The Toronto Star reported on January 10: In 2004, Ahmed Hussen was proclaimed a “Person to Watch” in the country’s biggest city for his community work in Regent Park. He told the Star at the time: “I don’t think I could handle the life of a politician . . . I don’t want to be front and centre.”
Flash forward to Tuesday, and there was Hussen, front and slightly to the right, swearing an oath to serve the Queen in front of a cluster of clicking cameras as he officially joined the reshuffled Liberal cabinet of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The rookie MP for York-South Weston has leapt from the backbench of the party to become Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, a position made all the more noteworthy for Hussen’s own story. He came to this country as a refugee from war-torn Somalia, settling on his own in a foreign land as a 16-year-old in 1993.
Just hours after formally assuming his new post, Hussen — who has been a lawyer, human rights advocate and community activist — said the trajectory of his life would affect how he approaches the job, just like it would for anyone else.
“I am extremely proud of our country’s history as a place of asylum, a place that opens its doors and hearts to new immigrants and refugees, and I’m especially proud today to be the minister in charge of that file,” Hussen told reporters outside the House of Commons on Tuesday. [Continue reading…]