First Somali-Canadian MP becomes Canada’s immigration Minister

Ahmed Hussen, Canada’s new Minister for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship.

Ahmed Hussen, a lawyer and community activist born and raised in Somalia has been named the new Canadian Minister for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship.

Hussen is currently the Member of Parliament for York South-Weston, Toronto, representing the ruling Liberal Party of Canada.

His appointment was announced by the office of the Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau on Tuesday in a cabinet reshuffle.

Hussen and other appointees in Trudeau’s cabinet reshuffle were sworn in same day.

Hussen immigrated to Canada in 1993 and settled in Regent Park where he did community 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,’‘ the PM’s website said about him.

He also served as the National leader of the Canadian Somali Congress – a community based group that champions the interest of Somalis by engaging the Canadian authorities while also strengthening civic engagement and integration.

He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in History from the York University and his Law degree from the University of Ottawa. Ahmed is fluent in English, Somali and Swahili.

As Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Hussen and his team’s top five tasks include the following:

  1. Lead government-wide efforts to resettle 25,000 refugees from Syria in the coming months.
  2. As part of the Annual Immigration Levels Plan for 2016, bring forward a proposal to double the number of entry applications for parents and grandparents of immigrants to 10,000 a year.
  3. Give additional points under the Entry Express system to provide more opportunities for applicants who have Canadian siblings.
  4. Increase the maximum age for dependents to 22, from 19, to allow more Canadians to bring their children to Canada.
  5. Bring forward a proposal regarding permanent residency for new spouses entering Canada.


Zaianb Sa’id