In Conversation with The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

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The Balsillie School of International Affairs, in partnership with Wilfrid Laurier University and the University of Waterloo, is pleased to welcome The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship for a conversation with Dr. Anna Esselment, Chair of Political Science at the University of Waterloo, about citizenship in the face of populism: reflecting on the meaning of being Canadian and finding strength in diversity. The discussion will be moderated by Dr. Alison Mountz, Director of the International Migration Research Centre at Wilfrid Laurier University. A short question and answer period with the audience will follow.

About the speakers

Photo of Minister HussenThe Honourable Ahmed Hussen is the Member of Parliament for the riding of York South-Weston. 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.

Dr. Anna Esselment is Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Political Science at the University of Waterloo. Her research focuses broadly on political parties, campaigns and elections, political marketing, and Canadian institutions. She has also worked at Queen’s Park as a policy advisor to then Opposition Leader Dalton McGuinty.

Dr. Alison Mountz, Canada Research Chair in Global Migration, is also Professor of Geography at Wilfrid Laurier University and the Balsillie School of International Affairs, and Director of Laurier’s International Migration Research Centre. Through her research, Dr. Mountz explores how people cross borders and access migration and asylum policies, with recent work focusing on border enforcement, detention on islands, and US war resister migration to Canada.

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