He came to Canada at 16, a Somali seeking asylum, and now Ahmed Hussen is the country’s Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship. On 31 August 2018, this lawyer, refugee and national leader spoke at UNSW’s Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law, sharing his singular insights into Canada’s efforts to successfully integrate new citizens.
Special presentation by Canada’s Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen on refugees, migrants and integration
Chaired by: Professor Jane McAdam, Director of the Andrew and Renata Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law, UNSW Sydney
Recorded: 31 August 2018
About the Speaker
Ahmed Hussen is the Member of Parliament for the riding of York South-Weston, Canada. A lawyer and social activist, he has a proven track record of leadership and community empowerment. Born and raised in Somalia, Ahmed immigrated to Canada in 1993 where he settled in Regent Park and quickly gravitated towards public service. In 2002, he co-founded the Regent Park Community Council and was able to secure a $500 million revitalization project for Regent Park, all while ensuring the interests of the area’s nearly 15,000 residents were protected. Ahmed also served as the National President of the Canadian Somali Congress – a Somali community organization that works with national and regional authorities to advocate on issues of importance to Canadians of Somali heritage and strengthen civic engagement and integration. His results-driven reputation led to an invitation to join the task force for modernizing income security for adults in the Toronto City Summit Alliance. Ahmed is fluent in English, Somali, and Swahili, and earned his Bachelor of Arts (History) from York University and his Law Degree from the University of Ottawa. In 2004, the Toronto Star recognized him as one of ten individuals in Toronto to have made substantial contributions to his community.