He takes over from John McCallum, who had served in the role since the Liberal Party took office in November, 2015.

The 40 year-old father of three takes on a role that in recent years has become seen as an important cabinet position. Immigration policy touches Canadians and non-Canadians alike, and the minister leading the department is often seen as a reflection of the government’s mood and objectives. If that is the case, then this appointment may be viewed in a positive light.

Not only is Hussen an immigrant himself, but he is also a qualified attorney who practiced in the field before successfully running as a Liberal candidate in the Ontario riding of York South—Weston in the 2015 election. These credentials are not lost on the Minister, who stated in a recent television interview that, “It is quite an honour and a privilege to be put in charge of the very department that I was a client of many, many years ago.” Hussen now self-identifies as “Canadian first.”

Hussen’s pathway from refugee to MP is an improbable one, but then again in Canada many top public servants have improbable pathways to their current role. After all, this is a land where opportunity abounds.

Hamilton, Ontario is a long way from Mogadishu, Somalia, not just geographically but culturally and economically too. It was in Hamilton that Hussen completed high school before getting a job pumping gas in Mississauga, just outside Toronto. Walking around the streets one day, he saw a flyer for a public barbecue hosted by a provincial politician, George Smitherman, who was so impressed by his guest that he recommended Hussen for a job with the then-opposition Ontario Liberal Party.

Hussen got the job, and the rest, as they say, is history.

He worked in this capacity until November, 2003, when he was promoted to Special Assistant following the Ontario Liberal Party’s election victory. He held this new post for two years. Later, Hussen worked with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police’s Youth Engaged in National Security Issues committee, founded the Regent Park Community Council, and served as National President of the Canadian Somali Congress (CSC). Under his leadership, the CSC partnered with the Canadian International Peace Project and Canadian Jewish Congress to establish the Canadian Somali-Jewish Mentorship Project. It was the first national mentoring and development project between a sizable Muslim community and the Jewish community. He was also a sitting member on the federal government’s Cross-Cultural Roundtable on Security.

Hussen’s public career has dovetailed with his academic background. He earned a BA in History at York University in 2002 before later pursuing a law degree at the University of Ottawa, successfully completing his bar exam in 2012.

“Ahmed Hussen embodies the very best of Canada. He has a global outlook, an altruistic nature, and a clear ‘can-do’ attitude that has allowed him to succeed in academia and public service. He has also proven to be a bridge builder between the various communities that make up the country,” says Attorney David Cohen.

“John McCallum laid some groundwork over the past year, but there is much for the new minister to get done. We are still waiting on changes to the Citizenship Act, overturning some of the Conservatives’ legislation. In addition, reductions in processing times remain largely aspirational rather than a reality, and further improvements could be made to the Express Entry system for skilled workers. There are myriad other things to look at, and so it is crucial for Mr Hussen and his team to hit the ground running. I wish him the best as he takes on this exciting new opportunity.”

To find out if you are eligible to immigrate to Canada through one of the many immigration programs, please fill out a free assessment form.

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67 thoughts on “Ahmed Hussen Appointed Canada’s New Immigration Minister

  1. Avatar
    Nelson Oliveira

    Honourable Mr. Ahmed Hussen Canada’s Immigration Minister.
    Congratulation for introduction of changes to citizenship. I was in Canada holding PR but I left Canada as my PR was not renewed. I wrote Humanitarian letters. I want to return back to Canada. My daughter holds Canadian citizen, wife PR. Any waiver, renewal consideration, changes to PR card holders who can look forward to these changes too. Thank you Sir.

  2. Avatar
    Barbara Leela Sandrasagra

    Mr Hussen,
    I am pleading for help in getting my niece and family over into Canada, Thy are the only one who are left in Sri Lanka since their father died -(my brother) I am a retired and living in Guelph for the past 44 years -I would – like to have them as I am getting old and need some help from them. Also this home belong to them once I am gone. Rest of my family lives in Toronto and abroad they are all citizens of Canada -whom are doctors,lawyers -accountants and business men.- We will not burden the Government of Canada for any support- As my niece is a Montessori Teacher and her husband is a travel agent. They are very capable of hardworking people and very adjustable in many ways.- I can produce more information if requested -Please help me as I have been waiting for such a long time to get these children over to Canada.-

  3. Avatar

    Please tell me that Canada will stop accepting all these folks who are crossing into Quebec and other borders. We have been great to those who came to Canada to escape war. I am proud of Canada for doing this. These Haitains were living in the US. No one was persecuting them. They can apply for entry into Canada while living
    in the US. They need to be vetted as every one else who applies for entry into our country. I have read that many of these Haitians were found to have child pornography on them, they should be sent back immediately, no excuses for that! Please tell me they will be vetted before they slip into our peaceful country. It is time for wisdom and prudence.

  4. Avatar
    Richard Oosterman

    agree. i am considering the same course of action seeing that the immigration department is slower that promised on their own web site.

  5. Avatar
    Richard Oosterman

    Welcome as our Minister of Immigration
    Can i be assured that the promises made by the Liberal Govt concerning my application will be met?

    So far every promise has been lies sorry to say.

    I have followed every procedure and still my wife and children are not here with an Embassy in Singapore that has no phone number to be reached or held accountable

    please advise how i can be united with my family. I am a Canadian born and raised.

  6. Avatar
    Priyadutt desai

    Why a real Canadian Tax payer family does not get visitors visa ?? Canada is multicultural immigrants country & believe in true human rights but still our relatives & friends does not get visitors visa. This condition hurt our feelings & human rights.

    Immigration department should make some rules to get visitors visa for genuine personal so that real Canadian tax payers does not hurt their feelings & does not violet human rights.

    Please send me some information to get visitors visa for our family & frieds.

  7. Avatar
    Jacques Goudreault

    IRCC website site says you need a “valid passport” to visit Canada. Nowhere on the site or on the internet can I find out how many remaining months must be left before expiry. Is it 3 months, 6 months?

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