This past week CFN joined Minister of Immigration Ahmed Hussen, with several members of our team accompanying him yesterday, as he attended his first ever Calgary Stampede. It was easy to see newcomers to Canada around him on this day feeling an immediate kinship with the man. Newly arrived and beginning the latest chapter in their own lives, they saw in Hussen an inverted reflection of themselves and a hopeful vision of their future.
Many know Hussen's story, but nonetheless it's a story worth repeating. It sits at the very core of what our country stands for and further still, just what it means to be Canadian. As a young boy, Hussen left war torn Somalia to forge a new life in Toronto. He first resided in Hamilton and later moved to Canada's largest city in 1993. In 1996 he moved to Regent Park.It was his experience living in Regent Park that drew him into politics. Hussen co-founded the neighbourhood association that pushed for the inclusion of more public housing in the $500-million redevelopment of the community, and eventually became a prominent voice as president of the Canadian Somali Congress. For his post-secondary studies, Hussen attended York University, earning a BA in History in 2002. Hussen later received a law degree from the University of Ottawa, and passed the bar exam in September 2012. In December 2014, he presented himself as a candidate for a Liberal Party of Canada seat in the riding of York South—Weston for the 42nd Canadian federal election. Hussen won the nomination in a field of six aspirants and little more than a year later was named Minister of Immigration, Refugees an and Citizenship by Prime Minster Justin Trudeau.
The position the Honourable Minister now finds himself is not just a testament to his own hard work and dedication, but the kind of country Canada is and continues to be for all those who arrive here to start a new life. CFN sends our thanks to the Calgary Stampede and the Minister, as it was our honour and privilege to spend the day with you at your first Calgary Stampede!