The appointment of a former refugee from East Africa to become new Minister of Immigration should be embraced as Canada’s significant achievement.
Despite several reports of disrespectful, hateful and racists comments posted by some readers in ethnic media websites against newly appointed Minister of Immigration Ahmed Hussen. The recent Canadian government cabinet shuffle, that saw a Somali-born MP for York South-Weston Ahmed Hussen become the new Minister of Immigration shows how much Canada has grown as a country in just 150 years.
While other appointments by Canada’s Prime Minister Trudeau, especially that of Chrystia Freeland, from Minister of International Trade to Minister of Foreign Affairs is seen as a direct response to the incoming Trump administration south of the border. The high-profile appointment of Hussen, a former refugee, to head Canada’s Immigration department is seen as a significant achievement in country’s rich multicultural history.
Hussen, who is fluent in English, Somali and Swahili (Lingua franca in East Africa) was born in Somalia and immigrated to Canada as a refugee from Kenya, where he briefly lived with his family after fleeing his native Somalia midst 1990’s civil war.
In 2004, the Toronto Star recognized Hussen as one of 10 individuals in Toronto to have made substantial contributions to the community.
In 1971, Canada was the first country in the world to adopt multiculturalism as an official policy. By so doing, Canada affirmed the value and dignity of all Canadian citizens regardless of their racial or ethnic origins, their language, or their religious affiliation.
This important milestone in Canadian history was surely long overdue.
Canada is set to celebrate her 150th birthday (Dubbed: CANADA 150) on July 1.